Over the past several years, I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with the vague and somewhat solipsistic nature of the gradations UX professionals typically use to describe the severity of usability issues. High, medium, and low don’t begin to sufficiently explain the potential brand and business impacts usability issues can have.
Over the past several years, I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with the vague and somewhat solipsistic nature of the gradations UX professionals typically use to describe the severity of usability issues. High, medium, and low don’t begin to sufficiently explain the potential brand and business impacts usability issues can have. After incrementally iterating on several existing classifications of severity, I finally decided in late 2008 to simply create some new ones, which I’ll present in this column. For lack of a better term, I call them business-aligned usability ratings.
Guidelines are statements of direction. They’re about looking to the future and what you want to incorporate in the design. Guidelines are aspirational. Heuristics challenge a design with questions. The purpose of heuristics is to provide a way to “test” a design in the absence of data and primary observation by making an inspection. Heuristics are about enforcement. Both guidelines and heuristics are typically broad and interpretable. They’re built to apply to nearly any interface. But they come into play at different points in a design project.
What happens to the personas and scenarios once you’re ready to start requirements definition and design. Are you sure you’ve adequately communicated the type of system your users need to the Business Analyst and Interaction Designer on your team?
Despite usability questionnaires providing only a partial picture of usability, they are nonetheless important. In fact, you could argue a user's perception of an application's usability is more important than actual task performance—a sort of gateway measure of usability.
The key to creating brand loyalty is developing a consistent and salient brand perception through the association of specific emotional experiences with a product or service. A classic example of this is the emotion of wonder and happiness people associate with The Walt Disney Company’s films and theme parks. By crafting amazing experiences for the people who enjoy their products, Disney has created such a favorable association, leading consumers to feel they can trust the brand and know what kind of experience to expect from a visit to a park, hotel, or movie theater. People can appreciate their intense focus on the user experience, whether watching Mary Poppins, meeting characters like Goofy and Minnie Mouse for the first time as a child, shown in Figure 1, or watching Toy Story characters leap to life in the amazing and spellbinding zoetrope at the California Adventure theme park.
Because user experience has become so important to organizations’ success in the marketplace and, thus, their revenue, it is now part of their overall business strategy. Organizations should plan how to manage and measure user experience. Therefore, most organizations have some system for managing their strategy and measuring their progress toward achieving their goals. One popular system for managing and measuring strategy is Balanced Scorecard.
I can’t tell you how many frustratingly unusable enterprise Web applications I’ve encountered during my 12 plus years in corporate America. As important as the user experience of enterprise software is to a business’s success, why isn’t its assessment usually a factor in technology selection?
Consider what is the most critical action you want your customers to accomplish on your site—what is your primary conversion? For an ecommerce site, the purchase that a thank-you confirmation represents is commonly the key conversion. From there, work backward to determine the key steps a user takes to get to that conversion point.