User Experience in the Real World

Presentation by Clark Wimberly

Links/slides from presentation here:

Pros and cons of common UX blunders

What is UX?

  • What a user experiences
  • study of rules
  • guiding emotions
  • worth their time

UI vs UX

  • UI = User interface – what the user interacts with. Buttons, etc.
  • User Experience – how the interface makes them feel
  • Married but not the same

Paywalls – generally a bad user experience

  • Pros:
    • Registered user
    • who can we spam
  • Cons:
    • another registration for a user
    • they can spam me
  • Business goals can go against user experience
  • Can cause users to leave

Having a page with a slideshow/multiple pages/lots of content to click through

  • Pros:
    • pageviews
  • Cons
    • no one likes clicking
    • users won’t see content
    • harder to author
  • Solutions:
    • Don’t do it
    • View as one page
    • if you want page views, force reload
    • Lazy load plugins to help with bandwidth-heavy sites
    • Sub-navigation/table of contents – can work, but make sure it’s apparent what it is

Social lockers

  • Idea: hold desirable content hostage for likes, subscriptions, etc.
  • Pros:
    • Fans! Followers
  • Cons:
    • Annoying
    • Look like an awkward shill
    • Hit and runs
  • Solutions:
    • Generate value with social
    • Interact with followers
    • Treat it like a subscription service
    • share with @mentions and #hashtags and +names
    • Look for organic activity
    • Keep social interesting and then market to them… don’t market 100% of the time
    • If you use a lot of hashtags you’re probably doing it wrong


Idea: get a bunch of emails and get inside their inbox

  • Pros:
    • Pageviews! Opens!
    • Connect with fans – Great way to give fans an inside scoop
  • Cons:
    • Possibly annoying
    • Look like an awkward shill
    • Breaking the law if you do it wrong
  • Solutions:
    • Be useful
    • Easy to unsubscribe
    • Respect method of email collection
    • Don’t buy lists (or sell, or transfer)
    • Use the email list for what you tell subscribers it’s for – don’t change it up on them
    • Build trust and you might get whitelisted


Idea: make sure that everyone that wants to use your website can. Can be both dealing with physical impairments, but also can mean devices

Responsive design

  • Solutions
    • Use a responsive theme
    • Use a responsive plugin (Jetpack)
    • If neither of those are an option, at least make sure your desktop site isn’t broken so the site can be zoomed in and out, avoids flash
  • Gotchas
    • Readability
    • Image/page weight
    • Performance


  • Visualize the customer/user experience
  • Pros
    • You can get in the user’s head
    • Optimize the flow
    • Concrete goals for planning and arguments
  • Cons
    • Hard truths – learn what doesn’t work
    • Takes time
  • Go nuts
    • Hyper optimize steps
    • Google analytics goals at key steps
    • Make storyboard-based decisions


  • Who’s using the site
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Interests
    • Skills

Guerilla testing

  • Over the shoulder testing – just watch people use your site
  • Sentiment testing – which of these versions do you trust, find easiest, etc.
  • Drunk user testing – actually watch people test a site when they’ve been drinking. Drops their guard, scattered

Tools of the attack

  • Analytics (Google, Jetpack, others)
  • InVision
  • UXPin
  • Balsamiq – wireframing
  • Mockingbird – wireframing in the browser
  • Omnigraffle

Doggie bag – what you’re leaving with tonight

  • Think of the user
  • Think ahead of the user
  • React to the user



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