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Making a difference with a User Experience Why user experience is critical to the success of user adoption of internet and intranet applications Paul Wendt 12th March, 2003
Introduction – Paul Wendt • Managing consultant with PA (4 years) • User experience service owner • Responsible for PA’s Creative consulting team • Specialise in content management system and portal solutions for internet and intranet • Recent projects include • B2E portal for major UK utility using Plumtree • Divisional Internet and Intranet for global water utility using Documentum • Deep southern origins (Sydney, Melbourne born) • Accenture (Sydney) – 9.5 years • Retail Financial Services • Specialist in technical and application architecture
Introduction - PA • Specialist management, systems and technology consultancy • Focused on ‘making it happen’ for our clients • 60 years of operation, 50 offices, 20 countries, ~3700 employees • UK’s oldest consulting firm, are completely independent and are financially sound • Profitable and owned by our employees • Operate under strict quality control guidelines • Winner at MCA awards, 6 years running
Being a little creative…our experience • Our client projects have included Andersen, Barclays, BP, BT, DTI, ICI, MOD, Securicor, Sumitomo Bank, UK Online, Powergen and Thames Water. We also support the design and development of PA ’s public Web site and PA Group’s venture sites, as well as several promotional PA videos, CD-ROMs and creative support for PA's intranet portal - KnowledgeNet. We ensure your online experience fits with customer and user needs while successfully reinforcing key business messages.
Most systems fail because users don’t adopt them • PA research shows more than 60% of systems fail to deliver the expected returns because of poor user adoption • If less than 80% of users accept a new or modified system, over time, the system will fall into disuse • Industry research shows that for every $1 invested in usability testing on software, the payback is between $10 and $100 • Systems that focus on usability testing typically cost 10-20% less in terms of time or cost • Most UK companies are excluding up to 15 per cent of their customers by making their websites inaccessible to people with disabilities (Financial Times, Jan 31, 2003)
Why do users visit a site? • The following are example basic motivators that drive user needs: • Primary (explicit)Secondary (implicit) • Information I want to know Information dissemination, Intranet • Transaction I want to have E-commerce, file swapping • Relationship I want to interact Community, Gaming • Immersion I want to do Physical enjoyment (XXX)
User Experience – Quick Definition • What is User Experience? • The mixture of emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical interactions that a user has with a system (ie. the actual user experience). • Why is it important? • It helps businesses improve the use of their systems to achieve a better result for their organisation through user adoption. • What influence do we have over it? • A user experience can be designed to predict what should happen for the user. The goal is to improve on successfully satisfying users’ needs by delighting them in consuming content in an interactive medium, while prescribing the structure, elements and culture that accomplishes the business owner’s objectives.
What’s wrong with this picture? Getting the user experiencewrong can be painful.
Things that are hard to see Web pages tend to be over populated with content confusing the user. Can you find this button in the ‘visual’ noise of the pumps?
Things that are hard to remember Try to remember which sub-sub-sub menu that article on Amateur Taxidermy was on. Remember which side you’re petrol cap is on?
Different displays that are too similar Getting these controls confused may be very dangerous and expensive. Web site control must be obvious at a glance - intuitiveness
Continuous usability testing to deliver superior results & attract users How? When? • Non educated first time users • Video-based qualitative feedback • Task based scenario analysis (eg. ‘Search for services’, ‘Find a document’ etc.) • On-site observation • Analysis of logs and site statistics for usability problems • Continuous communications and awareness building • Prototype usability through development • Usability test prior to launch • Observation during training and rollout • Post launch review User need to find the System easy to use for rapid adoption User Champions UserNeeds Creative Design Content UsabilityTesting Early Delivery Ongoing Feedback UserInvolvement UserInvolvement UserInvolvement UserInvolvement UserInvolvement UserInvolvement UserInvolvement Continuous User Acceptance and Adoption of Change
Our own experience – 3000+ pages Language Brand considerations Different colour arcs Continuous Scrolling list 2nd level Navigation Information architecture Card shuffle interface Technology
The Killer app • Killer app is important – but not the holy grail • Many intranets suffer from fragmented designs despite the killer app resulting in loss of usability as users are confronted with different rules at every click • No matter what you pick, pay special attention to the killer app’s usability. If many employees are to use it, any weaknesses will rapidly cost in lost productivity. • Successful enterprise portals/intranets aim toward consistency and are typically successful at overcoming internal politics by quality of the central design vs. designs by individual departments • Conduct many simple usability evaluations on design iterations and watch people at work
Summary - Important areas of focus • Content is king – but not too much (avoid advertising & marketing) • Usability testing • Brand consistency as fit for purpose • Internationalisation – culture, language • The killer app is not the holy grail • Other aspects to consider… • Jakob Nielsen commandments vs. Jared Spool • Accessibility – W3C guidelines priority 1 and above