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Make it Persona(l): 5 Steps for Usability Testing

Usability testing is one of the most fundamental parts of the overall website design process. These tests involve close observation of selected participants as they maneuver through a site at their own pace, for the purpose of identifying any usability issues or problems. Once these issues have been discovered, a brand can determine the participants’ satisfaction with the website or product. 
 An important element of usability testing is crafting personas that can be studied to gather crucial information, benefiting the user interface and user experience designs. The driving intention is to collect as much data as possible in order to enhance and perfect web usability. Creating realistic representations of your key audience segments involves investing time in user research and web analytics – the more research you do, the better. 
 A few aspects to consider when designing these personas include: providing the clearest possible picture of the user’s […]

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6 years, 25 days ago
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Usability Testing: Your Game Plan

Usability testing is one of the most fundamental parts of the overall website design process. These tests involve close observation of selected participants as they maneuver through a site at their own pace, for the purpose of identifying any usability issues or problems. Once these issues have been discovered, a brand can determine the participants’ satisfaction with the website or product. 
 A lot of collaboration goes into finding the right person to assist in the usability testing process, and team members work together to make final decisions as to their usability game plan. Once that outline is agreed upon, you’re ready to go. The following elements must be included in your strategy. Scope and Purpose Before going forward, you must indicate what you’ll be testing – this could be anything from the name of your website and how it will register with users to how the product/website functions. Here […]

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6 years, 1 month ago
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Your Guide to Writing for the Web

We’ve waxed on and on about the intricacies of content creation, ensuring that the copy that you write is impeccable and specific to your brand. The importance of simplicity, relevance and readability is unparalleled when approaching your web content – but why is it so important? Everyone is talking about content, and rightfully so. People read various materials in different ways. Reading on the web is an entirely different experience than sitting down with a cup of coffee and getting deeply involved in a novel. Web content is generally crafted to provide the most information, with ultimate readability. What that means is, essentially, your readers can go to your website and quickly find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds. Of course, this works in tandem with your web design and UI, but the content aspect cannot be ignored. Your website is there for a reason – your […]

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6 years, 1 month ago
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Mobile Usability Matters: Search Ranking Developments

With the new announcement from Google that mobile usability will count as a search ranking factor beginning in April 2015 – now is the time to pay attention. We’ve all known that mobile is rising quickly as a main platform for users across the board, but now the stakes are higher. Mobile search results will now reflect how mobile-friendly sites are, and if a website isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, it will most likely drop in ranking. Most site owners don’t understand what to do when it comes to mobile sites. Mobile sites are different from regular sites, so there are a different set of best practices that you need to follow. It’s important to make sure your mobile site is optimized and formatted correctly because mobile visitors now make up a large percentage of total site visitors. Some webmasters report 30-40% of their visitors use mobile devices. This news is […]

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6 years, 1 month ago
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3…2…1…Kick Off! (Meeting)

What’s the point of having a kick off meeting? In any project, the team meets multiple times (both internally and with the client) in order to gain as much knowledge as possible. Understanding users’ needs is at the forefront of any creative initiative – otherwise, what’s the point of going through the entire process, if not to create a positive and consistent relationship with the consumer?

 To remain focused on that important conversation, bring the team together with information gather from user research, or any analytics and testing conducted within existing sites (both desktop and mobile). Among the topics included, you should be discussing:

 The Site’s Audience

 Who makes up your brand’s audience? Does this audience need to be educated first, and does your website provide access to necessary information? Is your audience comprised of a younger crowd that thrives upon social media – and is your website accommodating to […]

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6 years, 1 month ago
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3 Ways to Improve Usability for Better SEO

Web usability overlaps with many UX best practices, particularly Search Engine Optimization. Studies have shown that some benefits of properly accessible sites include better overall search results, reduced costs and increased audience reach. Search engines are not human – this we know. As this is the case, there are only a narrow number of specifications that they can detect from the mass amount of content that is processed. The engines are however, constantly being optimized, and are capable of delivering a great deal of intuitions through sifting engagement numbers, user patterns and links to determine rankings about a specific site. Content Useful, thoughtful and targeted messaging will increase the UX of a site, increasing the probability that a visitor will return to the site and have a good feeling about it. Notwithstanding the value of return visits, the encouragement of sharing via social media or on additional platforms, the application of bookmarks and resulting inbound links will all […]

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6 years, 1 month ago
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The Usability Color Palette

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. -Georgia O’Keeffe Ms O’Keeffe could not have said it any better – instant visual impressions are formed through color without any other types of connection made. Your web design and color palette can affect how individuals perceive you and your brand, and ultimately your website’s usability. Different colors correlate to different emotions, as has been discussed by psychologists and businesses for years – big businesses use colors to affect your emotions (and consequently, your decisions). Brands want to stand out in people’s minds, creating positive associations and making it more likely to recall in the future. The site and logo should be easily recognizable by your audience, and correlated to your service or product library. Dive into color relationships Looking in depth at the color choices […]

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6 years, 2 months ago
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5 Ways Your Font Choice Affects Usability

Type choice is truly an emotional experience, both for the designer and user. It’s the designers job to evoke these emotions with a steadfast design that reflects the brand it’s representing. The fonts chosen will become a primary component of the user experience on a site or application, so it’s important to view the entire context to deliver the right formula. The selection of type for the web is literally fraught with moving parts that will alter the initial design almost constantly – whether it’s a browser type or contributors adding new content. When designing for the web, it’s important to know that content is constantly changing, and that type implementation will change as the material changes. While it’s important to focus on the overall design of the site, and how the typographic elements intermix with their visual counterparts – it’s critical to remember that the purpose of the content […]

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6 years, 2 months ago
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Parallel Design – Overcoming “Designers’ Block” One Brick at a Time

At times, it can be difficult to find inspiration. Working with a great team of creatives can help you jump out of that writers/designers block that many people find themselves stuck in. It’s normal, this stuck-in-the-mud feeling; surrounding yourself with like-minded, focused people will assist you in your brainstorming and idea creation process. One of the techniques commonly used among designers is the Parallel Design method, where several people create a design based on the same set of requirements – sort of like receiving a homework assignment or general project. Each individual works independently and then shares his or her ideas with the rest of the group. Once all of the ideas and designs have been collected, the team considers each solution and then each designer goes back to his or her own work and implements any improvements for their own project. The benefits of this technique are multifaceted. Not […]

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6 years, 2 months ago
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Simplifying the Hunt with User Interface

Consistency and predictability go a long way when establishing a positive brand association, and that concept applies fully to user interface design. They may not be aware of it, but users who have become familiar with specific elements in design behave in a certain way; depending on the intended result, designers must be vigilant to optimize their interface for user satisfaction. Even items as seemingly simple as control buttons, navigational details, and toolbars have an effect on the impression made with site interaction. Going deeper into each component (for example), there are different ways to structure basic elements like check boxes – implementing check lists is best when the boxes are place vertically, drawing the eye to its natural scrolling motion that has become prevalent throughout web design (in this case, users are already familiar with the parallax scrolling phenomenon that has swept through design – knowing that fact and […]

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6 years, 2 months ago