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This UX Workshop is going to introduce UX and why it’s important
• Because our audience may or may not have ever heard of UX, our talk focuses on guiding principles rather than detailed how-to’s
• We hope to inspire companies to go to their users to check assumptions and iterate quickly
There is much confusion with the term “UX”
• However, I would like to clear up the biggest misconception...
UX is NOT UI
• Many people use them interchangeably but this is completely mistaken
• When we talk about UI, it is typically page layouts, buttons, links, and a clean design. While this is important, it is not UX.
it look like?
The UI (User Interface) cares about what something looks like
• The UX (User Experience) cares about what something actually is
• UX is far more fundamental, it begins before the UI is even considered
UI Performance Workﬂow
Psychology Culture Behavior
Body Economy Context
Scope Deadlines Touchpoints
UX is user experience, it is about designing for people - and people are complex
• Yes, UX designers care about a clean UI. Because people are visual. But we care about more fundamental things than that
• UX designers care about workﬂows, how their users think, what the context is, even physical limitations and culture
• Designing for someone in America is very different from designing for someone in China
• In addition to thinking about the user, UX designers are part of a company, with its own scope, deadlines, and what the company is willing to tackle
UX is not just one thing
“User experience” encompasses all
aspects of the end-user’s interaction
with the company, its services, and
- Jakob Nielsen & Don Norman
So simply put, UX is not just one step in the product assembly line. It is an attitude that shapes the entire process.
• Its aim is to create the best experience for the user, whatever it takes
• That means designing beyond the one website app you may consider your product
• It extends to every moment a client or user interacts with your company, like how they are onboarded or their experience with Support
Make the right thing
So, all deﬁnitions aside, the key takeaway is that UX cares about making the right thing
• There’s no point going about making something if it doesn’t actually meet your users’ needs
• This is the need-ﬁnding or user research phase
Make the thing right
Once you’re pretty sure you’re making the right thing, you need to make sure it’s built right
• You can know exactly what your customers want, but if you don’t keep polishing and iterating to get it exactly right, it will still fail. Details are important.
• This is the prototyping and user testing phase
The real difﬁculty comes when you try belatedly testing a product without having done user research ﬁrst
You’ll get wildly different and inconclusive feedback because it’s not the right thing
How can you make the right product and make it right?
• Your boss, in his inﬁnite wisdom, can dictate what to make
• You, as a highly pedigreed designer or engineer, can “know”, which is pretty much guessing
• Or you see competitors and say, “They look like they know what they’re doing. Lets copy them.”
GO TO THE
We say, “Go to the user”
• UX design is designing for the user by going to the user
• Going to the user builds an insight into their frustrations and goals
Just ask them, right?
Now, let us immediately point out that when we say “Go to the user”, we don’t mean just asking them what they want
• This is a common mistake many people make
• You may think you’re being a good UX designer by talking to people and doing market research...
“If we ask them what they want, we’ll
end up doing Swan Lake every year!”
- Henry Delacroix, Founder of Cirque du Soleil
But similarly to what the founder of Cirque du Soleil and Steve Jobs discovered is that people tend to get stuck in their current solutions
• Whereas Steve Jobs concluded to never do user testing, we say that the way you ask questions is important
• We do not simply ask them what they want, we dig deeper into their motivations, their goals and why they want something; what they hope to achieve
• So in the Cirque du Soleil example, instead of asking “What show do you want to see?”, you ask “What left a lasting impression? What moved you? What draws you back?”
Once upon a time...
There were people who lived by a river.
You ask them, “What would make life easier?”
Here’s another illustration
• Lets say there’s some people who live by a river
• As good UX designers, we get out of our ofﬁce, go to where they are and ask “What would you like?”
• They say, “A bridge.”
So you go about making a bridge.
Then one day, you wonder...
Great! You go about making a bridge.
• Until you wonder...
“WHY would a bridge make life easier?”
They reply, “Because we want to talk
to our friends on the other side.”
WHY would a bridge make life easier?
• You go to them once again and ﬁnd out that they want to talk to friends on the other side
Once you discover what they need and why,
you can design the best solution to meet it.
It could be a boat.
It could be a carrier pigeon.
It could be an email.
Well NOW you realize a bridge might not necessarily be what they need!
• Once you realize their motivation was to talk to their friends, all sorts of other solutions could be a better ﬁt.
• Don’t listen to what they tell you they want, listen to what they really need
What should it be?
Going to the user
helps you ﬁnd out
So back to the original question UX asks, “What should it be?”
• We say that “Going to the user helps you ﬁnd out” because it lets you get at the underlying user need.
• Don’t just ask them what they want
• Note: Surveys or questionnaires, while good for ﬁnding out straightforward answers, are not good at discovering user needs.
• Being face to face with users and asking follow-up questions in context is much more insightful.
Here are some examples of how going to the user helped uncover user needs that revolutionized the way products were designed
Selling razors in India? No problem. Right?
P&G did market research.
Result? Flat sales.
Gillette wanted to expand their market to India. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong.
• They tried to be good and do market research. The only problem is that they did it with Indian men in America.
They went to the user, in India.
And found out that Indian men shave without running water.
All rights reserved by ThirdMeaningPhoto
So they actually went to India and found that Indian men usually shave in the dark early hours of the morning over a bowl of water and usually without a mirror
Redesigned the razor from ground up to meet users’ needs.
“I care more about not cutting
myself than a close shave.”
Only one blade
“Affordability is everything.”
Sold for 15 rupees (30¢)
In 6 months,
Gillette Guard became
50% of razor market.
For something that seems so obvious in retrospect, it required actually going to India and observing men shaving to discover this insight
Paramedics need to keep a log of “interventions”
Patients’ vitals, airway, cardiac, medication, shots, complaints
Easy. Input data on the go.
Here is another example of UX design
• Paramedics need to keep track of a lot of data so it seemed obvious to let them record it on a mobile interface
Researchers rode along with paramedics in an ambulance
Found that they were too busy to input data on the spot
Physically - taking vitals,
Socially - talking to patients,
to their families
However, following along with paramedics in their actual daily routine quickly made it clear that they’re too busy
• Their hands aren’t free to hold a mobile device
• It’s socially unacceptable to be texting on a phone when a distraught family member is nearby
Redesigned to match how they recall what they did
Storytelling instead of sequential form-ﬁlling
Allow reordering to reﬂect what really happened
So instead of on-the-go input, the researchers pivoted the product to recalling events after they’ve happened
• Before, the interface required entering all Vitals interventions, then all Airway interventions, etc., which was how the database was structured
• Now, the interface became ﬂexible to support natural recounting (i.e. I took his vitals ﬁrst, then I measured his heart rate, then I had to take his vitals again...)
• Once again, it seemed obvious that paramedics wouldn’t be able to text while on the go but it required actually going to the user to realize it
Why all this talk about UX? Why is it important? What’s the value?
Staying in our design cave tends to make things “precious”
It’s better to get out and check assumptions with the real world
The more you work on something, the more invested you become until it is difﬁcult to change
• In the end, the goal is to make something your users will use
• So the more you get out and test with actual users in the real world, the more in touch with reality you will be
• Otherwise, your design is likely to become bent and twisted with your own assumptions
The more UX, the less costly in the long run.
Another reason to care about UX in your company is that it will save you lots and lots of money
More UX = Less time & cost
Lets say you’re a UX designer and the star is your goal, a wildly successful product that your users love
• You start with some assumptions, which is inevitable. You make a quick sketch or storyboard and show it to your target users.
• They say, “This is good but that’s weird.” This sends you in another direction and you make a rough prototype and test again.
• Each time, you tighten your search because you learn each time you put your design in front of users.
• You can see that it’s not a direct line to the star, but with quick, agile iterations, you arrive at a tried and true product.
What the heck am
I even making?
Oh, I know!
I need mobile!
Didn’t I already
No UX = More time & cost
In contrast, if you’re a designer off in your own design cave, you might release a product quicker but with absolutely no validation
• Think of how much goes into each product release: buy-in from execs, engineers spending many hours building, money and time
• Each time you create a product based on your own assumptions and not your users, you have to go back and rip apart everything you’ve done
• That results in a lot of technical and design debt, resulting in a Frankenstein product that doesn’t even meet users’ needs
Just ship it!
Enough of us talking, lets get to trying it out for ourselves
Every time I see this trafﬁc on the way up to SF, I feel the stress building
This isn’t much better.
The Caltrain, Bart, Muni, buses are not a good alternative
• For me, every time I want to go to a baseball game or party, I run into the problem of transportation
• It makes me not want to go anywhere
How might we improve
transportation for the
San Francisco Bay area?
Goal: What are their needs and why?
Do not ask “Yes” or “No” questions
Find out “Why?”
What do they really need?
We’ve been saying that you need to go to the user and ﬁnd out their needs and why
• Well, for this design challenge, pick a partner and design for their needs. They will be your user
• And keep in mind, you are not the user. Your partner may have completely different needs than you
Sketch 3 ideas
Goal: How will your design solve their needs?
Try mobile, web, physical object
Map out their journey & pain points
Goal: What should change?
Explain, don’t try to convince
1. What was your user’s need & why?
2. How did your design meet that need?
3. Based on feedback, what should change?
Don’t be an ostrich with your head in the sand
• Get out and go to the user. Find out what they care about, what they need and why.