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UX Conference Boston Announced (Jul 15 - Jul 19)

Sun, 12/01/2019 - 09:00

In-depth, full-day courses, teaching user experience best practices for successful design. Conference focus on long-lasting skills for UX professionals. July 15-19, 2019.



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Categories: Design

Where Should UX Report? 3 Common Models for UX Teams and How to Choose Among Them

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Design and user research usually report to either a centralized UX team, a product team, or a hybrid of these. There are clear benefits and drawbacks to each model.


Designing a UX-Team Structure is Difficult

Establishing an organizational model that enables effective collaboration and partnership — for UX design or any other discipline — is not easy. Team structure is always evolving: Newly added team members, newly developed products and features, and lessons learned over time about how teams best communicate can cause team structure to break.

It is especially difficult to determine an effective UX-team structure because UX is often added after other disciplines, such as development and product management, have already been established at the organization. Also, development processes don’t always include UX activities in their models.

UX teams are structured according to three common models that largely accommodate these organizational pressures. In this article we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each, so organizations can assess and compare them to determine the most appropriate model for creating alignment and oversight for their UX staff.



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Categories: Design

Good Customer Experience Demands Organizational Fluidity

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Old processes and technologies can keep established organizations from creating exceptional users experiences and achieving future growth.


In today’s digital world users often interact with an organization multiple times in order to achieve a single goal. These related interactions make up what is called the customer journey. Many users take an omnichannel approach to complete their goals: they interact with the organization multiple times, using various channels (phone, web, mail, email, text, etc.) The overall experience on all these channels makes up the omnichannel customer experience.

The term customer experience is used to describe the broadest scope of the user experience. The three scopes of UX are as follows:

For the two broader dimensions of UX, journey and relationship level, there are 5 components that impact the quality of these experiences:



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Categories: Design

Usability for Seniors: Challenges and Changes

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Users ages 65 and older face unique challenges when using websites and apps. Digital literacy among this demographic is rising, but designs need to accommodate aging users.


In many wealthy countries, people aged over 65 are the fastest growing demographic. As a global society we are living longer and remaining active later in life. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Institute , in 2019 73% of people over the age of 65 were connected to the internet. The US Census Bureau reports that people over the age of 65 have the highest household wealth of any age group.

Digital products often fail this growing and wealthy demographic. As Don Norman observed , bad design abounds, in both physical and digital products. Current interaction designs often feature illegible text, tiny targets, startling sounds, and other features that make the online world unfriendly to older users.

Our recent research explores how seniors use technology and offers recommendations on how digital products can be improved to meet their needs.



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Categories: Design

Parking Lots in UX Meetings and Workshops

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 09:00

Summary: A parking lot captures unrelated questions or out-of-scope conversation during UX meetings or workshops in order to keep the discussion focused and maintain momentum.


Many teams use the concept of a parking lot during workshops and lengthy meetings as a technique for effectively dealing with the inevitable distracting topics or non-agenda items. Parking lots can be extremely helpful, but also quickly become a graveyard of questions you don’t want to deal with.

Definition : A parking lot is a place to capture comments, topics, or questions that are not related to the agenda. It keeps the focus on the immediate discussion while deferring (i.e., “parking”) other topics for later.



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Categories: Design

New Online Seminar: Top Intranet Design Trends of 2019 (Thursday, September 26, 2019 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT)

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:11

Our Intranet Design Annual contest has once again revealed 10 inspiring intranet designs. Learn the latest intranet design trends, including: development approaches, time spent, team size, and technology.



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Categories: Design

Cancel vs Close: Design to Distinguish the Difference

Sun, 09/01/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Distinguishing between these two actions is critical to avoiding losing users’ work. Save changes before closing a view, use text labels rather than an X icon, and provide a confirmation dialog before destructive actions.


Long ago, the symbol X meant “this is where the treasure is buried.” In today’s digital interfaces, X no longer marks the spot, but rather functions as a way for users to cancel a process or to dismiss an interim screen. How can one tell for sure whether the X means cancel or close ? Sometimes, unfortunately, you can’t.

The main issue lies with the common lack of a text label for the X icon. When an icon represents multiple meanings in similar contexts across different interfaces, icon usability suffers because users cannot rely on any single interpretation.

Avoid Losing Users’ Work

When users intend to dismiss a modal or view by clicking the X button, but the system instead completely cancels the process and clears all their work, it is disheartening at best, and maddening at worst. Yes, the X icon is commonly recognized by users to mean either to cancel or to close , but distinguishing between the two possibilities is critical for the success of the interaction .



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Categories: Design

What B2B Designers Can Learn from B2C About Building Trust

Sun, 09/01/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Unlike B2C users, B2B consumers have unique concerns such as strict budgets, contact with sales representatives, and the need to appease multiple stakeholders. However, decreasing purchase complexity and increasing trust are as important on B2B ecommerce sites as on B2C ones.


A widespread misconception with business–to–business (B2B) sites is that they are immune to rules and usability standards that apply to ecommerce on business–to–consumer (B2C) sites. In fact, B2B design teams should account for their users’ needs and follow usability principles to address customer concerns and build trust. The business professionals who use B2B sites also shop on plenty of B2C sites, and Jakob’s Law of the Internet User Experience states that people will form their expectations from the majority of sites they visit. Common ecommerce UX recommendations help B2B web-design teams to build trust with their users.

Unique B2B Constraints

Many of the same UX principles that organizations employ to build customer trust in B2C sites can also be applied to B2B. However, B2B consumers often have additional constraints compared to their B2C counterparts:

In this article, we will discuss how to build lasting customer relationships with B2B consumers by effectively addressing unique considerations in three categories:



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Categories: Design

Text Scanning Patterns: Eyetracking Evidence

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Eyetracking research shows that there are 4 main patterns that people use to scan textual information on webpages: F-pattern, spotted pattern, layer-cake pattern, and commitment pattern.


On the web, people  don’t read every word on a page; instead, they scan . They naturally attempt to be efficient and put in the least possible work for achieving their goal. They have learned that scanning can deliver almost the same amount of information as reading, but with significant less time and effort.

Scanning Patterns

How people read on the web is highly contingent upon:

Our eyetracking research has identified multiple scanning patterns for webpages. In this article, I focus on the 4 patterns that people use to scan text on the web  (listed below in increasing order, worst to best, of effectiveness):



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Categories: Design

Large Devices Preferred for Important Tasks

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Despite substantial improvements in mobile UX over the past decade, people still tend to do their most important online activities on larger screens.


Since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, mobile usability has made tremendous strides:  we use our phones to do a wide variety of tasks. In fact, according to Pew Internet, in 2019 17% of Americans depended on their mobile phone as their only way to access the internet at home. Those numbers are much higher in other parts of the world such as India or China .

We know that even when people have a larger device available, they sometimes prefer to use a mobile phone instead — simply because the mobile phone is always with them and it may be more convenient to use it instead of switching devices (a phenomenon we call device inertia ).

But does it mean that mobile will displace computers? Will we eventually discard big-screen devices in favor of smaller, portable ones for tasks as complex as filing taxes or writing research reports?



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Categories: Design

Setup of an Eyetracking Study

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 09:00

Summary: If you’re planning on running your own eyetracking study, pay attention to equipment, supplies, and placement to ensure high quality data.


Eyetracking Research

Eyetracking equipment can track and show where a person is looking. To do so, it uses a special light to create a reflection in the person’s eyes. Cameras in the tracker capture those reflections and use them to estimate the position and movement of the eyes. That data is then projected onto the UI, resulting in a visualization of where the participant looked.

This research can produce three types of visualizations:

We use this eyetracking data to understand how people read online and how they process webpages. Our eyetracking research has yielded major findings such as:



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Categories: Design

‘Contact Us’ Page Guidelines

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Users still expect to see company addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses on ‘Contact Us’ pages. Don’t hide or replace these elements with automated tools such as ‘Contact Us’ forms or chat.


To update our About Us report , we recently conducted a qualitative usability study with 20 business professionals. During this research, we observed participants’ behavior as they tried to complete key tasks related to About Us content on 40 different corporate websites.

Additionally, we asked each user to attempt a series of activities related to the Contact Us information on those sites. Our goal was to understand how people in business–to–business contexts find and interact with Contact Us pages, what information and methods they expect to see, and their motivations behind choosing a particular contact channel. In this article, we’ll share 12 guidelines for designing your Contact Us page, as gleaned from this research.

What to Include on the Contact Us Page

1. The Contact Us link should lead to complete contact details and communication options.



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Categories: Design

The 3-Click Rule for Navigation Is False

Sun, 08/11/2019 - 09:00

Summary: While it is important to keep key information easily accessible, the 3-click rule is an arbitrary rule of thumb that is not backed by data.


The 3-Click Rule

The 3-click rule is a persistent, unofficial heuristic that says that no page should take more than 3 clicks (or taps on a touchscreen) to access. A variation pronounces that the most important information should take no more than 3 clicks to get to. Often, designers apply this rule for website navigation and information-seeking tasks, but some also invoke it for other types of tasks (such as completing a form or a wizard).

The 3-click rule assumes that users will become frustrated and will likely give up on tasks that require more than three total clicks to be completed. It is a simple way of assessing the interaction cost of important information-seeking tasks, but its superficial simplicity is also its downfall.

The big problem with the 3-click rule is that it has not been supported by data in any published studies to date. In fact, a study by Joshua Porter has debunked it; the study showed that user dropoff does not increase when the task involves more than 3 clicks, nor does satisfaction decrease. Limiting interaction cost is indeed important, but the picture is more complicated than simply counting clicks and having a rule of thumb for the maximum number allowed.



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Categories: Design

Cognitive Mapping in User Research

Sun, 08/11/2019 - 09:00

Summary: In cognitive mapping sessions, users are asked to produce a visual representation of their mental models. This type of user interview can provide stimulus for conversation, generate insights, and act as a facilitation aid.


Cognitive mapping is a mapping method used to create a visual representation of a person’s (or a group’s) mental model for a process or concept. It can be a useful tool throughout user research, from gathering data to analyzing findings and articulating similarities and patterns. A cognitive map helps break down complex research questions, establish priorities for followup research, and add clarity to abstract concepts.

In cognitive mapping sessions, users are asked to create a map of a process, concept, or problem. The cognitive map is a representation of users’ mental models. The representations obtained from interviews can further be used in guiding the design process.

This article outlines how to use cognitive mapping in user interviews :



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Categories: Design

The Layer-Cake Pattern of Scanning Content on the Web

Sun, 08/04/2019 - 09:00

Summary: When headings and subheadings visually stand out on the page and are descriptive, users engage in an efficient scanning pattern that allows them to quickly find the information that they need.


People don’t usually read every word on a webpage, in an app, or even in an article or text passage. Instead, they often scan — because their experience with many websites has taught them that scanning can deliver almost the same value (that is, amount of information) with significant less time and effort.  (Recall that people are naturally efficient and attempt to put in the least possible work for achieving their goal .)

The way in which the page is organized visually plays a big role in how people scan its content. If the page layout allows users to quickly identify the essential information that is relevant to their needs, users will save a lot of effort and will be able to accomplish their goals fast. But, if, on the other hand, the layout does not emphasize the important information, people may miss it and they may end up leaving the site.



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Categories: Design

5 Steps to Creating a UX-Design Portfolio

Sun, 08/04/2019 - 09:00

Summary: A portfolio highlighting your design process and past work shows others who you are as a designer. The process of creating a UX-design portfolio allows you to reflect on your skills and achievements.


The word “designer” can mean many different things and a designer role comes with many possible skills and responsibilities. UX-design portfolios showcase who their owners are: the areas in which they specialize, their strengths, their processes, and their design styles.

In this article, I refer to a ‘designer’ as anyone who designs one or several components of the user experience — interaction flows, discrete interface elements, visuals, or omnichannel journeys, whether on a desktop, a touchscreen, or on some other device.

Many of our top 10 recommendations for UX-research portfolios also apply to design portfolios. A common misconception about design portfolios is that they are only made up of final UI designs and screenshots. This article will guide you through the steps of creating a UX-design portfolio that encompasses your entire UX process and not just the shiny artifacts.



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Categories: Design

Jakob Nielsen keynote: NYC, Berlin, London, Las Vegas 2019 & and Singapore 2020

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 09:00

Jakob Nielsen will present the keynote at the UX Conference in these locations:

The keynote session will happen after the regular seminars and is open to all conference attendees, whether or not you are registered for a seminar on the date of the keynote session. So plan to arrive early if you're starting your main conference sessions the following day.

There will be a short networking reception with drinks during the time between the end of the regular sessions at 5:00 PM and the start of the keynote at 5:30 PM. The keynote is scheduled for an hour and will end around 6:30 PM. The session will include a substantial Q&A segment at the end, so come prepared with your questions.

Summary:

The Dualities of User Experience

Surprisingly many issues in the user-experience field don’t have a simple answer. Rather there’s a tension between two good answers that are often polar opposites. Yet, both extremes can be useful perspectives, and both have their advocates when people debate UX. How do we resolve these differences? Can we declare victory for one side, and if so which one? It is possible to design a perfect user interface?

 

(Videos from past keynotes are at the bottom of this page.)

Jakob Nielsen speaking at the 2018 New York City keynote session Keynote audience at the New York City conference, 2018 Keynote audience at the New York City conference, 2018 Keynote at the London UX Conference, 2017 Jakob Nielsen speaking at the 2016 London keynote session Jakob Nielsen speaking at the 2016 New York City keynote session Jakob Nielsen speaking at the 2015 London keynote session After the New York 2015 keynote session Recordings of Past Keynotes

Jakob Nielsen's 2018 keynote, recorded in Las Vegas (39 min. video): The Immutable Rules of UX.

Jakob Nielsen's 2017 keynote, recorded in Las Vegas (30 min. video, different talk than the Copenhagen keynote): 10 UX Challenges for the Next 25 Years.

Jakob Nielsen's 2017 keynote, recorded in Copenhagen (38 min. video, different talk than the Las Vegas keynote): Is UX Getting Better or Worse?

The first part of Jakob Nielsen's 2016 keynote, recorded in London (21 min. video): Web UX 2016 vs 2004.

The second part of Jakob Nielsen's 2016 keynote, recorded in Las Vegas (17 min. video): How to Maximize User Research Insight.

Categories: Design

UX Conference Singapore Announced (Feb 17 - Feb 22)

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 20:31

In-depth, full-day courses, teaching user experience best practices for successful design. Conference focus on long-lasting skills for UX professionals. 17-22 February 2020



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Categories: Design

New Online Seminar: Ethics for User Research (Tuesday, August 27, 2019 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT)

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:21

Even when user research is fast and informal, researchers should follow basic principles of research ethics. Learn basic ethical considerations for user research; and specific elements such as informed consent, handling research data and researching with vulnerable users. This seminar also covers strategies for creating standards of ethical and professional research practice in your organization.



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Categories: Design

Remote Ideation: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

Sun, 07/28/2019 - 09:00

Summary: Asynchronous remote ideation allows people to contribute ideas whenever it’s convenient to do so, but synchronous sessions lead to faster results and more team building.


Remote UX work is becoming increasingly common. As a consequence, for many teams, remote meetings and workshops are becoming the rule. In addition, the pursuit of multidisciplinary design that involves team members from a variety of disciplines makes remote ideation even more likely.

Although in-person ideation is preferable when possible, remote ideation can be just as effective, and opens up more options for how to structure and run the idea-generation process .

In synchronous ideation sessions, all participants meet together at a specific time to discuss design problems and contribute ideas.



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Categories: Design
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