All posts tagged “User”

8 jQuery Notification Plugins For Good User Experience

Are you looking for some jQuery notification plugins to increase user experience? If yes, then you are at the right place. In this compilation, we are presenting 8 excellent jQuery notification plugins that can increase your user experience. Having a notification box to notify users about successful event or an error would increase the overall user experience. You can simply accomplish this with the help of these powerful and easy to use jQuery notification plugins.

Here is the complete collection of 8 excellent and great jQuery notification plugins that can increase user experience. We hope that you would like this collection and find these plugins useful for you. Do let us know what you think about this collection. Enjoy!

Noty

noty is a jQuery plugin that makes it easy to create alert – success – error – warning – information – confirmation messages as an alternative the standard alert dialog. Each notification is added to a queue.

jQuery Notification Menu

A jQuery plugin to add notification bubbles and a notification list to any menu.

jQuery Toastmessage

jquery-toastmessage-plugin is a JQuery plugin which provides android-like notification messages. It’s a quite nice way to report info or error to the user.

jNotify

jNotify can display information boxes in just one line of code. Three kind of boxes are allowed : information, success and failure. The whole box is entirely skinnable with css. For example, you could use it for a mail being successfully sent or a validation error of a form.

Gritter

jQuery Notify

MiniJs

A simple but flexible notification plugin with the minimum required functionalities.

jQuery Notty

ClassyNotty is a jQuery plugin written by Marius Stanciu – Sergiu, a plugin that enables your application to display unobtrusive, beautiful and elegant notifications.


SmashingApps.com

A Collection of Inspiring Sitemaps and User Flow Maps


All websites should start with a good plan. Focussing on the design process first may be common for smaller sites. For larger sites, when user experience is paramount, creating an initial sitemap or user flow map is an effective way of working out how you want visitors to use and navigate around. UX is key to a successful site. And always remember the 5PS of planning a site – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

There are many different methods for creating a sitemap, but we don’t want to get into all of those today as they are typically not the best thing to look at from a design perspective.

So we’re going to take a look at some sitemaps that have taken design into consideration. Not the site design, but the actual design of the sitemap. So no post-its, no Sharpies, no whiteboards, no mind-mapping software, just a beautiful selection of carefully crafted sitemaps.

You might also like to take a look some inspirational UI style guides or even some examples of web design wireframe sketches.

Sitemap by Ed Moss
Sitemap by Ed Moss

Information Architecture by Kellyn Loehr
Information Architecture by Kellyn Loehr

User Flow'in by Bill S Kenney
User Flow'in by Bill S Kenney

User Flow by Eric Ressler
User Flow by Eric Ressler

Sitemap For Student Guide by Janna Hagan
Sitemap For Student Guide by Janna Hagan

Simplified Checkout Process by Michael Pons
Simplified Checkout Process by Michael Pons

Site Flow by Angie Herrera
Site Flow by Angie Herrera

User Flow by Mackenzie Child
User Flow by Mackenzie Child

Sitemap for IntelliMap by AveA
Sitemap for IntelliMap by AveA by John Menard

Flowchart by Eric Miller
Flowchart by Eric Miller

Website Flowcharts Stencil by Eric Miller
Website Flowcharts Stencil by Eric Miller

Website Flowcharts for Illustrator by Eric Miller
Website Flowcharts for Illustrator by Eric Miller

Sitemap/Flowchart for the Web by Jane Zhu
Sitemap/Flowchart for Web by Jane Zhu

Mobile Flowchart for Illustrator by Eric Miller
Mobile Flowchart for Illustrator by Eric Miller

Application User Journey by Michael Pons
Application User Journey by Michael Pons


The post A Collection of Inspiring Sitemaps and User Flow Maps appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

Designing Digital Strategies, Part 2: Connected User Experiences

“A digital strategy is the who, what, when, and where of listening and responding to consumers, bridging brand experiences, iterating offerings, and collecting and activating consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.”—Digital strategist Bud Caddell

Simply stated, a digital strategy is a plan for how to support business goals through the benefits of digital tools. Strategies guide us in major decisions by providing a sense of direction and cohesiveness to our work. Having a well defined and clear digital strategy ensures that decisions about digital channels are not made on impulse (“let’s make a new app”) or merely in response to available technology (“let’s use QR codes”) but rather as part of a coherent plan that enhances the user experience and maximizes business opportunities. However, we can only have a sense of direction after we have properly oriented ourselves—and this is where the ecosystem map helps.

Through ecosystem thinking, we can leverage business opportunities while at the same time providing better experiences for customers. The aim of this article series is to show how to apply ecosystem thinking in design projects. In the first article of this series, Digital Cartography, we discussed ecosystem thinking and how to draw ecosystem maps. In this second—and last—part we will look at how to use ecosystem maps as tools to guide us in designing digital strategies.

Digital strategy vs. business strategy

Before we get into building a digital strategy, it’s important to identify what this strategy is not.

A digital strategy is not a business strategy. A business strategy provides a long-term roadmap and budget forecasting. But technology moves too fast for a digital strategy to give an accurate 3-year plan or budget. Digital strategies are, therefore, less detailed than business strategies and they are more focused on creating a framework—consisting of policies, priorities, and people—for making strategic decisions.

Digital strategies should be based on what we know about the users from our user research and the business strategy of the company. To make sure that the intersection between user needs and business goals are taken in consideration during the design process we need a digital strategy that can guide the design and development team.

A digital strategy

Design a digital strategy, based on user needs and business goals, before you start developing new solutions.

The anatomy of a digital strategy

A clear digital strategy can ensure that we build profitable ecosystems, resulting in a cohesive user experience across multiple touchpoints. The ecosystem map shows at a high level who the users are and how we might address their needs. Next, as part of the digital strategy, we identify the specific path to reach our goals. A digital strategy should identify:

  • A digital vision and objectives. Rather than focusing on a single product or service, we should look at how we can meet the needs of users through several interconnected products and services. The company GOQii, for example, provides a wristband that monitors physical activity and sleep. They also have an app that tracks nutrition and lifestyle. In addition, they offer personal follow up advice from coaches; all of these products and services fit into an ecosystem designed for helping users achieve a healthier lifestyle.
  • The target audience. We began thinking about users when we drew the ecosystem map. In the strategy, however, we need to define our target audience much more precisely. This is also the time to prioritize the primary user: is it a working woman in her 40s, or is the product more suitable for teens?
  • Actions to reach the objective. Here, we are defining what we will do to reach our objectives: this will become the final ecosystem of products and services. We made assumptions when drawing the initial ecosystem map, and now we choose concrete paths, and identify when we aim to design and launch different products and services.
  • Success metrics. To track our progress, it is important to define measurable objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be measured continuously to track if our chosen strategy is working. Examples of KPIs include everything from the number of site visits, to the number of customer support calls (hopefully few!).
  • A delegation of roles and responsibilities. To ensure the digital strategy is implemented, it’s important to have a clear, shared understanding of who is responsible for what. Some clear guidelines, and even a full responsibility assignment matrix can save everyone involved a lot of frustration.

To help us reach decisions about these aspects and specify them in a strategy, it is useful to analyze the map from different angles.

Analyzing the ecosystem map

Let’s design an ecosystem map for a fictional online home-listings company. The company also provides mortgage calculators and links to online mortgage applications, as well as price statistics for listed areas. In the ecosystem map, the functions and services the company already provides are listed as “inside activities,” whereas the activities that users have to do are labeled as “outside activities.”

During the moving process, users make many decisions—where do we want to live? What is our price range?—and use a number of services—real estate agents, inspectors, movers, and so on. The steps are complex, and the timeframe can vary significantly. Our ecosystem map matches this, with no specific sequence of events, and no timeline. Nevertheless, the map presents the main elements of finding, buying and settling down in a new home.

One example of an ecosystem map

The company wants to expand their business by offering more services related to purchasing a new home and moving. Their target audience consists of private buyers, 30-60 years old, looking for a place to live (not professional real estate investors). When people move, their ultimate goal is not just to buy a house or to move physically, but to settle into a new home. The company has therefore decided that their digital vision should be “to help people find and settle into their new home.”

To take advantage of the many user insights we have illustrated in the ecosystem map and use those insights strategically, we need to analyze the map through multiple lenses:

  1. Pain points. The first thing to consider is troubles the users currently experience. Pain points represents business opportunities, since they show us where we can make a difference. But we also need to investigate the nature of the pain points: How often are they experienced, by how many people, and what emotions do they evoke?

    For example, home buyers are often concerned that their new neighborhood will be safe, and have easy access to services like parks and supermarkets. They can explore the area near open houses, but this is time consuming. Offering an overview of the area integrated in the online listing will ease this pain point.

    Another pain point is scheduling. It takes a lot of time and energy to visit open houses, and it can be frustrating to keep track of the different homes and remember their unique features. An app showing schedules for open homes and suggesting the best travel route between several would be a useful tool, particularly if the app made it easy to save personal notes and pictures from each house.

  2. Relevance. Which of the “outside activities” should our solution provide? We can analyze which features are essential, which would be nice to have, and which would add an insignificant value.

    There are myriad services and functionality that people could use in the process of finding and settling into a new home, but it can’t all be provided by a single company. For an app intended to track upcoming open houses, calendars and a map will be essential, neighborhood information for the listings can be nice to have, whereas a checklist of questions to ask is less significant. Such evaluations must be based on user research and not on own assumptions.

  3. Competition. We can learn a lot from our competition. What competing solutions are in use today? What needs do they fulfill, and where are they leaving gaps?

    There are a number of websites and apps available that help people find a new home. House Hunter and Open Houses, for example, help people keep track of and rate the open houses they have visited, complete with photos and notes. However, they don’t provide maps or help users plan to efficiently attend multiple open houses.

  4. Channels. Which channels do people use to share information and perform activities? How can we use these channels to our advantage?

    Social media is often used for gathering advice ranging from finding a good real estate agent to getting opinions on a nearby school. In our app, we might design a function for easily posting listings on Facebook, or allowing comments on pictures.

  5. Pathways. Orchestrating journeys through the ecosystem happens by way of interactions that allow the user to accomplish his goals while also supporting the business strategy. A journey through the ecosystem should ideally trigger another journey back through the service, or to another service, ideally one that our company also offers.

    An app for keeping track of visited and scheduled open homes might also include functions for getting quotes from home inspectors, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers.

    Service design vs. ecosystem thinking

    Service design vs. ecosystem thinking: In service design we map customer journeys to improve the touchpoints in one single service, whereas in ecosystem thinking we zoom out further and take a birds-eye view on how we can connect multiple services in profitable and meaningful ecosystems.

  6. Risk factors. What are the main factors that could make people drop out of our desired pathways? How can we create external and internal triggers that motivate use?

    Apps are often downloaded and installed, and then never used. To make sure that users become active users we have to motivate them to use our service. For example, we might send out notifications about open houses and bids.

These lenses challenge us to analyze our ecosystem from different angles. They provide a useful framework for thinking holistically, rather than designing isolated products and services.

Why bother making a map?

Visual ecosystem maps make it much easier to spot new opportunities as we design digital strategies. It also helps us to (literally) map our user research to prospective business opportunities. Moreover, an ecosystem map is an excellent tool for co-creating strategies with clients and users. The lenses can be applied and discussed together with stakeholders and users. The ecosystem map provides a reference for guiding these discussions and designing strategies in an iterative and collaborative manner.

Most importantly, ecosystem maps helps us connect our products and services. It makes us take into account the solutions of other companies that are part of our users’ ecosystem. Ultimately, ecosystem maps can assist us in making informed and coherent decisions both on a macro and micro level. While the map shows our endless opportunities, the strategy defines the selected path.


The UX Booth

5 innovative examples of user interface design

Read more about 5 innovative examples of user interface design at CreativeBloq.com


In these days of intuitive touchscreens and intelligent iPhone apps, your audience is not going to put any work into using your product, app or operating system – they’ll expect it to be obvious. No one is going to read a lengthy, detailed instruction manual; instead, the UI design should guide your customer through to achieving their goals – doing all the hard work so the user doesn’t have to.




Creative Bloq

Watch a supercut of every user interface from Star Wars: A New Hope

I occasionally hear someone, while sharing their opinion of a movie, complain how none of the characters ever ate dinner or used a toilet on screen. It’s a complaint most often lobbed at action films, where the heroes can feel like robots turned on moments before the film begins and turned off during the credits. It’s a silly request for a 90-minute movie to stop while its hero waits for an elevator, but it’s not the worst request. We may not fight evil empires, but we eat three meals a day and, you know, evacuate those meals with some regularity. The rituals of everyday life, like buying coffee and taking off shoes, are familiar and they help to humanize characters.

Something can be boring, but cool at the same time

This supercut of…

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The Verge – All Posts

Discover the art of great user experience

Read more about Discover the art of great user experience at CreativeBloq.com


Generate New York is the conference for web designers presented by net magazine and Creative Bloq. A source of inspiration, education and networking opportunities, this year’s Generate will be packed with more top content from world-class speakers – including the subject of this article. Buy your ticket today!




Creative Bloq

Discover how to design for the always-on user

Read more about Discover how to design for the always-on user at CreativeBloq.com


People are connecting with brands, products and services like never before. As designers, this increasing connectivity pattern presents both an amazing opportunity and a great challenge. How can your brand embrace the ever-present customer and, not only connect with them, but give them the valuable content they desire? 




Creative Bloq

Elements of Intuitive Mobile User Experience

With million of apps available to download, as well as mobile optimized websites, consumers have a sea of choice and little tolerance towards apps that don’t deliver. The spotlight is not on how to launch apps quickly, rather on how to improve the different elements that create the mobile user experience.

Elements of Intuitive Mobile User Experience

In this brutally competitive market, quality and seamless performance always win against brand loyalty. In the app world, there are no second chances.

Remember, the competitor’s app is only a tap away. Ultimately, everything is about developing a mobile app that not only stands tall in the crowd, but also beats the competition. Consumers are fiercely vocal about an app’s shortcomings; even minor flaws are not spared. It takes a conscious effort throughout the design and development process to get mobile app user experience right.

While spectacular visuals and elegant interfaces can entice customers to hit the download button, a long-lasting relationship depends on the quality of user experience, which is directly proportional to how the app performs. Mobile applications need to focus on core functions, and they need to be fast and reliable in order to create an impact on user’s life.

Good looks alone can’t influence user’s experience with the app.

It is all about right feeling

Mobile user experience primarily takes into account the user’s engagement level with your mobile app before, during and after their interaction. It is all about relevance and effectiveness. You need to focus on how the user perceives and enjoys interaction with the app. It is all about making user’s life easy and providing holistic, easy to use and valuable solutions.

Example: Hulu

Hulu

Hulu is a free vod (video on demand) application. Many popular shows including TV shows, seasonal shows, kids shows, reality shows etc. IT is the most engaging Android app till now which gives right feeling to it’s audience.

Rise above the clutter

Each and every aspect of the user interface design must serve a purpose; any superficial element that doesn’t need to be part of your mobile app should be simply knocked off. Even if you think a feature is critical to the success of your app, reconsider it repeatedly. It’s not a random coincidence that extremely popular mobile apps are the ones that let users do a few tasks very well. Minimalism, ease of use, efficiency and sophistication can act as a differentiator and set you apart from competitors.

Example: FaceTune

FaceTune

FaceTune is a efficiently powerful photo editor with sophistication and easyness with simple interface layout. It’s features makes it outstanding among all other paid apps.

Don’t reinvent just for the sake of innovation

Undoubtedly innovation drives the mobile app world. Users expect robust and cutting-edge features. However, in a bid to innovate don’t deviate from best practices. Reinventing for the sake of innovation could alienate users. Implement simple and clean features that users are already familiar with, as well as adopt Apple and Android rules for mobile user interfaces. Users will engage with familiar interface immediately, instead of navigating through complex navigation.

Example: Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Such apps have made their mark in app history by achieving unbelievable success through launching new inventions and features to their existing game apps.

Rich interface

Just because we suggested not to reinvent the wheel, does not mean that your mobile app interface should lack the look, feel, features and the cool quotient. In fact, creating a dynamic experience that delights and connects with users is one of the most important differentiators in a very saturated and competitive field. Smart and apt use of content delivery, transitions, video, images and audio can help you achieve your goal.

Example: Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine is the best way to upload and share videos free in unlimited manner. Whereas Nike+ Running is for tracking your running progress to reach the goals. Both of these apps have tremendously beautiful interface. The look & fell they give to the user is completely rich.

Rise beyond the obvious

If you are looking to improve user experience, you need to rise above the cliché and traditional analytics tools. Use sophisticated visual mobile analytics tool. This tool provides the insight behind user action by presenting you with key behavioral visual data. It transcends beyond the concept of just working with the numbers that a traditional tool provides you with. This gold mine of information allows you to optimize your app strategy.

Example: Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee etc.

Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee

These are some really helpful visual mobile app analytics tool which can provide more insight on user behavior rather than just providing some statistics of traffic. By using any of these, you can make sure your mobile app strategy is working in perfect direction throughout the design, development and marketing process.

Don’t go overboard with jargon

This is one of the most basic, yet blatantly overlooked guideline in user experience. Well, technical jargons are a way of life for developers; users tend to think the other way. They expect warmth and a simple language that is easy to understand. The ultimate goal should be to empower and enable users to perform tasks effortlessly without making them jump through unnecessary roadblocks.

Optimize content for mobile

Designing for mobile apps requires striking a perfect balance between simplicity and functionality. One needs to take into account several constraints such as limited screen size, bandwidth, speed to ensure optimal performance, as well as factors such as devices or operating systems. While designing one needs to consider the constraints and make every inch count. Simply emulating your desktop site will not work. Remember, mobile is about keeping context and location at the forefront. Ensure that core features and content are optimized for mobile.

Example: Expedia

Expedia

Expedia is the best example of content optimization for mobile.

Usability for both novice and pros

Walking the tight rope. It’s important to keep in mind that while designing a mobile application, you are targeting two groups of users with very distinct capabilities. More than likely, both novices and experts will use it. This effectively means your app interface should deliver an experience that is intuitive for the novice, yet captivating for the experienced user.

Example: Umano

Umano

Functionalities and features Umano carries are truly handy for both novices and mobile experts.

Thumb rules

When it comes to mobile app, consider the user’s thumbs, ability to grip, and motion. Remember these factors play an instrumental role into how responsive an app is and whether it is appealing enough to encourage users to come back. Can users navigate through the app with one hand? Is it easy enough for left-handed users or not?

Staying relevant

Relevance is the most crucial factor which will determine the success of your customer experience. Users need to see a reason to adopt and engage with your mobile offering. Only thorough knowledge of your target knowledge enables you to meet their expectations. Once you understand what users want, you need to map user needs against your core business objectives. Once you determine the connection between these two elements, channelize your efforts towards the area. Successfully align the user’s needs to the device capabilities and offer a personalized and relevant experience. Make optimum use of factors such as location, social network, or time.

Context matters

A smartphone or tablet can be used at anytime, anywhere. The needs of mobile users are different compared to those using a website. They may be walking on a busy street, using tablet for a quick product comparison, or actually purchasing. In such cases, these users can get easily distracted and the mobile context plays an instrumental role. Context is all about circumstances that affect interaction between the mobile user and the interface. It can change constantly and rapidly. Think about enhancing device capabilities to anticipate and support the user’s context of use.

Example: Amazon & Fish Dope

Amazon & Fish Dope

In Amazon app, it shows products and offers based on your location, whereas in ‘Fish Dope’ app, it locates your place with real time GPS and guides you about fishing on particular place and particular time.

Constant evolution

The mobile app industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Whether it is advances in technology, rapidly changing trends and user preferences, conflicting business requirements and last but not least, feedback from your users. Consumer expectations are higher then ever. You need to be responsive to such changes and take conscious steps to improve your mobile proposition. Listen to your users and respond quickly to their feedback and their needs. Introduce new features as required. Don’t blindly ape your competitors. If your users experience technical glitches, immediately correct them. Constant evolution can help you survive and stay ahead in this competitive world.

Analyze and comprehend: Ultimately iterative process works

It is important to analyze comprehend how users are behaving and interacting within their apps at a contextual level. In-depth study of user behavior will strengthen your app marketing initiatives and enhance the mobile user experience.

Here are few key features of user behavior analytics tool that will help you refine your app marketing efforts.

User recordings

Get deep into every action users are taking; gestures such as pinch, tap, and swipe. This will allow you to fix problem at the root level and help you in converting new users into active.

Touch heatmaps

Visualize user behavior on your app’s screens with a visual aggregated report of all gestures performed on each screen. With this crucial information, you can eliminate and revamp confusing UI elements, ultimately securing high conversion rates.

Realtime in-app analytics

Analyze where users spend the most time and how they navigate through the screens of your app, as well as any glitches they may have experienced. You can take preventive measures.

Notifications: Next big thing

Whether it is wearable, smartphone, tablet, or PC, the goal is to provide a robust user experience, irrespective of device or screen size. There is a noticeable shift towards actionable notifications which is fast replacing opening a full app. Notifications provide user with predictable and a consistent experience. That’s incredibly powerful and future of user experience.

Visit us at InstantShift.com

PSD to HTML


InstantShift

10 WordPress Plugins To Make Efficient User Management

You must be known to the WordPress feature that you can assign different tasks to your team members. In these administrators, author, contributor, subscriber and regular users are included, they all perform their own tasks according to their abilities and boundaries, for example contributors can only edit their posts but editors can edit everyone’s posts.

On the other hand, you want to have the improved control over user management, below are listed some of the WordPress plugins that will help you modify, extend or adjust the abilities for diverse roles in your website, which will allow users doing their tasks effectively and efficiently.

User Role Editor

User Role Editor WordPress plugin makes user roles and capabilities changing easy. Edit/add/delete WordPress user roles and capabilities.

User Login Log

This plugin track records of wordpress user login with set of multiple information like ip, date , time, country , city, user name etc.

CRM & Lead Management for WordPress by vCita

CRM for WordPress that helps you capture more leads and manage customer relationships effectively.

New User Approve

New User Approve allows a site administrator to approve a user before they are able to login to the site.

User Switching

Instant switching between user accounts in WordPress.

Members

A user, role, and content management plugin that makes WordPress a more powerful CMS.

Advanced Access Manager

The powerful and easy-to-use tool to improve security and define access to your posts, pages and backend areas for single blog or multisite network.

BU Section Editing

Advanced content editing workflow in WordPress through the use of section editing groups and permissions.

WangGuard

The most advanced protection against sploggers and spam users registration, is fully WordPress,WordPress MU ,BuddyPress and bbPress 2.0 compatible.

WP Approve User

Adds action links to user table to approve or unapprove user registrations.


SmashingApps.com

Turning Qualitative User Data Into Actionable Design

Once our Yelp research was complete, it was time to analyze the findings and determine the major pain points users experienced with Yelp’s current site. We began by watching our UserTesting videos and making note of interesting moments. (UserTesting’s platform allows you to annotate videos and create video clips directly from your dashboard.)


Image Source: Which UX Methods.

As discussed in The Guide to Usability Testing, there are a wide range of user research options ranging from resource-intensive usability lab studies to simple email surveys. Our screen-recorded user tests provided us both attitudinal and behavioral insights since we could hear what users thought (attitudinal) as well as see what they did on screen (behavioral). We’ll explain why qualitative research matters, explain our takeaways, and show how we wove them into the new design.

The Right Approach to Qualitative Analysis

When it comes to qualitative analysis, it’s not enough to just ask users to recount their experiences. As Jakob Nielsen, Partner at the Nielsen Norman Group, points out, the first rule of usability is to never listen only to what users say. The wrong approach would be to create a few designs and then ask users which one they like the most — users haven’t tried the design, so they can only comment on surface features.

The right approach to qualitative analysis, and the one that we are champions of, is to examine user behavior and then ask them the Single Ease Question. This process helps to eliminate cognitive biases and gets to the bottom line of UX analysis: how did the users accomplish their tasks, and how easy or difficult was it? Our screen recording also captured audio (and we encouraged people to think out loud), because otherwise it’s easy to miss why certain behavior occurred. The “why”, after all, is the most important part of user analysis.

Analyzing Qualitative Results

Distinct patterns emerged in our observations of user interactions with Yelp (we explain these patterns in greater detail in User Testing & Design). Overall, we learned that the Search bar was one of the most essential features, and it was easy to use if the users knew exactly what they were looking for (if they knew the name of a business, for example). Other features weren’t as intuitive, though, as you’ll see in our discussion below.

1. The Search function was the primary starting point for any task

All five test participants relied heavily on the Search bar, even for tasks that could easily be completed by browsing through the Categories instead (such as finding an interesting restaurant or bar without being given any specific parameters).

In fact, four out of the five participants went straight to the search bar to find a restaurant. Only one user started browsing through the categories, and she quickly found them “overwhelming” and ended up resorting to the Search bar instead.


The Search bar was the most intuitive feature for users.


Yelp’s categories were “overwhelming” and less helpful than the Search bar.

Note: in our test instructions, we asked users to “find” a restaurant, not to “search for” a restaurant, because we wanted to observe how they would naturally go about this task without biasing them toward a specific function.

Interestingly, when the users were given specific parameters (like the budget, ambiance, and type of restaurant, or the name of an individual business) they almost universally ignored everything on the homepage except for the Search bar. Knowing this, we realized it would be very important to make the Search bar the most prominent feature on the redesigned site.

2. Events were not very noticeable

In one task, we asked the two users without Yelp accounts to find an interesting event in their area this weekend. We wanted to learn whether they would use the Events tab at the top of the page.


The Events tab is easy to miss.

Surprisingly enough, nobody used the Events tab. When asked to find an interesting event in their area this weekend, one test participant used the Search bar while the other navigated through the Arts & Entertainment category in the Best of Yelp section.

We learned that if we wanted users to actually interact with the Events feature on Yelp, we would need to make it easier to find.

3. Bookmarking was frustrating, and no one used Lists

We were curious to see how users would choose to save locations for later reference. In Yelp, there are two ways to do this: users with existing accounts can either bookmark a location or create a list. We simply asked Group 1 (three users with Yelp accounts) to “save” a number of locations to look into later so that our wording wouldn’t mention any features that could bias their actions.

Of the three users who were given this task:

  • One saved the businesses using Bookmarks but complained that the process took a long time.
  • One started to save businesses using Bookmarks but gave up because it took too long.
  • One was not able to figure out how to save businesses and gave up on the task.

The two users who used Bookmarks both remarked that it would be nice to be able to bookmark a business from the search results page, rather than having to go to each business’s page separately, as you can see in the video below.


Click the “Play” button to hear user thoughts on the Bookmarks feature.

It would be nice to allow users to have an easier and more intuitive method of saving businesses to return to later, so we prioritized bookmarking in our redesign.

4. Searching for a specific venue was extremely fast and easy

All five users were given a task to find a specific business to find out if it was open at a certain time. They all successfully completed this task, and rated the task as “Very easy”. As mentioned previously, all five used the search bar to accomplish this task.

Since searching for a specific business is working so well, we decided not to change anything about the way Yelp has designed this functionality.

5. Users relied on photos to determine the ambiance of a restaurant

When asked to find a restaurant with a certain ambiance, none of the five users attempted to use the search bar. Instead, three users looked through photos of the restaurant on Yelp, one visited the restaurant’s website, and the last stated that the price symbols ($ ,$ $ ,$ $ $ ,$ $ $ $ ) was enough to indicate if the restaurant had the right ambiance.


Click the “Play” button to hear user thoughts on determining restaurant ambiance.

This brought up two insights:

  1. Photos are an essential part of the Yelp experience, and they are critical for users to choose a business.
  2. Ambiance doesn’t play much of a role in Yelp’s search or filtering functions. We decided that, in the redesign, we could either include a filter for types of ambiances, or we could make it more expressly clear that using the Search bar will search for keywords in reviews as well as the name and type of business, so Search could be used to identify ambiance, menu items, and more.

6. Users relied on filters, but they could be improved

In the task where five users were asked to find a restaurant for a group of 15, three of the five participants used the “good for groups” filter, while one used the “make a reservation” feature and scrolled down until she found a restaurant that could seat the group.

At another point, one user attempted to select two categories to filter his results, but one of his choices disappeared when he clicked the other. (See the video below.)


Click the “Play” button to hear user thoughts on using Filters.

While filters are important, we learned that they could be greatly improved. This finding inspired us to run a card sort on all of Yelp’s current filter options to determine which ones are actually useful to users.

7. The price categories weren’t clear

When users were searching for the restaurant with specific parameters, one of the requirements was to find a restaurant within a $ 20/person budget. Two of the five users were confused by whether their $ 20 restaurant budget would fall into the $ , $ $ , or $ $ $ category. One user stated that she didn’t know what the symbols meant, and another clicked the wrong category. The other three correctly chose the $ $ category.

The definition of the symbols does not display when users select filters; it only displays when the user navigates to a particular restaurant’s page. Since price expectations are highly subjective, it was unclear to users which category they should choose.

With this insight, we decided that in our redesign, we would need to be more explicit about what each dollar symbol indicated.

Design Based on Usability Testing

Once it was time to design, we followed an approach based on the last few steps of the Google Ventures design process. UXPin CEO Marcin Treder first started with many informal sketches before a team decision helped cull it down to the top 2-3 sketches. To prevent design by committee, Marcin had the final say regarding which sketches would progress into wireframing and prototyping with UXPin.

After moving into UXPin, we created a wireframe to incorporate most of the design changes, then added some interactions and animations to turn it into a low-fidelity prototype. Once the animations were smoothed out, we added detail in UXPin for a high-fidelity prototype. Screenshots from the process are shown below.

1. Sketches

Homepage:

Search Results:

2. Low Fidelity Wireframes

Homepage:


Image Source: Yelp Redesign.

Search Results:


Image Source: Yelp Redesign.

3. Low Fidelity Prototype (click to interact)

To click through a few interactions and browse the entire design, you can play around with this in the Live Preview.


Image Source: Low Fidelity Yelp Prototype.

4. High Fidelity Prototype

To click through a few interactions and browse the entire design, you can play around with the high fidelity prototype in the Live Preview.

Homepage (click to interact):


Image Source: High-Fidelity Prototype.

Search Results (click to interact):


Image Source: High-Fidelity Prototype.

Watch, Listen, Learn

What users say and what users do should serve as checks and balances during user testing. While you don’t need to necessarily be present during the test, an audiovisual recording is mandatory, otherwise you might miss out on the context of actions. When you combine qualitative analysis with quantitative analysis , you’ll get an even clearer idea of why and how to fix a problem, as well as how many usability problems your design needs to solve.

To learn more about how to incorporate cost-efficient usability testing into your designs, check out the free e-book User Testing & Design. You’ll find 109 pages of screenshots and tips, using the Yelp redesign exercise as an example.

The post Turning Qualitative User Data Into Actionable Design appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


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