Dec 06 5 Easy Ways To Improve User Experience
You may have been hearing a lot about this whole UX, or user experience thing recently. People get geek-tastic about it with a vengeance, but really, there’s no reason to be intimidated.
Case in point â€“ I recently attended an excellent seminar given by the guys over at More Better Labs, Abe and Jackson. These two presidentially named fellows kicked off the 2-day intensive by asking us to reengineer an experience or a product, the idea being that as a user, you already have plenty of ideas about how to have a better experience. No technical expertise necessary.
So I thought Iâ€™d take that thought-process and apply it to the framework of site or campaign development. If you want to optimize what youâ€™re creating from a user-perspective, and you should, then here are 5 relatively painless ways you can do that.
1. Know Your Demo
Yes, I understand it can be difficult to accept when youâ€™ve tried to build a site that appeals to sophisticated 25-32 year-olds, and you discover itâ€™s resonating more with 15-year-old gamers. But try to put your feelings aside and accept what your metrics tell you. Different demos use sites differently, and you canâ€™t create the best experience for them unless you actually know who they are.
2. Listen To Your Users
As I mentioned at the start of this post, most of us users have opinions. Donâ€™t assume that users just donâ€™t appreciate your refined sense of aesthetics if theyâ€™re telling you they donâ€™t get it. If their user path is showing you theyâ€™re having a difficult time navigating your site, listen. Donâ€™t let your ego hinder user experience.
3. Test Your Site
You donâ€™t have to do any sort of dramatic or in-depth testing. Just grab someone who hasnâ€™t worked on the project and watch how they interact with the site. You can even use a site like Feedback Roulette to have others weigh in on aspects of your siteâ€™s design and usability.
4. Filter Your Feedback
User testing is a great thing, but just remember that you donâ€™t have to take every suggestion made. Filter the feedback based on the goals of your site. â€œI canâ€™t figure out how to submit my entry,â€ is valid and helpful feedback. â€œI hate that shade of blue because my ex used to wear it constantly,â€ really isnâ€™t.
5. Never Finish
As far as user experience is concerned, even the smallest tweaks can make a significant difference in the way users interact with your site. You can always consider it a work-in-progress, and maintain enough access that you can adjust as your metrics and feedback tell you whatâ€™s working, and what isnâ€™t.
See, itâ€™s not really that scary. Just be honest with yourself and even more honest with your users, and youâ€™ll all be better off. Promise.