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Tips and Tricks Archive

To Heuristic or Not To Heuristic… That’s The Question

You’ve got a prototype for a product that you think is stellar. You’ve interviewed some users, mocked up a design, and you think you’re ready to start building it. You’re confident your design will work, but you want to get another set of eyes on it first. Enter the heuristic evaluation.

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Usability for Conversion: Stop Using Fads, Start Using Data [Guest Post]

By Joel Lopez Guest Contributor When it comes to creating and designing a product, we are looking for the best solution to ensure we meet our goal. Ultimately, our goal will always be to convince the customer to buy our product or use our service; i.e., for converting leads into sales. But what can we do to ensure the highest conversion rate (i.e., of leads to sales) possible? When we look around for ways to understand what works with conversion and what doesn’t, we may encounter several fads or trends that presumptuously claim to know exactly what we need to do; things like changing a button to a particular color, using a particular picture or icon, or employing a certain layout. However, there is no one size fits all “magic bullet” to conversion. EVERY demographic is different, so we need to use our data and our knowledge of our specific targeted audience to create designs that convert. IF there is one single piece of advice that’s most important, it’s to focus on usability.

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Guerrilla User Research in Five Steps

Some research is better than no research, but when you’ve got very little time and a tight budget what do you do?

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Get Your Boss To See The Light: Tips For User Advocacy With Evidence

I went out for coffee with a Product Manager friend recently. Over out lattes he lamented that he wanted to redesign a legacy product with a user centered design. Unfortunately, his team dismissed his idea and wanted to rely instead on internal industry expertise and best practice. This poor product manager is not alone in his struggles; I’m sure most internal user advocates can relate.

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Getting The Most Out Of A Design Review

A design review is a step in the product design process. A review serves a very specific purpose where the design is evaluated against its requirements, particularly those affecting user and business needs. It offers an opportunity to clarify assumptions, ask questions, and seek advice. It is an important milestone where the designer shares his or her work and receives feedback. Never skip this step.

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Why Should I Bother With User Research?

User research is the fundamental foundation on which good user experiences are created. According to Neilson Norman (aka the UX authority) it is a quintessential part of the user experience design process. This type of research is focused on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations. It helps us understand people’s lives so we can design the right product for them. Ideally user research is done throughout the product lifecycle, but always at the start, and always near the end in the form of usability testing.

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Lessons Learned From Designing Top Notch E-Commerce Experiences

No e-commerce experience is the same, but over the years we’ve come up with some key takeaways from our major projects. Consider these tips when designing your e-commerce experience.

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Speeding Up The Product Development Lifecycle: A Better Approach To The MVP

An MVP is a product with just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development (Thanks Wikipedia!). Depending on which methodology you subscribe to there are a variety of means of getting to an MVP. There is, however, a better way.

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How To Gather User Feedback That Is Actually Helpful

User feedback is required if you’re going to make decisions based on data. In fact, one of the primary pillars of a data driven organization is customer insights. Unfortunately, the thing with user feedback is that it can be pretty unhelpful sometimes. If you set up your research objectives, methodology, and validation correctly you should be in a good position to gather helpful feedback from your users.

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Your Site Is Worse Than User Testing Says It Is

While user testing is an important and necessary part of the product lifecycle (don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!) it’s not a catch all. Users tend to do better on a site during usability testing than they would over normal circumstances. Which means… that your site is actually worse than your users say it is! *gasp*

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