Product development without usability testing is like…
Analogy 1 by Reto Lämmler:
…if a pilot (development company) and co-pilot (client company) would want to land a plane (project) in fog without a radar (usability tests). The co-pilot trusts that the pilot will land the plane savely, but the risk will be reduced by using a radar.
Analogy 2 by Dagmar Muth:
… if you buy normal vegetables (product without usability tests) instead of organic vegetables (product with usability tests). It’s cheaper, but you don’t know with what kind of unhealthy stuff it has been sprayed and mostly it doesn’t have that delicate taste that organic food has.
Both have been mentioned at the last UX-Chuchi. I thought it would be great to share them. Maybe they will help you to sell usability testing to a client…
Slide in a shoe store for children (and men)
I found this slide in a shoe store in Berne. The picture was taken on the ground floor. The slide leads to the basement. In the basement you have shoes for children and also for men.
Obviously children would love to take the slide, but maybe the men’s department was put intentionally in the basement, since there surely are some men who would like to slide while their girlfriends and wifes shop on the ground floor?
Was this designed on purpose or is it just a nice side-effect?
How to create a gamified tax software
I just came back from the Lift-Conference in Geneva where I attended a workshop about gamification. Our group brainstormed some ways how you could make a tax-software a more enjoyable and engaging experience through gamification.
Check out this photo of our flipchart:
Thanks to Gregory Linn and Thomas Schinabeck, who were together with me in the group.
What are the real differences between a wireframe, storyboard and a prototype?
I recently read “Prototyping” by Todd Zaki Warfel. In you find the explanation of “What are the differences between a wireframe, storyboard and a prototype?”:
A prototype, regardless of its fidelity, functionality, or how it is made, captures the intent of a design and simulates multiple states of that design. Wireframes and storyboards are static representations of a design that on their own merit do not simulate multiple states of a design. It’s the simulation and multiple states part that creates the distinction.
I don’t fully agree with this explanation. I would explain the different aspects as following:
A blueprint of a single page.
A series of wireframes next to each other.
I prefer the definition used in the ISO 9241 part 210 (the standard process for user-centered design).
Representation of all or part of a product or system that, although limited in some way, can be used for evaluation
So in this sense a wireframe and a storyboard both can be prototypes, because you can use both for evaluation (testing with users to get feedback).
UX Book Club Switzerland Review: “Card Sorting”
In the second UX Book Club Switzerland of 2012 we discussed the book “Card Sorting” by Donna Spencer. This time it took place at the Liip office.
All in all you can say that we have a positive impression of the book.
- It’s practical because it provides you with a lot of lessons learned
- Also the theoretical background is interesting. For example: Have categories really clear boundaries? No! Take the category “game”: team sports and board games are both games but not identical.
Then we discussed experiences with card sorting in our work. E.g. Memi found out that a lot of the statements in the book are true. E.g. With closed card sorting you don’t find out if someone can find content in groups. Finding content is harder than grouping content. This confirms my experience, that you always should do a usability test after card sorting to test if your navigation works.
You can also use a closed card sorting to prioritize features in an application. E.g. write the features on cards and make 2 groups: must-have and, nice-to-have. Let users sort features in these groups to persuade project members which think some unnecessary feature needs to be in the product by all means.
We finished with some tips and tricks about different workshop techniques.
Does the concept of the UX Book Club sound cool to you? Join our next meeting. It’s fun!