KISSing UI/UX

Chances are, you’ve spent weeks or months working with designers and developers making sure your website or SaaS product looks and feels just right. You want it to be perfect and you want your vision to be realized. And who can blame you?

Your designers and developers have been looking at your product too. Probably more than you in fact! And not only are they trying to create your vision, but they’re trying to offer you their own vision as well. So, I think it’s safe to say that it can be difficult to see your own website or SaaS product objectively.

This is true for just about everyone. I’ve seen incredible looking websites and SaaS products that have nice scroll-over drop-down menus, slick buttons, parallax, the works; they look expensive and shiny. But in my experience, looking expensive and shiny isn’t nearly enough to ensure return visits or higher conversion rates.

So I always suggest having outside input, someone who isn’t invested in you or your website in any way. And if possible, find someone with a good eye and who can articulate why they like or dislike particular elements.

Our Method:

When I receive a website address from a new client, the first thing I do is visit the site. Tada! Before you roll your eyes, let me expound: I make a point to go to the site, not as a reviewer, but as an organic site visitor. I can hear you say, “But that’s technically impossible, since you aren’t an organic site visitor!”

Well, yes, I’m aware. What I mean is that I don’t have a list of items to look at, check off, make note of, etcetera. As the reviewer, I don’t want to know which workflows the client is interested in testing, because I want to go through the workflows which feel and happen naturally. And if no workflow feels natural, then that’s something I need to know in order to give my best feedback.
So in other words, I go where the website leads me, which is typically what an organic site visitor would do. A bad element or poorly placed buttons for example, may change how I use the site or may make me give up entirely. I believe our method can be most easily described as the “Keep it simple, stupid” approach.

While I’m exploring the website or SaaS product, I’m recording my screen so I can go back later and review where I clicked and where I didn’t. From there I can begin the process of articulating why I clicked on this button or not this one, what my expectations were as a user, and whether or not they were met.

Here’s What We Look At:

Since I don’t have a check list, it can be difficult to state what it is I end up looking at and making notes of. But when I compile my thoughts and write them out, I consistently find the following

Categories:

Visual
Color
Font
Structure/Layout

Use
Functionality
Intuitiveness
Speed
Quality of web copy
Quality of information given

This still doesn’t quite encompass everything I do or see. And this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything. Sometimes I have nothing to say about one or two of the above categories (which should be interpreted as ‘no news is good news’). I do, however, try to give overall feedback on each element.

Here’s What We Can Really Offer:

I can talk about categories, about drop-down menus or color schemes, but there’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned intuition. We come to you with years of expertise and a good gut for what works and what doesn’t.

We’re not only able to understand what works and what doesn’t, we’re able to articulate why. You can have someone look at your website who might be able to say, “I love this site” or “I hate this button”, but may not be able to tell you why, which is of no use to you.

If you’d like a UI/UX review, contact us today!

Next Time:

Next time, I’ll be covering the three tiers of UI/UX review, discussing your options when looking for a UI/UX review solution.

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