UXmatters has published 7 editions of the column Data-Informed Design.
When we think of analytics, we think of marketing campaigns and funnel optimization. Analytics can seem a little overwhelming, with so many charts and lots of new features. How can we use analytics for design insights?
The best thing about analytics is that they can show us what people do on their own. The worst thing is that analytics don’t tell us much about context, motivations, and intent. Like any kind of data, there are limitations. But that doesn’t mean analytics aren’t useful. Working with analytics is about knowing where to look and learning which questions you can reasonably ask. Read More
Recently, I was invited to speak about this topic for the Collision Conference, which is coming up in May: Can good design be measured? This is a great, complicated tangle of a question. Immediately, I started thinking of ways to answer it. If it’s a question I’m supposed to answer it, right?
Answer 1: Yes, because we have to measure it. Teams need to have a way to know whether they’ve achieved their goal. Sure, it’s great to have a happy-customer story or even deep insights from contextual research, but teams also need to know where we’ve been, where we are right now, and where we’re going—and data tells us all of that. Usually, that data needs to tie into what an organization values, whether money earned or lives saved.
Answer 2: Yes, because it helps us to understand people in a different way. A good measure will tell you more than you knew before. It can tell you whether regular visitors to your site are spending more or less time on the site on each subsequent visit. That doesn’t tell you much about the design—and just a bit about the experience as a whole. But measures can also tell you whether people are reading long posts all the way through or which details seem to get the most attention. This may tell you something new and provide a good jumping off point to learning more. Read More
Algorithms drive the stock market, write articles—but not this one—approve loans, and even drive cars. Algorithms are shaping your experience every day. Your Facebook feed, your Spotify playlists, your Amazon recommendations, and more are creating a personalized window into a world that is driven by algorithms. Algorithms and machine learning help Google Maps determine the best route for you. When you ask Siri or Cortana a question, algorithms help shape what you ask and the information you receive as a response.
As experience designers, we rely more on algorithms with every iteration of a Web site or application. As design becomes less about screens and more about augmenting humans with extended capabilities, new ideas, and even, potentially, more emotional awareness, we need algorithms. If we think of experience designers as the creators of the interface between people and technology, it makes sense that we should become more savvy about algorithms. Read More