All posts by: Vanessa Petersen

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Essential Mobile App Design Usability Factors

The goal of many mobile apps is to create a system that speaks the language of the user, leveraging familiar concepts to deliver something that feels new and unexpected – even delightful. This can be challenging to accomplish but aligning with a specific set of usability factors can increase freedom of design elements and deliver the ideal outcome. In breaking down the elements – whether text or imagery, creating pathways to engagement through gesture-driven actions such as clicks, taps and swipes can make the experience interactive but intuitive. Optimizing a mobile environment to be predictable and consistent while maintaining engagement and comprehension is a multi-faceted task. Understanding user personas and clear pathways in previous steps can help to increase usability at a faster delivery rate. Onboarding Because it’s the first point of contact, onboarding is arguably the most important component of mobile app design strategy. The goal of onboarding is to introduce the purpose of […]

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10 days ago
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UX Solutions: Determining If Your Website Can Benefit From AMP

In a marketplace where speed often equals performance, staying relevant across device with attention to mobile is critical. That’s why AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages has been met with such excitement. Site owners and marketers who want to remain competitive with a focus on user satisfaction must consider an implementation such as the AMP Project. What is Accelerated Mobile Pages? The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open-source framework from Google consisting of 3 components including HTML, JS, and cache libraries that accelerate load speed for mobile pages. What Does AMP Do? The number one reason AMP is so valuable to many is that it speeds up load times. Elements are stripped down but deliver essential content quickly, displaying content that matters but gets rid of all the elements that take a toll on your site’s speed and performance. From a website usability perspective, AMP is a no brainer for […]

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2 months, 6 days ago
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The Value of Video Testing for Usability

We all know the power of qualitative testing. Employing platforms to determine the best user experience and using focus groups to target the ideal user to manage the testing process can provide a valuable but all too ‘hands off’ approach to testing. Perhaps the most powerful method of testing is the one that is right under our nose. Video is all around us. It’s become one of the most effective drivers of conversion, provides optimal UX and delivers an immersive brand experience. It’s no surprise that this platform can be used as one of the most effective forms of usability testing. It’s safe to say that digital video has become an important component of successful usability testing sessions, with the benefits to prove. Accuracy Using digital video to record usability testings provides increased detail on the evaluations, providing insight to intricacies that might have gone unnoticed. An in-depth understanding of […]

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2 months, 27 days ago
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Reading Between the Lines: The Content and Usability Connection

Very often, when developing a website or app, the first step is presenting the client with wireframes and comps that feature placeholder text which can, and usually delivers a design that is well received, but that may not be ideal in its user experience. As a result, content that is critical to the journey is wedged into places that weren’t built to hold them. Usability testing has shown that an interface with a simplistic structure with high quality, targeted content performs better than its counterpart with a more showy layout and lesser quality content. Beginning with a creative session – content, design and brand should all be taken into consideration. Determining the goals of the site for the organization it will be representing is key to developing a navigation structure and site architecture. Once this framework is built out, the content tends to come together more naturally and authentically. A […]

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7 months, 23 days ago
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Serving the Brand with User-Centered Design

Delivering a web design that both effectively resonates the brand it represents and puts the user first, can be a complex task – especially when multiple markets or user segments are at play. User centered design, sometimes referred to as human-centered design, does a great job of prioritizing the user and making the environment ideal for their tasks – but it may not always serve the brand adequately. Blending customized design strategies and traditional user centered design best practices can prove to be the ideal route, satisfying the needs of each side. Build a Foundation While user centered design can prove to be an ideal creator of pathways for the user, it’s essential to understand the brand: it’s brand values, core messaging and it’s positioning in the current market. Determine business goals and to help construct how the user will be driven to conversion. Follow the Process Whether it be an iterative […]

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11 months, 7 days ago
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Must-Have Ecommerce Usability Features to Increase Conversion

Reports are out that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2016 was $92.8 billion – an increase of 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. With total retail sales for the first quarter of 2016 estimated at $1,183.9 billion – there’s no doubting the importance of a business having an ecommerce presence. Capitalizing on this ever-growing segment of online shoppers can be as simple as setting up a templated site, however, if not designed or developed properly, these methods can reflect poor user experience, deterring customers from purchasing. The core goal of an commerce site is to make the experience of purchasing as easy as possible for the consumer – so usability is key. Even focusing on a small set of e-commerce usability essentials, a site can become more usable almost immediately. Navigation When shopping online, consumers generally have a goal in mind, […]

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1 year, 1 month ago
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Usability Checklist: Improvements to Achieve a More User-Centered Site

A site’s ideal usability factors come down to one goal of serving the user, but it encompasses many elements. It can be difficult to know where to start in optimizing a site for usability as each has their own set of requirements. From design factors to site structure – all the way to loading times – web usability aspects that need to be redesigned, refined or adjusted may not always be apparent. Organizational Schemes Organizational structures are all about allowing users to predict where they will find information on the website, taking into account their individual expectations and displaying those elements so that they can transfer that familiarity from known pages to new ones. Common structures implemented are: Matrix, Sequential and Hierarchical. If a user is familiar with a certain button placement or content flow on the first pages they peruse, then their eyes will automatically look for a similar layout […]

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1 year, 3 months ago
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Ensuring Your Site Will Measure Up to Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Standards

Chances are you use Google and have noticed that one of the search result criteria is whether or not a site is ‘mobile friendly’ or not. This is a result of step 1 in a major implementation on Google’s part to encourage website owners to take the plunge and optimize their site structure. Beginning in late 2014 and implemented in April 2015, this isn’t some power play for Google – it’s simply better for a user-centered system and better business for a site. To reinforce the importance of this shift, with regard to search, as of April 2015, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” Further, and even more telling to conversion strategies, behavior in spending has shifted to approximately 30% of all online sales now made on mobile devices. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, U.S. mobile commerce will have increased […]

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1 year, 4 months ago
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Refining Health Care UX With Data

There’s little question as to what a health care organization needs to serve it’s user in the digital environment – information, trust, intelligence, transparency and speed – just to name a few. Creating the pathway to deliver the optimal experience requires the careful and meaningful integration of design and data to produce a usable platform for both providers and consumers. Like most regulated industries, the health care digital landscape can always be improved. Advancements are constantly being made and the many websites are operating on dated platforms unable to serve their users full range of needs, or even worse – platforms may not be used to their potential. Organizations, it seems have made sizable investments in electronic health care record (EHR) and health IT (HIT) systems, however 75% are underutilizing the tools because of time commitment or costs involved. Data as a Gamechanger Particularly in health care, usability must be at the […]

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1 year, 5 months ago
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Simplicity: Doing It Right

The act of being simple yet useful is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Particularly in the digital environment, where a prerequisite of complexity must exist for a product to actually work – delivering a simple end product to the user can be an almost impossible feat. Many approach a minimal digital strategy by thinking that items simply need to be removed. This could not be more wrong. True, the removal of the unnecessary is critical, but the addition of a meaningful and usable pathway for the user must be paved. In support of this notion, John Maeda, from the The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life stated that; ‘Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.’  With respect to usability, Simplicity is not the magic solution, but it can make the experience exponentially easier to navigate. To ensure you are designing and strategizing the right path, approach […]

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1 year, 7 months ago