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User Experience Design

You’ll attract and keep more visitors when your website is easy to use. In fact, usability is the most important factor to consider, right underneath “make sure it’s not buggy”. I’ve spent years studying and practicing good Web usability, from how to label a button, to how a site’s pages are organized, to flowcharts that can fill up a conference room wall.

I’m available to help you with your usability studies, traffic analysis, marketing campaigns, navigation, etc. Basically, everything that isn’t back-end programming. I ask the right questions of stakeholders and potential visitors, turn the answers into concise requirements that designers and developers can all understand, and help you measure the results of the changes.

Prototypes can take the form of sketches on a whiteboard, grayscale grid-based designs in Visio or OmniGraffle, interactive fake web pages generated through a tool like Axure, or something a bit looser and animated with Keynote. It all depends on what’s best for the project and how your team communicates most effectively.

Below are a few example accomplishments.

Cooper Clinic Platinum

Cooper Aerobics (founded by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who invented modern aerobics) was entering into direct medicine for the first time. Also called concierge medicine, this is a premium service that enables clients to rely on a private doctor for 24/7 care, no matter the situation or location. We set out to design a site that worked just as well for potential clients as it would for their assistants.

cooper-wireframes_2010-09-10

After receiving client feedback and making some small changes with the visual designer, we were proud to launch the new site, previewed here:

cooper-platinum-home

SMU Cox School of Business

As part of a full re-design of the Cox School of Business website, the stakeholders felt that the site’s organization and navigation needed to be re-examined. We approached the problem from all angles, by doing an in-person usability study with current and former students, analyzing their existing traffic for problem areas, comparing the Cox site to others in the industry, and inviting anonymous testers to do an online card sort.

Once we had results from those tasks, we combined them with our industry expertise and presented a new user activities diagram:

cox-user-activities_2010-07-17

Later, after we designed a set of wireframes, we took our new industry knowledge and tested the web page prototypes online and recommended changes based on our findings, such as the fact that the majority of participants wanted to click on “Executive Education” when asked to find the Executive MBA (which actually exists in a different section).

task-08

Organic Traffic Improvements

The mileage calculation tool Fuelly.com was using the term “mpg” throughout the site, but my research determined that web searchers were more likely to be researching “mileage”, so they swapped most of the terms and organic search traffic increased in the thousands.

Cross-reference Web Analytics

When analyzing Web traffic, it’s not enough just to report the basics like “unique visitors”. I dive deeply into the numbers and find useful conclusions, for example that visitors who had a fast connection either completed their tasks more frequently, or at least felt like they did (click for full size):