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I'm a user experience architect. I work at Profero.
I’ve designed and managed websites and apps for Earth
Hour, WWF Australia, Google, Sanitarium, Taste, Vogue and
I’ve worked with Indymedia, EngageMedia, YouDecide2007
and various community media projects.
What I do
I help clients understand what they want, and help them shape their brief.
I help designers understand what the client wants.
I make sure the designers and developers are solving the right problem.
Stop making pretty websites that suck:
designing for the user
we aren’t talking about art direction or brand
we’re talking about designing for users
the number one problem with most websites
no coherent vision of what the site should do
the easiest way to prevent bad websites
define a clear brief that addresses the user’s experience
A few quick techniques that will help you when
designing websites and apps.
Step 1: preparation
Step away from the computer
The most powerful design tool
Pen and paper!
Free your mind
At this point, we are trying to get all our ideas onto paper to evaluate
them. It is ok to throw ideas away; in fact, it’s the most important part.
Step 3: chat and decide on an idea
Something like ‘a site for people to donate money to our organisation’.
Think of a primary function, and at most two secondary functions.
You should be able to articulate the vision for your site in a single sentence.
Step 4: imagine who might use this site
Make a few notes about who this person is.
How old are they?
What do they do?
What kinds of problems do they have?
How might we be able to help this user?
Step 5: give your persona a name
This is the person we will be designing for. This is your ‘user persona’.
This helps us think about our users as people, and imagine how they might
use our site.
We need to frame our design in terms of what the user wants, not
what the project stakeholders want.
Step 6: write a user story
A user story is a sentence that describes an interaction in the form of:
as ____________, I want to _________, so that _________.
So as user of Amazon might say:
As a user, I want to receive email notifications so that I can buy products I’m interested in.
An Amnesty user might say:
As an Amnesty supporter, I want to download a letter template so that I can write more
Step 7: write more user stories
Write as many as you think you need.
Remember that you are writing from the perspective of your user persona.
You are not your user.
Step 8: review
Prioritise the stories.
A common prioritisation structure is:
Nice to Have
Step 9: Draw!
Using pencil and paper, sketch up a page of what you think the site
could look like.
Don’t worry about neatness.
Step 10: Share and compare
Present your sketch to your partner. Explain what it does, how it works.
Pick out the features of each sketch that you like. Explain why you like
Step 11: Draw! (again)
Sketch the same page again, this time incorporating the bits you liked
from your partner’s sketch.
Step 12: Share and compare (again)
You can do this a few times to really work through the different ways
you could design the site.
Step 13: Document
Take photos of your sketches to make sure you have a record of what
Recipe of the day feature as per the iPhone
app, to maintain a base level of
consistency and familiarity between
Navigation through the carousel supports
swipe through of the photos, tap on circle
Indicators, tap on arrows and auto-scroll
after x-second timeout of no activity.
If you have a UX person/
producer, get them to do this.
SEARCH 20000 RECIPES
RECIPE OF THE DAY
If you don’t, you can use
Powerpoint or Balsamiq.
Keep it high-level, we are
looking for indicative detail, not
SEASONAL RECIPE COLLECTION
BECOME A TASTE MEMBER
Tap below to add
Taste.com.au to your Home
Screen for quick access.
Promotional area for seasonal category
types e.g. Christmas, Spring, Australia Day,
Find a recipe displays the search modal In
Its default state #0.1
Call to action to sign up to Taste.
Follow Taste on Facebook links directly to
the taste facebook page and on Twitter
The ﬁrst "x" times a user visits
taste.com.au on their smartphone, display
the prompt to bookmark the site (add icon
Step 14: Admin and Technical Requirements
Document the user stories that you need as administrators and project
owners. List out any brand, tech or communications requirements or
restraints that might impact the project.
Do this last.
If your requirements conflict with the user stories, you should resolve that conflict in
favour of the user.
Step 15: Collate these documents
You now have enough information to brief your design and tech team
to start work on the project.
Key site vision
Prioritised user stories
Wireframes / sketches
Develop an idea of who your users are.
Frame your brief with user stories to ensure you remain focused on
Avoid developing laundry lists of requirements.