LinkedIn: 10 Years of Great Design

I received this e-mail from LinkedIn a few days ago: Riley, you and your amazing network are the heart and soul of LinkedIn. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we want to say thank you by sharing some inspiration for the next 10 years.

Congratulations to LinkedIn for its 10 years of success.  The site’s longevity and popularity are indicative of its effective UX design; based upon my own experience, setting up one’s own profile is intuitive and easy to complete, and reading/analyzing others’ profiles is equally simplistic and pleasant.

I think most of LinkedIn’s 200+ million users would agree.

Posted in Information Architecture, User Experience Design (UXD), User Interface Design, Visual Design, Web Design | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

10 UXD Tweets

I’ve noticed that some blogs often post a list of recent tweets on a specific topic, just to capture and showcase the current dialogue going on about that topic. I’d like to start doing the same for UXD-related tweets. This is the first of such posts.

@userexperience: An Historical Perspective of Flat versus Rich Usability Design - 

@MMudassir: “UX Manifesto: 7 Principles for Better Software” 

@MeasuringU: Common Misconceptions About Touch – 

@kkmett: Customer Experience is the Only Competitive Advantage Left 

@adrianh: Some smart people (and me) talk about Responsive Web Design and Accessibility 

@use_this: Mobile focused UX Jobs 

@darrenhood: Lynne’s essential UX books – The Republic of Quality Blog 

@uxfactory: The 3 R’s of Measuring Design Comprehension (Measuring Usability): 

@fransgaard: Is “Mobile First” technology or behaviour? 

@UXPhil: How to Map Customer Journeys

Posted in Accessibility, Mobile Design/Devices, Responsive Design, Usability, User Experience Design (UXD), Web Design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Parking Lot Usability

On occasion, I will encounter a parking lot that has been poorly designed, difficult to navigate, and, thus, prone to cause vehicle jams and accidents.  I drove through a parking lot last week that was quite a doozy:  narrow parking spots, narrow two-way driving lanes between the parking sections, narrow and cramped turns, no established drop-off zones (which encouraged cars to park and sit in the middle of a driving lane), and no signs to assist with wayfinding.  While I understand that limited space is always a factor for any organization’s parking lot, some of these issues could be remedied.  For example, instead of allowing “two way” driving lanes, enforcing a “one way” driving lane rule would help alleviate congestion within the lanes. Implementing signs that help communicate the proper directional flow would help emphasize and reinforce the “one lane” rule, and thus keep the parking lot more organized and safe.

Performing usability tests, or even basic surveys, on a parking lot could certainly help reveal any underlying issues and flaws with the lot.  Organizations would obviously benefit from safer and more user-friendly lots, as they could encourage more users to visit the building.

So, has anyone heard of usability studies conducted on parking lots?  If so, please share them here.  I’ve done a little research on this topic, but I wasn’t able to find anything substantial or noteworthy.  This seems like an untapped avenue of usability testing.  Parking lots are an essential part of an organization’s infrastructure, and certainly should not be ignored when considering how to enhance the user’s experience with the organization.

Posted in Infrastructure, Usability, Usability Testing, User Experience Design (UXD), Wayfinding | Tagged , | Leave a comment

UserZoom Webinar: How to Measure the ROI of User Experience

Last August, I created a post that discussed the relationship between user experience design and ROI.  In it, I questioned how UXers can effectively demonstrate the ROI of usability testing and user experience design methods.

Fortunately, a company called UserZoom recently offered a webinar that discussed this same topic.  UserZoom offers a software platform that assists organizations with conducting online UXD research.  This webinar, titled How to Measure the ROI of User Experience and presented by Susan Weinschenk, offers some solid examples of how the ROI of UXD can be demonstrated.  Weinschenk points out that implementing UXD methods can result in many benefits for an organization, including but not limited to:  increased customer satisfaction, reduced training costs, and reduced troubleshooting issues, and saved costs by avoiding multiple redesigns of a poorly designed product or service.

Please take some time to watch this webinar.  I found it both educational and reassuring for those in the UXD field.

Edit: UserZoom has posted 13 questions and answers that were not covered during the webinar due to time restrictions.  Check them out on the UserZoom website. It’s a worthwhile read.

Posted in Usability, Usability Testing, User Experience Design (UXD) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

ACRL 2013: UXD Ubiquity

I attended my first ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) conference last week.  In addition to being an amazing experience, it was quite eye-opening:  there were several presentation sessions related to usability, assessment, and user experience design in library settings. These topics are clearly trending and becoming more popular among libraries, which is very exciting.

In an effort to share my first ACRL experience, I’m providing a list of links and summaries to some of these UXD-related presentations. I encourage everyone to read them:

  • Seating Sweeps: An Innovative Research Method to Learn About How Our Patrons Use the Library (Mott Linn) – The speaker used an innovative research method call seating sweeps to learn how the clients at this university were using the library. The study determined which areas of the library and what types of furniture were used the most and least and where various activities took place. These findings greatly influenced the library’s recent renovation/expansion, which so inspired the student body that the door count more than doubled. Learn how to use this methodology.
  • “The Mother of all LibGuides”: Applying Principles of Communication and Network Theory in LibGuide Design (Carol A. Leibiger and Alan W. Aldrich)Ease of creation and flexibility make LibGuides popular in libraries. Their flexibility includes the ability to share content and create links across multiple LibGuides. A communication-as-design perspective is introduced and specific network models are identified for organizing LibGuides to manage changes and updates efficiently, thus easing librarians’ workload. Participants will evaluate these models in the context of their own libraries; an electronic handout provides guidance in the creation of these network models.
  • Hidden Patterns of LibGuides Usage: Another Facet of Usability (Gabriela Castro-Gessner, Wendy Wilcox, and Adam Chandler) – In our paper, we present the analysis and use of raw log files for LibGuides used to contextualize and understand unfiltered user behavior as a novel approach that complements traditional usability testing of the LibGuides tool. We anticipate that revealing patterns derived directly from user actions and locations will allow us to make compelling and robust recommendations for our academic library community to enhance the use and value of library guides for our patrons.
  • The Unobtrusive “Usability Test”: Creating Measurable Goals to Evaluate a Website (Tabatha Farney) – Determining the success of a library’s website is an ongoing process because the site’s intended audience constantly changes as students come and go every semester. Rather than assuming that your library’s website is still functional, unobtrusively test its usability by creating website goals that can be measured using website use data. Discover fundamental web analytics metrics and how to use them to evaluate a website without disturbing website users or spending a lot of time.
  • (Dis)Abled: Transforming Disabling Library Spaces (Lorelei Rutledge and Alfred Mowdood) – Learn about a university library’s implementation of cultural competence models to better address disabled patrons’ needs. Discover new methods to develop a stronger institutional relationship with your Disability Services on campus, implement training strategies based on cultural competence models, and redefine and improve services, spaces and technology. Learn and discuss strategies and tools to accomplish these same changes on your campus.
Posted in Accessibility, Assessment, Education, Infrastructure, Libraries, Universities, Usability, Usability Testing, User Experience Design (UXD) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment