User Experience Designer
'40% of users do not return to sites where they have had a negative experience.' Source Forrester
The above figure from Forrester Research is a scary fact, any site wants to maximise the user experience to win the customer. Amazon is respected for it's customer centric focus and at Amazon I learnt to build and design the right user experience. Amazon follows a user-centred design process to integrate usability into the design process at the start of a project in order to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales and reduce development time and cost. The principles of user-centred design include the active involvement of users and the iteration of design solutions through user testing.
At Hutchison 3G I introduced an iterative design cycle of 'Lather, Rinse and Repeat' to include the design team at initial project discussion stage. The results have been positive and raised the profile of the User Experience team to be an integral part of the project team and user testing part of the project process.
The User centered design cycle
The UCD cycle is tailored to match the size and complexity of the project. The typical steps for a new product or significant change to a web site are :-
- Research - gather customer and business requirement, and competitor analysis.
- Concept - from requirements gathered work out structure and format of product.
- Design mockups - create a prototype that meet the needs of the customer and the business.
- User test - test prototypes, in the format of wireframes to observe users to see if usable.
- Design refinements - amend prototype and improve designs based on results of user testing.
- Build - development work to build final product.
- Launch - track and analyse performance and feedback.
- Measure -against customer and business requirements, iterate to improve
These guidelines apply to new and existing site features, so we continually strive to improve designs by :-
- Testing early and frequently.
- Design twice, build once.
- Revisit old features and designs to ensure they meet standards of new features and products.
'Savier web users spend less than five seconds on a homepage.' Jacob Nielsen
I have conducted usability testing on web and moblie interfaces.
Other Usability methods I have worked with are ;
- Conducting mood board sessions.
- Conducting brainstorming sessions.
- Conducting focus group workshops.
- Creating Personas for new product launches.
- Card sorting to build information architecture.
- Web lab analysis, using statistical data to measure site and features performance.
- Observing eyetracking user testing.
Over the past years I have attended Jacob Neilsen's Usability Seminars and regularly attended and participated in the NMK group discussion evenings in London and other Usability conferences. I was selected for the judging panel for the Hutchison Whampoa joint project with the Royal College of Art exploring 'The Future of Communications' in 2008. Since Yell I have worked closely with Brunel Universities taking on Internships and also working withe the HCI Department with Doctor Steven Love on a number of research projects.