Everything about user experience at J. Boye Philadelphia 14


Caroline Jarrett

Real, useful data through better designed surveys

November 2, 2011 | , , , , | No Comments

We all want to plan our online developments and activities around the requirements of the users. But what are they? There are several ways of finding out. One way to get answers and data fast is through surveys. Quickly and easily distributed and the data comes back in a uniform format. However, we are all being bombarded with surveys in our inboxes, in pop-up windows, on the social media networks etc. and many of them are frankly not particularly intelligently designed and the questions not very well written. This leads to a tedious experience for the respondent (whom often ends up dropping off before completing) and it also results in poor data ending back with the survey sender.

But don’t despair: you can acquire the skills needed to create the perfect survey at one of Tuesday’s half-day tutorials: Surveys in Practice and Theory. We have invited UK based usability expert, Caroline Jarrett to share her experience – which includes working on improving form usability and designs at the national tax authorities of both the UK, the US and Australia. She promotes user centered design and has lectured and written on this and related topics.

Her tutorial will focus on how to improve the quality of your surveys, leading to better quality data as a result. Areas covered:

  • How to write questions that are easy to answer
  • A practical process for turning a list of questions into a planned survey that delivers real value
  • What the theory tells us about an ideal process for developing your survey.
  • The importance of different types of error in surveys: sampling, non-response, and measurement
  • Tips from the survey methodologists on improving your survey.

Caroline would like to hear from you if you have any specific questions about surveys which you would like covered in her session. You can post your questions and ideas in the comments field below or send it directly to Caroline: caroline.jarrett@effortmark.co.uk


Michael Fienen

Using website analytics as a design tool

October 26, 2011 | , , | No Comments

For most web professionals, website analytics is little more than a set of reports for management and another task on your already long to-do list. Analytics can help measure popularity and better understand your users, but too often web professionals don’t find the time to really take action on the numbers. In fact, most find that they are overwhelmed with data, but have too few resources available to crunch it properly and follow up.

To help you take the next step with the usage of website analytics, we’ve invited Michael Fienen, Director of Web Marketing, Pittsburg State University to give a fascinating presentation called Chaos in context: Informed design through analytics. The talk is on the higher education conference track, where Michael will show how numbers can be utilized as a design tool and how you can effectively merge analytics with user experience design.

One of the key take-aways in the talk is a new way to think about redesigning your website. As websites age, the act of redesigning serves a necessary, but costly role. According to Michael, it can frequently be a much better use of resources to constantly be realigning instead. That is – making a consistent stream of smaller, incremental changes over time. To do this, information contained within your analytics can help resolve tools that are failing, falling out of use or are not being understood.

UX expert Jesper Wøldiche Rahkonen is working at the City of Aarhus

Responsive web design in practice

September 14, 2011 | | No Comments

Responsive web design has gradually become a trend in the world of user experience. The publication in 2010 of the popular Responsive Web Design book by Ethan Marcotte has undoubtedly been a contributing factor. Today readers of the book and other UX converts struggle to believe that we once served web content in boxy little hardwired layouts left over from the magical but inflexible world of print.

In order to show how to move the concept of responsive web design from theory to practice, we’ve invited Jesper Wøldiche Rahkonen to give a presentation on the user experience conference track. Jesper works as web designer at the Municipality of Aarhus and is also a W3C Invited expert in the HTML5 Working Group. His talk will focus on designing for mobile and on presenting a sustainable, responsive approach to the mobile web.

Even if your organisation still does not have a mobile strategy and if the number of mobile users is limited, your audience is still likely to find ways to be mobile. The mobile trend is growing at a rapid pace and is driving significant change, in particular for user experience professionals. Mobile websites have traditionally been created as separate projects targeted towards a small handful of devices or as an afterthought to the desktop version. The results are increased costs, content duplication, failure to match current business goals and inflexible web designs in the face of an ever increasing variety of web enabled devices

Jesper will share how you can combine a mobile-first design strategy, responsive designs and progressive enhancement to create effective, future-proof web presences across all devices.