Testing prototypes is an inherent part of finalizing designs. Nobody wants to wonder why users are not utilizing an app the way it should be utilized or why they can’t seem to complete a purchase on your website. And nobody wants to rework something that’s already been shipped.
Rebirth of the DeveloperJanuary 13, 2013
In my 15 plus years of working in Silicon Valley, I never heard of a developer or engineer referred to as ‘IT’. It wasn’t until a very brief stint at a bank that I heard the term ‘IT’ used to refer to the developers that were designing and building sophisticated systems to underwrite mortgages. I remember feeling profoundly disappointed that these developers had seemingly been reduced to technological serfs. ‘IT’ was an uninspiring title and grossly undervalued the creativity of their work.
Then sometime last year I began hearing the term ‘IT’ used to refer to developers here in Silicon Valley. It caught me off guard. Wasn’t ‘IT’ a term reserved for banks or the people you would call when your mouse stopped working? Digging deeper, I found it was a new generation of online marketers that were using this term. What was behind this cultural change? When did a developer become “IT staff”?
Until a few years ago, most online marketers were focused on paid search and SEO. Funnel optimization was delegated to the product team, since developers and sprint scheduling was needed in order to make changes to the website. Off-the-shelf tools for optimization were clumsy, expensive and so hard to use, that the product and marketing teams I knew actually preferred to shepard changes through their dev process rather than use the tool (sorry Adobe, but I’m referring to Test & Target, formerly Offermatica). I believe it was at this point that marketers began to think of developers as ‘IT’ – a team that sat on the other side of the building, which was called upon when something “technical” needed to be done to the website. Just like the IT department who you called when your mouse stopped working, these resources needed to be requested and scheduled whenever you needed help.
When we decided to start Qualaroo, we firmly believed we were on a mission to empower marketers and to liberate developers. Testing pages, gathering insights and driving user behaviour should be faster than a two-week sprint. And to put it frankly, the developers I know would always take a really hard problem (think scalability, graph traversal and memory management) to moving pixels around a page. We welcome online marketers and developers to this new and exciting era and encourage them to enjoy more power, control and flexibility than was ever thought possible.
Do you share this sentiment? Let us know by posting a comment below.
UX designers are under a lot of pressure to produce designs that add value to users’ lives. But without input from your users, it’s nearly impossible to design an experience that actually helps alleviate their pain points. If you’re pressed for time and/or don’t have the help of a researcher, getting the user input essential to design a great product can certainly be a challenge.
As a UX designer, getting your leadership to support your major projects can be as much about talking the talk as it is about walking the walk. As much value as your work may provide, you also have to know how to sell it in a world of competing priorities and looming deadlines.
Even as UX design and user research are becoming a more prominent focus in today’s leading companies, it can still be tough to get executive leadership onboard with user research-related initiatives. We know the struggle.
This post originally appeared on UsabilityGeek.
This post was written and contributed by Alex Birkett of Hubspot.
Understanding the steps users take as they interact with your brand and how they feel along the way is crucial to managing in today’s digital experience landscape. A customer journey mapping tool gives you the ability to put yourself in a customer’s shoes and see what the end-to-end experience is like. By visually representing this process, you can begin to understand which of your company’s touchpoints bring joy and which cause frustration for the customer.
We all know that user feedback is important, that goes without saying. It should be the primary source of information you look to if you’d like to improve your user’s experience and your product itself.
Sometimes it feels like apps, tools, and services we use are an extension of the work that we do. That’s especially true if you work in UX, product management, or any sort of design. UX tools do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to user research and design.
This post originally appeared on Design Thinking and was written by Paulina Wójciak and Sarah Cantu.