diy usability

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Post on 27-Jan-2015




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A presentation I made for showing Alcatel-Lucent developers what usability is about and what simple techniques they could use in their development process.


  • 1. Do-It-Yourself Usability! What developers can do themselves Jan Moons

2. Easy-to-use 3. What is usability?

    • Being user-friendly
    • Making products easy to use
    • Window dressing
      • Specifying fonts
      • Specifying color schemes
      • Making good Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
    • User testing
    • Etc.

Usability is much more 4. Usability - ISO 9241 definition

  • Theeffectiveness ,efficiencyandsatisfactionwith which specifiedusersachieve specifiedgoalsin particularenvironments .

5. Usability is an outcome of UCD practices

  • User-Centered Design (UCD) is auser interface design processthat focuses on usability goals, user characteristics, environments, tasks and workflow in the design of an interface. The UCD process is aniterativeprocess, where design and evaluation steps are built in from thefirst stageof projects, throughimplementation .
  • Shawn Lawton Henry - Accessibility in UCD process

6. User-Centered Design Process Analyze Design Evaluate Implement 7. Do-It-Yourself?!

  • Can developers follow the UCD process and conduct usability studies themselves?
  • Many of the usability techniques are relatively simple
  • Many usability activities can be conducted in-house
    • Alcatel-Lucent has a large pool of people at your finger tips, who are willing to help you out
    • BUTbe careful to only recruit the people that fit your user profile!
  • Recruit via friends and family network
  • The more you do it the better you will get at it!

8. Analysis Phase Analyze Design Evaluate Implement 9. Understanding users, tasks and their context

  • Users
      • Who will use the system?
      • What are their characteristics?
  • Tasks
      • What are the different tasks people have to perform?
      • How do they perform their tasks to achieve their goals?
        • Means: pen, paper, telephone, etc.
      • What are the different steps?
        • Have to be performed in a specific order?
      • What issues exist with the current tools?
        • What is not working?
        • What is missing?
        • What do they do today to circumvent these problems?
      • How often do they perform the task?
        • Easy-to-use vs. easy-to-learn
  • Environments
      • Physical environment
      • Social environment
      • Cultural environment

10. Identify the users of the system

  • Create user profiles:
  • Assemble a team to brainstorm a preliminary list of potential users with their assumed characteristics
  • Look for competitive products and their corresponding users profiles
  • Look for studies on the Web
  • Look for studies at your marketing department
  • These assumptions have to be checked against real users,
  • you recruit based on these profiles!

11. Developersof the system areNOTtheusers !

  • We tend to project our own rationalizations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others
  • Donald Norman - The design of everyday things

12. Some useful methods for performing task analysis

  • Contextual inquiry:
    • Observe users in own environment
    • Let them perform their daily work
    • Think aloud
    • Facilitator acts as apprentice and asks clarifying questions
  • Condensed ethnographic interview:
    • Combination of semi-structured interview, observation and gathering artifacts
    • Ask to perform certain tasks
    • Think aloud
    • Gather and discuss artifacts (documents, screenshots, etc.)
  • Incident diary:
    • Gather data over a longer period of time
    • Users keep a diary with specific questions they have to answer
    • Interview user afterwards about answers
    • Suitable for important but infrequent tasks

13. Incident diary PeCMan 14. What about interviews? 15. Design Phase Analyze Design Evaluate Implement 16. Conceptual/Design model 17. From user (mental) to designer (conceptual) model

  • Ensure the design is based on theuser requirements(analysis phase)
  • Usescenariosortask descriptions , to describe typical interaction, and base the design on them:
    • Nounsin the scenariosare theobjects/attributesof the design
    • Verbslead toactionsfor the design
  • Use the usersterminology
  • UseMetaphors (e.g. trash can, folders, etc.) :
    • Use of real world objects
    • Users have image of how it works in the real world and assume it works the same in the virtual one (Support the users model)

18. Paper prototype - first ideas PeCMan paper prototype 19. Low vs. high fidelity 20. Usability competitive analysis

  • Look at the user experience of the competition to gather ideas for your design:
    • GUI
    • features
  • Direct competitors
    • Same domain
    • Good features to implement
    • Bad features to prevent
  • Surrogate products
    • Different domain
    • Interesting concepts that you would like to use in your product
    • Similar features
    • E.g. Shopping cart

21. Design patterns

  • Best practices for designing a Graphical User Interface (GUI)
    • What is it?
    • Use when?
    • Why use it?
    • How to use it?

Input Hints Input prompt Intriguing Branches 22. Parallel design

  • The design team is given a requirements/functional document so that the design work starts from the same starting point for every designer
  • Define the boundaries of the parallel design effort:
    • Goal of system
    • Tasks that it should support
    • User characteristics - personas!
  • Each designer independently creates an initial design from the same set of requirements
  • Show-and-tell: each designer explains his/her solution
  • Each designer uses everyone elses proposed system to complete a task
  • The design team considers each solution, based on this experience, and each designer uses the best ideas to further improve their own solution or they could be merged into a single solution
  • As long as the design team is not satisfied with the final solution, steps 3 to 6 are executed on the improved design
  • The objective is to settle on one or two design concepts, based on the total effort, that can betested by the users that fit the profileof the system we are building

23. PeCMan design 1 24. PeCMan design 2 25. Best of both worlds 26. Evaluation Phase Analyze Design Evaluate Implement 27. Evaluation Phase

  • Evaluate early
    • From first sketches
    • Dont wait until everything is written in code, cost is too high to change
    • Throwing away a sketch is less costly
  • Evaluate often
    • From the moment you have some kind of idea on paper, test it!
    • Hallway testing: 5 minute tests with colleagues to remove the most obvious mistakes!
  • Evaluate with real users
    • Check your conceptual model with the mental model of real users

28. Usability testing (user testing)


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