“Never create an experience you wouldn’t want your own family to have”
Ted Booth, 11 Rules For Great UX Design, Adapted From An Original Mad Man
Sometimes it can be hard to feel empathy with a products ends users. A lot of the projects I work on for example, are unlikely to effect me directly, nor will I be likely to use the site.
There’s the given ways to build empathy with users through techniques such as interviews, personas and testing. However, I find the above quote is great inspiration to create the best experience possible. I only wan’t the best experience possible for my family.
Another technique, which Ben Holliday discussed at the recent NUX3 conference, is for design teams to ask So what if. Holliday works on gov.uk and recently his team have been tasked with refining the form carers have to complete to apply for financial support from the Government. One way the team built empathy with their target users was to ask So what if.
So what if;
- I needed full time support to be a carer?
- It was my child with a disability?
So, here we have two quick and interesting ways to build empathy into your UX and design work and to create a better user experience. I have stopped more than once to tweak something I am working on when I think in this way. I like to think someone, somewhere has had a better experience as a result.
“Use research to learn a lot about a little”
Dr. David Travis, User Focus
Recently I attended NUX3, where Dr. David Travis did a brilliant talk on the seven deadly sins of user research. One thing that really stood out for me was that user research should be used to learn a lot about little. In David’s words; The more you cram into a dishwasher the less that comes out clean.
David suggest writing your questions on post it notes, grouping these into themes using an affinity diagram and then prioritising your most important questions.
It’s all about build > measure > learn > repeat.
DWF is a national law firm with over 2,500 people across the UK and Ireland. It offers services to businesses and private clients with teams specialising in all aspects of law, as well as providing expert advice across a range of sectors.
Lead User Experience Architect
Lead the UX on a project Code Computerlove are carrying out exploring the evolution of the DWF website. Work closely with the Code strategy and branding teams as well as senior DWF stakeholders to ensure that insights uncovered in the brand development stage of the project are implemented in the final product.
More to come soon…in the mean time check out the site
Lead User Experience Architect
Lead the UX on a project Code Computerlove are carrying out exploring the evolution of the Woodland Trust website. Work closely with the Code strategy and branding teams as well as senior Woodland Trust stakeholders to ensure that insights uncovered in the brand development stage of the project are implemented in the final product.
What we did
We created a fully responsive website optimised for touch users. The Woodland Trusts site effectively reflects the brand, whilst delivering a completely new proposition, originated by Code.
The user experience team worked closely with strategy to carry out audience and stakeholder reasearch through a series of workshops and interviews.
This resulted in a detailed set of personas and information on audience segmentation across the Woodland Trust online estate.
Clever persausion design to encoruage users to fill in form fields. From Joules
Nationwide don’t let you tick the confirmation box unless you have the terms and conditions link open. Nice touch.
“The best way to find your breakpoint is to expand till your screen looks s**t”
Brad Frost, Reasons to be respsonsive.
I recently attended a brilliant workshop by Brad Frost outlining approaches to responsive design. This is by far my favourite quote from the day. What Brad was getting at is that we should stop worrying about pixels and device specific break points when we think about break points. He suggested that we instead think of how our designs fit into small, medium, large and extra large screen sizes.
Thinking in this way helps keep everyone focused on making a design that looks and functions great at any resolution. When you start to design start with a one column small screen view and simply expand the screen till it looks, well, shit. Then you know where your first breakpoint should be.
Here is Brad Frosts tool Ish. It is a viewport resizer that demonstrates the point pefectly.