S is for Service blueprints. In our last instalment of the A-Z of UX we discussed the value of journey mapping. Journey mapping is a helpful way of seeing the bigger picture and identifying key points in the journey that are critical to the users’ experience when accomplishing their goal. A Service blueprint builds on the customer-focused journey map by identifying what is going on behind the scenes within the business to allow the customer to experience that journey. We discuss expanding a customer journey map to create a Service blueprint in one of our articles.
T is for Tree testing. Part of a user’s experience on a website/app is their ability to find the information they need in the most effective and efficient way possible. Tree testing is a research method designed to understand and evaluate the findability, labels, and structure of a website’s navigation menu. We will often run an online tree test with larger numbers of users to evaluate a hierarchical category structure by having users attempt to find a specific piece of information within the navigation structure. This will tell us where users expect to find information within the website. We can then repeat this test with a smaller number of users in-person to better understand the why’s.
U is for UX researcher. Obviously, the letter U could represent many things related to User experience! But I’m going to be selfish here and hijack this letter to promote the fact that we are always looking for great user researchers to join our team. Our team love user research. We always enjoy learning from different user groups, professions and businesses and translating our research insights into actionable recommendations for our clients. If you also love user research, are looking for a change and can tell us about your experiences so far, please forward your CV to email@example.com.
V is for Visual design. Visual design implements text, colours and images in a way that enhances a design or interaction. We believe that good visual design can drive engagement and increase usability. There are many principles of visual design that specifically support a user’s experience such as gestalt principles, the importance of scale and visual hierarchy.
W is for Workshops. Workshops with stakeholders have become a key part of many of our projects when working collaboratively with our clients. We use workshops at different stages of a project lifecycle from a kick-off meeting to an end of project debrief. However, an invaluable time to use workshops is at the ‘Ideate’ stage of the Design Thinking process. You can find a useful pdf as part of our Design Thinking series providing hints and tips on how to run an ideation workshop on our website.
X is for the X in UX! I mean, what other options to we have here?! I hope that by this point in the alphabet you have been able to appreciate the breadth of skills, methods, considerations and complexities that UX covers. People working in UX need to take all of this into account when improving users’ experiences across the vast array of products and services that we are all interacting with every single day.
Y is for ‘You are not the user’. This is just a friendly reminder not to design for yourself. Even researchers can unwittingly project their own behaviours, beliefs and reactions onto users. And, it’s important to know that it is deeply weaved into our nature to believe that others are like and think like us. So, remaining aware of this fact and acknowledging our tendency to do this is important throughout the research and design phases as well as including your actual target users at each step along the way.
Z is for ‘at the Zoo vs in the wild’. Obviously, we’ve got to the point where we are scraping the barrel for letter ideas, but I refuse to be beaten, so here we are! We are essentially talking about the importance of getting out in the wild to see users in their own environment interacting with a product/service in the context of everything else going on in their lives at that time. We wouldn’t go to a zoo to conduct real-life research on an animal’s life, we would go to the Serengeti or the Daintree. So now that the world has opened up again, let’s get out there and watch our own species out in the wild!
Thanks for joining us on our A-Z of UX. If you have any questions or have anything we can help you withplease do get in touch.