The University of Dundee has recently restructured the way web services are delivered under a new Web Services Team.
The Web Services team has 5 disciplines
- Web content
- Web design
- Web development
- UX (user experience)
When the team works with colleagues from the University to redesign their web presence, we follow a process that has UX as an integral part of the process.
But first, what is UX?
Here’s a handy video that explains what UX is all about in under 90 seconds.
UX or User eXperience can be defined as the overall experience you have when using or interacting with something. That something could be a product or a service, such as when you drive your car, use a website or an app on your smartphone. A great user experience should be invisible to you, the end user, however you are very likely to recognize a bad user experience. For example, using a website to buy clothes that has a difficult checkout process can lead you to leave the site and go elsewhere.
The reason we do UX is so that we can design the best possible experience for our website users. These can be prospective students looking for courses or a member of the public registering for a Saturday night class. What we don’t want is for someone who has a bad experience on our site to abandon the goal they came to achieve and go to a competitor instead.
Some shocking stats
78% of customers will abandon a transaction due to a bad experience, a typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, and news of a poor service experience reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good one. service experience. source
The UX Workshop process
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design was one of the first clients we worked with using the new process. The workshop was attended by four international students and two staff members, divided into two teams.
|UX Workshop – DJCAD website|
|2.30pm – 2.40pm (10 minutes)||Preamble|
|2.40pm – 2.55pm (15 minutes)||Discovery of user groups|
|2.55pm – 3.05pm (10 minutes)||Discuss user groups and preamble characters|
|15:05 – 15:15 (10 minutes)||Creation of the person|
|3.15pm – 3.30pm (15 minutes)||Discuss the characters|
|15:30 – 15:40 (10 minutes)||Break|
|3.40pm – 3.45pm (5 minutes)||Main tasks preamble|
|15:45 – 16:00 (15 minutes)||Discovery of the main activities|
|4:00 – 4:05 (5 minutes)||Grouping main activities|
|4:05 – 4:10 (5 minutes)||Score of the main activities|
|4.10pm – 4.30pm (20 minutes)||Feedback|
Our first task is to discover the user groups. A user group is a collection of people who have similar goals to achieve. For example, a group might be members of the public. All workshop participants are asked, in their teams, to write down who they think are distinct user groups. Each single group is written on a Post-It.
When both teams are done, the user groups are linked, as shown below.
For example, a larger group consists of
- academic researchers
- internal staff and students
- staff (DJCAD and rest of the university)
- current students
Main person and activity
For identified user groups, we then move on to developing a persona for the group. A user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of a group of users.
The two teams took four characters each and worked out what goals they thought each person would come to the website to achieve.
Each seminar attendee is then given a set of stickers to vote on what they feel are the most important goals. These votes are then part of the priority for the rest of the web services team.
The last part of the workshop is an open question about what people think about the current site. People are free to discuss any part of the site they think works really well, parts that don’t work, and features they think are missing.
While we gained a lot of knowledge and insights as part of this process, we felt there wasn’t a large enough representation in the group, so we will be conducting additional sessions over the next few weeks once more participants have been identified.
Want to know more?
If you would like to learn more about UX and how the Web Services Team can help you improve your web presence, please contact us.