DIY UX: Give Your Users an Upgrade (without calling in a pro)

Whitney Hess, a shining star at the Web 2.0 Expo, talks about UX.

Shining star at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York
Whitney Hess

The last 3 sessions were a bust, so it was great to go into a session and actually get really good information.  Cue Whitney Hess, an independent user experience designer.  The highest level of success for her isn’t making money or making an impact.  It’s making the experience great for users.

She insists every single person is a user experience designer, whether it is your job or not.   There are some people who are doing extraordinary things things for their end users without having a professional UX designer in their company or even any experience in this area.

Whitney takes us through several examples of UX heroes who are doing this all over the world.  There are four primary techniques that are very common to UX designers that she shares:

  • Design research – can be done in an informal and organic way using common tools
  • Web analytics and testing – understand your traffic cycles and search patters,   use analytics tools to uncover usage patterns so you can test design variations and explore you
  • Usability testing – not functional testing, but real testing with real users where you’re asking for people to challenge you and feeling the pain of your poor design
  • Experimentation and Iteration – answers the question “How are we always getting better?”

Books she recommends:

Recommended tools: