Benefits of Personas

Buy In

Have you ever had trouble pitching your idea to your clients? Personas are a great way to demonstrate the purpose and need for change. They show characteristics of the user, which can determine the user’s journey to complete a specific task.

The user path is also called a scenario, which is like role-playing, gives a clear picture of the user’s expectations and how they’re likely to behave. This approach helps sell ideas, new features or changes to the product. This approach also helps the development team understand the interaction and functionality requirements.

A persona is a user-centric approach. The benefits are quick and inexpensive ways to test design theories, get approval from stakeholders, and decide which approaches to take based on user behaviors. Learn more about the benefits of Personas by usability.gov.

    Tweet This

(89)

Understanding User Research

User Research

User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs and desires through observation techniques, task-based interviews, and other feedback methodologies.

This approach is considered qualitative data. Methods focused on user-centric design help determine decisions for design and structure based on the audience behavior.

To view types of research performed at different stages of the project cycle, check out the User-Centered Design Process Map by usability.gov.

    Tweet This

(70)

UX and Branding

Branding

Human Centered Branding is the new brand.

Brands represent the intellectual and emotional associations that people make with a company, product, or person.

Not a logo or a typeface but to a new kind of brand, the one formed by the entire experience of a user’s interaction. A brand is a shared vision that provides direction for one’s behavior. Check out BMW’s brand and how it embraces the Human Centered Design approach.

    Tweet This

(85)

Consistency Across Platforms

Browser

How do you define consistency? Sometimes when we develop, we forget about how the structure and interaction are going to affect the overall user experience. We are accustomed to thinking about consistency within the context of what we’re designing.

As we design across platforms, we must consider consistency in a much broader and more varied context. Consistent patterns, placement, and styling help with the overall experience when practicing Cross-Channel Consistency.

For example, a function is the purpose of an object. Organization is organized content, and aesthetics is how the object looks and feels.

Consistency throughout a site is a daunting task that will take careful planning, hard work, and plenty of iteration to perfect. But function, organization, and aesthetics provide a foundation for framing this vital process.

    Tweet This

(92)

Why Scroll When You Can Click?

POSTER-scrolling

My experience with the two is that users want quick access with less clicking. With mobile and touch screen computers, it’s easier than ever to scroll a web page. Extra tabs, pop up windows and multiple views interrupt the user’s flow. Why click?

Clicking lets you track user clicks to a page with analytics. When a user scrolls, it takes data out of the equation. It seems that scrolling is better for usability. Clicking is better for analytics and search engines. But scrolling tends to be a better user experience and satisfying too! View Why Scrolling is the New Click.

    Tweet This

(106)

Managing Time in Agile

Agile

 

Have you ever been at your computer and before you know it it’s been two hours? We have been hypnotized by researching online, reading email and working on your website, especially when we are doing UX methodologies.

Timeboxing

One way to avoid this pitfall while working agile is to learn to timebox. It limits you to a specific time in which you work and then move on to something else. It doesn’t mean that you can not go back to what you were doing, just limit your time per session.

 

POSTER-watch

Compartmentalize

Compartmentalize your time. You can do this using many techniques. For example, I set my timer to go off every 25 mins when I start a one off.  That way I get something was done (or at least started), in which I can always revisit later. Timeboxing keeps me on track with projects and research.

 

focus-app

Tools and Techniques

There are many tools and techniques to help with timeboxing. The one I highly recommend is Focus; it’s an app that you can use on your desktop, iPhone or Apple Watch. You can set up several tasks in 25 increments at once, the app gives you 5 min breaks in between tasks. You can pause the timer and resume when needed. You can download the Focus Productivity app at the App Store.

 

pomo-app

 

The Pomodoro Technique is another practice that helps teams work together in an Agile environment. Learn how to predict the time it takes to complete a task, monitors your productivity and set personal goals. Breaking a project into several time-boxed tasks will help to scope the project, as well estimating the cost. You can download the Pomodoro Timer app at the App Store.

 

rally-app

 

There is software that helps teams record tasks in a time-boxed manner. One well-known tool is Rally, which improves cycle time and impacts your bottom line with customers. Get frequent feedback and adjust the scope to meet your business goals.

    Tweet This

(98)

Designing with Type

Walnut and people

Express your brand’s personality consistently across devices. When it comes to responsive design, put type first by designing for the reader.Typecast creates visual designs with type. The tool creates responsive prototypes across several platforms.

Control the type visually by size, line height, and letter spacing. Use optimized typefaces for reading, test how content flows and view how quickly the page loads. See what you can create with over 90,000 web fonts!

    Tweet This

(137)

Labeling Hyperlinks

Labeling Hyperlinks

Certain words on a link can affect how users experience your interface.

Have you ever wanted your users to click a link but didn’t know how to get them to act? When some designers run into this problem, they’re tempted to use the words “click here” when labeling links.

The problem with using “click here” in a link is that it conceals what the user is clicking. The text around the link might explain what they’re clicking, but when the user reads the link itself they won’t have a clue.

Best practices never to use these words on a link. You should know how using these words on a link can affect how users experience your interface. Why your links should never say “click here”.

    Tweet This

(98)

Why Invest in Personas?

Personas

As the marketplace shifts from mass manufacturing to a mass customization model, customers needs and desires are more accurately identified through the development of personas rather than through demographic data.

Representation

A persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products. One-on-one interviews are conducted to define a targeted audience. Patterns of behavior define each user type and provide a clear understanding of how they relate to each other.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data and observations determine how to customize the user experience to specific types of people based on their attitudes, behaviors, and motivations, regardless of demographic information.

Buy-In

The buy-in from leadership within each department early in the persona process is key to socializing the personas. Getting all of the key stakeholders involved early in the process involves them in informing the initial understanding of the customer and, therefore, helps define the research.

Adoption

The success and longevity of Personas will be limited. A consistent and customizable user experience across the entire product lifecycle is the key to adoption, usage, and loyalty. Read more about how Personas create the Foundation of a Great User Experience.

    Tweet This

(84)

Increase Page Views

POSTER-analytics

How compelling is your web page? Users tend to scan pages, not read them, so how do you gain credibility? Category headings that are descriptive will capture the user’s attention. Proper use of keywords helps readers quickly identify topics. Links that follow up on the user’s current interest encourage site exploration and reduce bounce rates.

With the proper invitation, people will stay longer on your site. Users are more receptive to links when they are relevant to the article they just read. Links that follow up on the user’s interest will encourage site exploration, which will increase page views. Learn more about Labeling Hyperlinks.

Visit the Nielsen Norman Group’s (NNG) website to learn more about Related Content Page-views.

    Tweet This

(160)