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© 2006-2009 K. Bachmann The Usability Buffet by Karen Bachmann Seascape Consulting, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2006-2009 K. Bachmann The Usability Buffet by Karen Bachmann Seascape Consulting, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 © K. Bachmann The Usability Buffet by Karen Bachmann Seascape Consulting, Inc.

2 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 2 Navigating this presentation This presentation is audience-driven, so it is organized to allow a flexible rather than a linear flow. Slides 3-13 provide an overview of the user-centered design process and some key activities and deliverables. Slide 14, The Usability Buffet, serves as a launching point (or table of contents) into detailed discussions. Just clicking the mouse or Enter key will take you to the end of the presentation. Click the topic name to go to that specific topic. A link back to slide 14 is provided at the end of each detail section. Click the to return to slide 14. Buffet

3 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 3 Usability defined… ISO : “Usability: the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” ISO 13407: "Human-centered design is characterised by: the active involvement of users and a clear understanding of user and task requirements; an appropriate allocation of function between users and technology; the iteration of design solutions; multi- disciplinary design."

4 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 4 Usability defined… UPA: “Usability is an approach to product development that incorporates direct user feedback throughout the development cycle in order to reduce costs and create products and tools that meet user needs. There are many definitions of usability…” Jakob Nielsen: “Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word ‘usability’ also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.”

5 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 5 Usability defined… Wikipedia: “Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles behind an object's perceived efficiency or elegance. In human-computer interaction and computer science, usability usually refers to the elegance and clarity with which the interaction with a computer program or a web site is designed. ”

6 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 6 Usability defined? A process for delivering the quality of usability A quality of a product In practical terms,  Implement as a process  Educate and evaluate as a quality

7 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 7 Usability in the development life cycle User research: Personas and profiles Task analysis Environment analysis UI design models and prototypes Usability requirements UI functional prototypes UI specifications: Screen elements, interactions, behaviors User interface AnalysisDesignDevelopmentTestingMaintenance Usability Testing Benchmark testing Competitive analysis Heuristic evaluations Formative testing AB testing Summative testing

8 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 8 User research: Users “The process of learning about ordinary users by observing them in action” (Hackos and Redish) Identifies user needs and expectations Identifies user demographics, background, experience, knowledge, and other characteristics Does not result in a single profile of an “average” user, but can help develop composites Requires empathy, not just scientific principles and data gathering techniques Is subject to change over time

9 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 9 User research: Task analysis “… learning about ordinary users by observing them in action” Define the way users perform tasks in their own world Understand the users models for interacting with data and tools to perform their tasks Focus on users’ processes, not their tools

10 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 10 User research: Environment analysis Understand the conditions that users will face when using the end product Detail the users’ working environment Identify “noise” in the communication ?

11 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 11 Usability requirements Are the expected and desired user reaction to a system Define how well a product should work for the intended users Turn user goals into measurable success criteria Communicate user expectations to the development team Help keep users’ needs visible throughout development !

12 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 12 UI design An iterative, exploratory process for creating a product that meets user needs First deliverables that stakeholders are likely to react strongly to Sample deliverables:  Sketchlets  Wireframes  Mockups  Functional prototypes  Interaction specifications  Content outlines  Site maps ? !

13 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 13 Usability testing Usability testing is a process where actual users are observed performing real tasks using the product being evaluated by the testing (Barnum; Dumas and Redish). Evaluates the usability of a design against defined success criteria Conducted throughout the life cycle: “test early, test often” Tests the following questions:  Does the product meet user needs?  Does the product meet user expectations? ?

14 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 14 The Usability Buffet User Research UCD & Your Organization Usability Requirements Usability Testing UI Design Surveys

15 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 15 User Research ?

16 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 16 What user research is “The process of learning about ordinary users by observing them in action” (Hackos and Redish) Defines user needs and expectations …does not identify an “average” user, but can help develop composites …requires empathy, not just scientific principles and data gathering techniques …is subject to change over time

17 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 17 Why do user research To understand current user experiences To distinguish between user needs and user wants To anticipate user reactions to and the chances for success with a particular development effort To increase the likelihood of a project’s success before starting development To identify all possible users of the product as concretely as possible

18 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 18 User Research What user research should answer Who What How Why ? Where When (How, Why)

19 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 19 Steps to conduct user research Determine who your desired users are Determine what user tasks your product helps accomplish Develop questions that you need to know about the users and their processes Determine the method of user research to conduct Plan research Conduct research Present results

20 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 20 Types of information to learn Industry experience Job experience Roles Computer experience Education and training Age ranges (if relevant) Working conditions (environment) Usage constraints Satisfaction with current conditions Perspective on changes to current conditions

21 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 21 Go-to sources about users Users themselves The immediate managers of users The company-level management (the people who are paying for a project) The general industry through research

22 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 22 What to do: Common techniques Industry research Surveys and questionnaires SME interviews Usage tracking Feedback from users Focus groups Interviews Usability testing Observations Site visits Interaction with real users Least Most

23 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 23 Applying research: Users Develop complete profiles of all users and any composites for design Develop user personas Organize any user artifacts (such as forms, documentation, and similar) Use as basis for usability validation Share with the development team

24 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 24 Applying research: Tasks Develop task models and work flows Document how users perform tasks in their own world currently Understanding the users’ models for interacting with data, tools, and tasks

25 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 25 Applying research: Environment Understand the conditions that users will face when using the end product Detail the users’ working environment Identify “noise” in the communication

26 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 26 Where the analysis takes you… User Goals User Analysis Task Analysis Environment Analysis Not necessarily the same as… The business unit’s goals The developers’ goals The customer goals

27 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 27 Making user research part of the plan Know the objections and have answers for them Prepare a formal request Provide cost analysis of savings from solid user analysis in similar projects Look for ways to integrate user analysis in existing processes Prepare management for plan changes

28 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 28 User research questions? Buffet

29 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 29 User Surveys

30 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 30 Definitions Survey: planned method of finding something out Questionnaire: formal series of questions, sometimes with choices for answers Interview: planned discussion of a topic

31 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 31 Interview or questionnaire? Interview  Talk to the user  Interviewer captures the answers  Flexible  Requires small samples Questionnaire  Do not talk to the user  Receive written answers from user  Inflexible  Supports large samples CATI Face-to-face data collection  Face-to-face data collection  CATI

32 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 32 Poor (but typical) choice of method Decide to do a survey Write some questions Circulate internally “for comment” Revise Administer  By to everyone  As a pop-up window to every site visitor  By including in every manual

33 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 33 Face-to-face interview Telephone or electronic interview Detailed questionnaire Short questionnaire Ideal: Iterative information gathering

34 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 34 When NOT to do a user survey Don’t yet have a business definition of the users Forced to use a method that doesn’t match the time available Can’t do anything with the results

35 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet steps Preparation 1.Set goals 2.Decide on target group 3.Interview target users Production 4.Create content 5.Decide on delivery 6.Test 7.Revise for final survey Delivery 8.Conduct 9.Compile and analyze responses 10.Publish results

36 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 36 User survey questions? Buffet

37 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 37 Usability requirements !

38 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 38 Usability requirements What they are: The expected and desired user reaction to a system  Define how well a product should work for the intended users  Define target user satisfaction goals What they aren’t: Functional requirements, use cases (strictly speaking), marketing’s product “mission” statements, nebulous user wish lists Does the product work well for the intended users?

39 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 39 Sources: Analysis deliverables User Business Must-have usability requirements User and task analysis Expectations Work environment Profession description Personal productivity goals Market needs Industry analysis Technology changes Budget Company productivity goals Growth strategy Competitive Analysis Pays youDetermines how truly successful your product is

40 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 40 When to determine requirements Analysis Design DevelopmentTestMaintenance Requirements

41 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 41 Why develop usability requirements Provide a common, familiar language to focus on user needs Include usability into a product foundation rather than add it as an afterthought or fix Test design and development assumptions Support usability testing Serve as a rallying cry for user satisfaction

42 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 42 General usability criteria Learnability: How quickly do users come up to speed on the product? Efficiency: How easy is the product to use and be productive? Memorability: Do users remember how to use the product between uses? Error tolerance: Do users make few errors? Are errors recoverable? Relevance: Does the product meet users real needs? Attitude/satisfaction: Do users enjoy using the product? Accessibility: Does the product support the usage needs of all potential users including those with special physical requirements?

43 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 43 Constructing usability requirements Determine what usability criteria to measure and the priority for each. Determine how the criteria be measured. Create tangible measurements of intangible user satisfaction statements. Set a realistic percentage of users that must achieve the goals. (100% of users will almost never accomplish 100% of all usability goals.) Define the conditions that must exist for the product to successfully fulfill the requirements.

44 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 44 Components of a usability requirement What task should the user accomplish: Clearly define the specific, finite task that a user should perform and the goal to be achieved Who will accomplish the task: Define which user type (novice? expert?) the requirement addresses What conditions will the task be performed under: Amount of training, work environment, computer experience, etc. How well should the task be performed: A concrete measure of success as a percentage of the right users under the right conditions

45 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 45 Tips for writing usability requirements Convert qualitative wants and needs to quantifiable goals  Absolute: A concrete measure of success  Relative: Compared to another criteria such as a previous release Write them in terms of user tasks and goals Prioritize needs of different user groups Prioritize the usability requirements Be realistic – success is rarely 100% of users Test the requirements

46 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 46 Usability requirements questions? Buffet

47 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 47 User Interface Design ? !

48 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 48 Design process Is iterative and exploratory, with the goal of creating a product that meets user needs Starts with users’ actually tasks not system functionality Shows very tangible output of the analysis phase Provides first deliverables that SMEs are likely to react strongly to Develops iteratively and incrementally Tested throughout

49 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 49 Moving through the design process ! ? ? ? ? ? ? ?! !? ? ?! ?

50 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 50 Using design models and prototypes Explore: Create a strong design by iterating through ideas rapidly Communicate: Demonstrate progress against time lines in tangible format Collaborate: Enhance collaboration with other teams through clear understanding and a shared vocabulary Validate: Test a design in early stages when changes can be made easily

51 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 51 Design models: UI sketchlets Early concepts to illustrate key tasks Typically, created as a “quick and dirty” exploration tool Encourage discussion and input Validate thinking as early as possible Capture early ideas Presented as storyboards, paper prototypes, whiteboard designs, and similar

52 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 52 Sketchlet examples

53 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 53 Design models: UI wireframes Present layout and functionality Shows data fields and controls Focused on specific functionality Does not show graphics or look-and-feel

54 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 54 UI wireframe example

55 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 55 Design models: UI mockups Present functionality within design concepts Shows functionality within the context of the design Presents examples of how the final product might look

56 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 56 UI mockup example

57 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 57 Design models: Functional prototype Present groups of functionality and allow functional walkthroughs Is a design deliverable Guide feedback Use for usability testing Validate and document design Presented often as complete screens, but may not represent all functionality in the system

58 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 58 Design models: Interaction specification Typically produced in the last stages of the design phase Defines the initial state of each screen element Defines how each element (control, data, status icon, etc.) behaves when the user interacts with it Defines how user action changes (or not) each element Can define error messages and other system text that may be displayed to users Presented as a spreadsheet or an annotated illustration

59 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 59 Interaction specification example

60 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 60 Prototyping goal: Whether users can work effectively with the interface Visual or information design issues  Can the user find and understand the information on the screen? Navigation issues  Does the user understand the meaning of each control? Can they find the controls or information needed to complete their task? Efficiency issues  Can the user work quickly enough to meet usability goals

61 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 61 Prototyping goal: Demonstrate the user interface Communicate the design to developers, marketing, management, or customers Walk through proposed navigation design Match screens and controls to use cases Demo proposed functionality to internal or external groups

62 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 62 What to include in a prototype Horizontal: Full breath of functionality, but with little depth Vertical: Complete demonstration of representative tasks or information paths Key Screen or T-Prototype: Full breadth indicated, with 1-2 tasks prototyped in detail

63 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 63 When to prototype vision prototypes expose early ideas to comment wireframes accompany use-case analysis or participatory design sessions key screen prototype demonstrates interaction structure/UI architecture prototypes validate specific or complex work flows visual prototypes test layout for usability and technology 123 AnalysisDesignDevelopmentTestingMaintenance

64 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 64 Types of prototypes Low fidelity  Simple layout sketches which usually focus on content and layout  Sketchlets, wireframes, content outlines Slide shows  High fidelity visual design, but with minimal interactivity  Wireframes, mockups, site maps Medium fidelity  Good visual fidelity with nominal interaction capability following a scenario  Mockups, prototypes High fidelity  Full interaction capabilities and detailed screen layouts.  Functional prototypes, interaction specification

65 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 65 Selecting a prototyping tool Paper  low fidelity and difficult to distribute HTML  good for navigation, but not always appropriate Development environment  high fidelity, but slow and can limit creativity Interactive environments (PowerPoint, Flash, etc.)  good for experimental interactions, can be rapid, can be too different from final environment Visio  hybrid: rapid, high screen fidelity, moderate interaction

66 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 66 How users interact with the prototype Navigation is done on-screen  All buttons, links or other major navigation controls are active and can be used to move from page to page Post-it notes represent  Drop down menus or combo boxes  Some popup windows Filling in forms on paper  Print outs of the forms let users write in any data they would enter. Talk through the actions  Users describe aloud what actions they take and data they use

67 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 67 User interface design questions? Buffet

68 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 68 Usability Testing ?

69 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 69 Planning a usability test Establish goals and scope  What do you hope to learn? Plan the usability test  What tasks or sections of the product are included?  Scripted task or user-driven exploration?  What functionality must be active? Recruit users and set up facility  2-3 users per round  Plan facilitation and interaction areas

70 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 70 Developing a usability test plan Identify the most significant group of users to test  Highest priority usability requirements  Highest quantity of usability requirements Identify which user tasks to test Identify the usability test methods to use at each phase of development Identify the test materials Write test scenarios Specify results necessary to pass Develop testing schedules Determine the method of reporting and analysis

71 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 71 Example test summary Navigation [1] User:Current insurance customerLocation:Marketing Research Facility Method:Moderated walkthroughDate:March 2007 Materials:Paper prototypeStatus:In progress Goals:  Discover whether the site organization matches how users look for quotes.  Discover whether the terminology makes sense to a general audience.

72 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 72 Thoughts on testing logistics Locations  Within the user’s environment  In a lab environment Recording  Audio and visual  Capture screen movements  Good quality microphone  Permissions Recruiting Honoraria and thank you gifts Observers Analysis of data  Quantitative  Qualitative

73 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 73 Formal usability testing Broad in scope  Looking for input for sets of functionality  Testing more sophisticated prototypes or alpha/beta products Larger number of users overall  Strive for a statistical sampling Usually more expensive

74 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 74 Lab-based test environment Advantages Controlled environment High-quality session recording Good for evaluating products nearing completion Disadvantages Artificial, formal setting Expensive Considerably more logistics management

75 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 75 Guerilla usability tests Small in scope  Looking for input on specific design problems  Testing overall organization of workflow or information architecture Small number of users per iteration  Just enough to gain enough insight to confirm or iterate design

76 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 76 Advantages to guerilla testing The informality is infectious It’s relaxing and interactive for the users Users have little trouble moving from screen to paper when necessary (as long as they match) The fact that it’s obviously a work in progress encourages users to make suggestions and talk easily Users will feel that they are making a real contribution to the development of new products

77 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 77 Reporting test results Tailor to your audience Focus on significant conclusions and provide recommendations Recognize the limits of your data  Avoid forcing more conclusions than the data support  Acknowledge the other constraints (business drivers, schedule, budget, and so on) on development when making recommendations Recognize that the details that may grab your attention may not be that significant

78 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 78 Usability testing questions? Buffet

79 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 79 Bringing UCD into Your Organization

80 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 80 Motivations and strategies What pain points exist that UCD could target? Can UCD support an organizational vision? Is there interest in UCD and usability? What is the timeline for success? Who should lead UCD?  Current internal team  Hired specialists  Independent contractors  Consulting firms

81 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 81 Support in the organization Will someone in the organization champion UCD?  Top-down  Middle-out  Grassroots Does another organization do similar work now?  Marketing focus groups  Account representatives (CRM)

82 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 82 Personal goals and interests Does UCD present a career path or a resource for your current work? Are you prepared for a dual role? Do you have an advocate and/or mentor? Do you have access to users now? Do you understand the business drivers to make the case for UCD? What training do you need? What training resources are available?

83 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 83 Education options Yours… Formal education Certification Conferences, workshops, seminars, and webinars Books, trade publications, and websites Discussion lists, blogs, and professional organizations Mentors and apprenticeships Your company… Lunch-and-learn sessions Articles and case studies Consultants On-site training Webinars Certification

84 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 84 Getting started Start small  Offer internal “consulting” to colleagues  Start educating the organization Look for a proof-of-concept project  Find a project with interested and sympathetic project leads and team members  Consider projects for internal users Capture metrics and value along the way  Conduct benchmark usability testing  Record time spent on usability tasks carefully

85 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 85 UCD & you questions? Buffet

86 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 86 Questions? Contact Karen at with “Usability Buffet” in the subject line.

87 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 87 User and task analysis references M. Coe, Human Factors for Technical Communicators. J.T. Hackos and J.C. Redish, User and Task Analysis for Interface Design. T. Mandel, The Elements of User Interface Design. J. Nielsen, Usability Engineering. B. Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction.

88 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 88 Usability requirements references C. Courage, K. Baxter. Understanding Users: A Practical Guide to User Requirements - Methods, Tools, and Techniques. J. Jubner. “Setting Usability Requirements.” S. Lauesen, H. Younessi. “Six Styles for Usability Requirements.” E. Smith, A. Siochi. “Software Usability Requirements by Evaluation.” W. Quesenbery. “5Es of Usability.” Usability Net (A European Union Project). “Requirements.” Xerox Corporation. “How to Develop Usability Goals.” Usability SIG website:

89 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 89 UI design references B. Buxton. Sketching User Experiences. R. Kavanagh and J. Soety. Prototyping Using Visio: J. Hom (Site Owner). Usability Methods Toolbox (Section on Prototyping): M. Klee. Five Paper Prototyping Tips: Using Paper Prototypes to Manage Risk: L.J. Najjar. Conceptual User Interface: A New Tool for Designing E-Commerce User Interfaces: J.A. Landay and B.A. Myers. Interactive Sketching for the Early Stages of User Interface Design J. Redish. Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works. C. Snyder. Paper Prototyping: The fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces.

90 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 90 Usability testing references C. Barnum. Usability Testing and Research. J.S. Dumas, J.C. Redish. Practical Guide to Usability Testing. J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. J.S. Dumas, J.C. Redish. Practical Guide to Usability Testing. J. Rubin, D. Chisnell. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests, 2nd Edition. D. Stone, C. Jarrett, M. Woodroffe, S. Minocha. User Interface Design and Evaluation. K. Summers, M. Summers. Creating Websites that Work.

91 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 91 User survey references D.A. Dillman. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. A.N. Oppenheim. Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. P. Salant and D.A. Dillman. How to Conduct Your Own Survey.

92 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 92 Organizations and resources STC Usability & User Experience: Usability Professionals’ Association: ACM SIGCHI: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society: UX Watercooler:

93 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 93 Recognitions and thanks Prototyping presentation originally created and presented with Whitney Quesenbery User survey presentation originally created and presented with Caroline Jarrett

94 © K. Bachmann Usability Buffet - 94 About me Karen Bachmann, an independent consultant, helps clients deliver usable products that support how users need and expect to interaction with information and perform their tasks. Karen is the former manager of the Usability & User Experience community and is an Associate Fellow of STC. Karen blogs on The Content Wrangler Community and the UX Watercooler, a social network she founded for anyone interested in UX design. She lives with 14 ferrets and a cat, who view her and the other human in the house as necessary, although hard-to-train, staff. Karen can be reached Got treats?

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