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User-Centered Design

Apr 29

Optimize Web Experience Management

Optimize Web Experience Management

Leading enterprises strive to acheeve higher levels of customer engagement through online channels, and this means they must easily, quickly and cost effectively provide fresh, personal, relevant content anytime, anywhere, on any device, through a consistent and dynamic user experience.   Traditional web content management system (CMS) solutions are no longer sufficient, and a richer and broader range of capabilities that enable web experience management - managing and optimizing the site visitor experience across the web, mobile apps, social networks and more - must now be leveraged in this new era of engagement.   The Need for Web Experience Management   Over the last few years, the Internet has undergone a tremendous amount of fundamental change in its landscape - socia1, personal and mobile. Read more
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Dec 9

Web Site Usability

Web Site Usability Web usability is an approach to make a web site easy to use for a user, without the requirement that any specialized training is undertaken or any special manual is read. Users should be able to intuitively determine the actions they need or can perform on the web page s, e.g., press a button to perform some action.   Some broad goals of usability could be: present the information to the user in a clear and concise way, give the correct choices to the users in an obvious way, remove any ambiguity regarding the consequences of an action (e.g. clicking on delete/remove/purchase), place important items in an appropriate area on a web page or a web application.   When you designed your web site, you want to promote it everywhere with big bold letters saying, "Hello everybody! Come and look at my web site! It is just great!" When you submit your web site to forums for web site reviews, you may write, "What do you think of my web site?"   This is the big mistake to ask someone to look at your web site. There is never a single answer. To understand if your web site meets its usability requirements, ask people to try it out. They should be able to answer the following questions: what is the purpose of this web site? what can I do here? what needs does it fulfill? Read more
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Jun 26

What is Usability?

What is Usability?

Usability is the ease of use of a system or a web site. It is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. If users either find a system difficult to use or find problems with it, then user adoption of this system is going to be extremely difficult.

Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word "usability" also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.

Usability is defined by 5 quality components:
  • Learnability: how easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
  • Efficiency: once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
  • Memorability: when users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
  • Satisfaction: how pleasant is it to use the design?
There are many other important quality attributes. A key one is utility, which refers to the design's functionality: does it do what users need? Read more
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Jun 22

User Acceptance Testing

User Acceptance Testing

I have mentioned in my posts that if users either find a system difficult to use or find problems with it, then user adoption of this system is going to be extremely difficult. One of the ways to eliminate potential problems and provide user adoption is user acceptance testing.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a process to obtain confirmation that a system meets mutually agreed upon requirements for the system. Major stakeholders, the project sponsor, and users across an organization provide such confirmation after testing the system. UAT is done using real world scenarios relevant to the users' tasks in the system.

Users of the system perform these tests, which you would derive from the user requirements documents. The UAT acts as a final verification of the required business functions and proper functioning of the system, emulating real-world usage conditions. UAT is one of the final stages of a content management project and often occurs before users accept the system. This type of testing gives users the confidence that the system being deployed for them meets their requirements. This testing also helps to find bugs related to usability of the system. Read more
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Jun 1

User Study

User Study You have decided to implement a content management or a document control system. This system that you are planning to deploy is for users. Everything you create is for users. If your system meets your users' requirements, they will use it. If your system does not meet your users' requirements, they are not going to use it.   They are the ultimate designers. Design a system that confuses users and they will go somewhere else. Build the system that frustrates users and they will not use it. No matter what you do, they will find all possible excuses of why they cannot and should not use your system. Users adoption is going to be very difficult, almost impossible if you deploy a system which is not based on your users' requirements.   But who are your users? Why are they looking for information? What information are they looking for? How are they looking for information? How would they like to search for information? How would like to author this information? How would they like to use your system? and similar questions - these questions you should ask your users before you deploy any system. You ask these and similar questions during user study which should be done at the beginning of your project. This is the subject of my today's post. Read more
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