In user experience, we often write about and discuss conducting research to understand users and their needs, but have focused much less attention on understanding stakeholders and their needs. This turnaround from a traditional development process—which focused almost entirely on gathering stakeholders’ requirements and gave very little consideration to the needs of users—was once necessary. But perhaps the balance has tipped too far in some cases, with our focus almost exclusively on users’ needs and a lack of adequate consideration or understanding of business needs. Designing an effective user experience requires an understanding of the needs of both the business and users and designing a solution that meets them. Read More
Upon your arrival at a five-star resort, you might take a deep breath and prepare yourself for an unforgettable week. The lobby is clean, the check-in counter is conveniently accessible, and the lighting is warm. So you immediately feel at ease and are motivated to make use of the resort’s many amenities, including its all-inclusive spa.
When users arrive at your Web site, they should have a similarly stellar experience to that of entering a five-star resort. You should evaluate your Web site’s usability and assess what kind of user traffic you might expect, as well as how long users are likely to spend on the site. Use this Web-site UX audit process and checklist to help make sure your site’s visitors have the best possible experience. Read More
User research is central to our work in User Experience: doing research to find out about our users, then acting on what we’ve learned—or persuading our colleagues to act on a shared understanding of what we have learned.
But what about doing research with other people? In this column, we’ll focus on exactly that: conducting research with people who are not users—that is, people who aren’t part of the target audience for the product or service you’re creating. We call this type of research consultation. Read More