Measuring Usability with System Usability Scale (SUS)

111There is no doubt about the importance of measuring and tracking user experience. Depending on the specifications of a digital product, different sets of performance metrics may be used to evaluate the user experience, such as time on task, success rate and error rate, conversion rate and issue-based metrics. These metrics are based on quantitative data collected during user testing sessions or contextual interviews, at the very least using product analytics data.

But not all user data comes in numbers. In fact the most valuable information obtained during user interviews is not at all quantitative. So there is a need to translate that data into measurable metrics that can be compared and tracked throughout time.

The System Usability Scale is an attempt to solve this problem.

What is the System Usability Scale (SUS)?

The System Usability Scale (SUS) was introduced by British software engineer John Brooke in 1986.

Mr. Brooke himself describes SUS as a “quick and dirty” tool for assessing the usability of electronic office systems. Although back in 1986 everything was completely different from now this method has lived on and has since been tested on hardware, consumer software, websites, cell-phones, IVRs and even

5 User Study Methods and When to Use Them

600x364We all know that rich user data is a holy grail for a successful product design, but how to find and use this holy grail is what very few UX designers struggle with.

User studies methods and usability testing are an important source of user data and actually a very exciting part of UX research. It is where you really get to work with actual people, watch them use your product and observe how your own stereotypes about UX and usability crash leaving space for newfound knowledge about your very own users.

So let’s jump right in and start with the main methods for studying the users.

There are two main questions that we need to answer:

  • How you can study user behavior?
  • When and which user study method you should use?

It is largely acknowledged that user studies are most efficient when performed on the early stages of product development, so that this data can be used to create personas and scenarios as well. However, it is never too late to start, because you can still align your strategy according to the new user data.

When doing a user study it is very important to choose the

5 Web Design Trends that Compliment Each Other

600x3641Web design is no different. There are certain techniques that rely on something else in order for it to be effective or even work properly. These techniques, or technologies, work to compliment one another by bringing aesthetics with functionality in most cases; making your site look good while getting it to work on different devices or browsers. As we look at some of the recent trends in web design, it is important to also take a look at those things whose support and foundation have helped to make these trends as popular as they are.

Large background imagery: complimented by responsive design.

The expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is attributed to a quote in the Syracuse Post Standard in 1911 by editor Arthur Brisbane who actually said, “Use a picture, it’s worth a thousand words.” Since then this statement has been used to express how important images are if you want to engage users and get a message across. For web designers, images and graphics have long been a focal point of their work. However, recent trends towards using a large image as the background of a page because they

Understanding the UX Research Methods

Although the user experience field is relatively new and is still developing, UX-ers already have plenty of methods and techniques in their toolbox. So let’s now go through the extensive list of UX research methods, have a brief overview of each method and understand the type of questions they answer.

Depending on the type of user issue, you may need to use more than one UX method to answer the research questions, so it’s good to have an understanding of what each of the methods is and how it is used.

Now, in order not to get lost in a long list of different UX methods, let’s try to structure them into categories. This way you will also be able to easily navigate them in future.

So user experience methods, just like any other research methods are usually categorized into quantitative and qualitative methods based on the type of question they answer.

Quantitative UX research methods use mathematical analysis to derive insights from analyzed data and answer questions like “how much, how many, how often?” etc. Whereas qualitative research methods directly observe user behavior and try to explain user motivations and attitude, answering the “why” type of questions.
There’s also a different approach

Main Principles of Lean UX for Startups

The Lean Startup philosophy has been around for quite a while now and has been adopted by many tech companies together with agile methodology as a new, more productive way of running business. And it has proved to be really successful in shifting the focus from lengthy design documentations to actual working products. But how does it apply to user experience in particular and can it really improve the quality of UX/Usability outcomes?

I believe it can.

What Is Lean Startup Method All About?

The main idea of lean startup method is to minimize and hopefully eliminate wasted time, effort, energy and funds through the product design and development process. This philosophy comes from a manufacturing revolution in leading Japanese companies, like Toyota. You have probably heard of just-in-time production, inventory control and shrinking batch sizes. Well, it is all designed to discover and eliminate the sources of waste and thus significantly improve productivity and the quality of outcomes.

These ideas have been adapted to the context of startups and that’s how the Lean Startup method was born.

There are a few fundamental aspects of this philosophy that put a different perspective on not only the design and development process but startup management as