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UX Design Basics
Rami Tabbah, M.Eng @Ergonaute blog.ergonaute.net
I had no slides during the presentation since I
was asked to replace Charles last minute.
I prepared these slides to capture what we
spoke about and more.
1. What are the basics product managers need to
know about UX Design?
2. Why is this important?
3. Where do I start?
4. Do I need to get into UX Design?
What are the basics product
managers need to know
about UX Design?
Usability has its roots in the fields of Ergonomics and Human
Factors which began early in the 20th century. Here are some
1911: Frederick Taylor publishes Principles of Scientific Management which describes time
and motion studies and methods for improving industrial efficiency.
1943: Alphonse Chapanis shows that "pilot error" can be greatly reduced through the more
intuitive layout of airplane cockpits.
1954: Paul Fitts publishes a paper that describes a mathematical model used to predict the
time it takes to move to a target based on its size and distance.
1956: George Miller coins the phrase "the magic number seven plus or minus two" from a
variety of experimental results indicating that humans have trouble holding more than five to
nine items (chunks) simultaneously in working memory.
1983: The Psychology of Human Computer Interaction is published by researchers at
Carnegie Mellon and Xerox Park (Stuart Card, Thomas Moran & Allen Newell).
1985: J. Gould and Clayton Lewis publish the influential paper, "Designing for Usability: Key
Principles and What Designers Think." They discuss an early and continual focus on users
as well as empirical measurement and iterative design.
Usability is the core of User Experience
Books that Defined Modern Usability
1. Card, S.K, Moran, T.P., Newell, A. (1983). The psychology of human-computer interaction.
2. Don Norman (1988) Psychology of Everyday Things
3. Rasmussen, J., Andersen, H. B. (1992). Human-Computer Interaction (Research Directions in
4. Nielsen, J. (1993). Usability Engineering.
5. M. Randolph G. Bias (Author), Randolph G. Bias (Editor), Deborah J. Mayhew (Editor) (1994).
6. Rubin, J. (1994). Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective
7. Mandel, T. (1997). The Elements of User Interface Design.
8. JoAnn T. Hackos (Author), Janice C. Redish (Author) (1998). User and Task Analysis for Interface
9. Carroll, J.M. (2000). Making Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human-Computer Interactions.
10. Krug, S. (2000). Don't Make me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
11. Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. (2002). Interaction Design: Beyond Human-computer
12. Carroll, J.M. (2003). HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks : Toward a Multidisciplinary Science.
13. Bederson, B. B., Shneiderman, B. (Eds.) (2003). The Craft of Information Visualization: Readings
14. Diaper, D., & Stanton, N. A. (Eds.) (2004). The handbook of task analysis for human-computer
15. Schaffer, E. (2004). Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-by-Step Guide.
UX is Important
UX Needs to be Planned
Each project is different and UX can take many
shapes and forms.
Before we go blindly into a design direction, we
need to identify and focus on the design
attributes that will bring more value to the
business and that will satisfy the user’s needs.
UX Design Attributes
UX is backed by Science
Usability is the measure of
how easily, efficiently
different types of users
can accomplish different
tasks towards different
goals Usability Objectives
Usability is the science behind
UX Design. It allows to measure
how good a design is.
It has Principles, Standards &
• Early Focus on users
• Empirical measurement
of product usage
• Iterative design: Design,
1. Plan the Human
1. Plan the Human
2. Specify Context
2. Specify Context
3. Specify User &
3. Specify User &
4. Produce Design
4. Produce Design
ISO 13407 (1999)
It is Multidisciplinary
8/8/2013 Case study12
It Covers More Than you Think
UX has Layers and Specialties
It Requires Specialized Resources
Unless the product is very small and the cost of
changing it is minor (such as a mobile app
developed by 1 or 2 developers), you need
specialized resources to:
Design the User Interface, Navigation, etc.
Evaluate an existing design.
Perform user research.
Create Style guides.
Identify what needs to be improved and how.
The minimum is to hire someone to plan UX.
Why is UX Important?
Usability Pivotal to E-Business
40% of B.
< .5% rev.
Strategic and competitive advantage
Gartner, July 16,2001
Cost of Failure
Usability Impacts the Bottom Line
Usability Improves Organization Outcomes by:
time and costs
Effectiveness & Efficiency
Do I need to get into UX
Where do I start?
Should the PM get into UX?
Product Managers need to make sure UX is in
place whether it is under their umbrella or not.
UX is part of product strategy, definition and design
UX impacts product marketing
UX is part of analytics and optimization.
If you want the product to succeed, you need to make
sure someone is looking after UX.
Can a PM become the UX Resource?
Yes if he has the right background.
Yes if he has no budget, even for a quick 2-day review.
Otherwise, the PM can work closely with UX teams or
You may understand users’ needs from market research
and user feedback, but you need to know the science
and the techniques to translate this to proper design.
The moment you think you know what users want
because you are a user, let a UX specialist do the job
because users are very different.
What UX is not
Graphics. These are only 1 layer. UX is not makeup on top of a badly
Layout: True usability is about efficiencies in work practices,
processes and features. It is about innovation performed very early.
Features. UX uncovers features users do not tell you, then design
them properly. However fewer well designed features are better than
Part of development. UX belongs to business and happens during
planning and specifications. User interface design specifications are
executed during development. In small companies, when all roles are
merged into a small team, UX becomes part of this team, even if the
lead is a developer.
Opinions. PM/Dev: “I am a user and I think it should be this way” is
wrong. UX research is about all users and measures how they, with
their differences, react to designs. It is about facts and science. Users
will suggest things beyond stakeholders’ imagination.
What UX is not
Functional specifications. The UX tools gather user data differently
and offers much more information that lead to better decisions.
Market research. User research is richer and goes beyond the what
and where to include the how and why.
Incremental changes and patches. UX looks at the end to end user
experience. Adding small changes and functions over time can
destroy usability if the overall design concept is not maintained.
User Interface Development. Differentiate between User Interface
Design (UX) and User Interface Development (programming)
A product feature. It is a process that needs to be executed before
development or needs to be integrated into the current processes.
Ad hoc, on the fly.
It is a process, had methods and guidelines
It requires user involvement, iterations and testing
It requires specialists applying appropriate methodologies.
It does take time & budget
Where to Start
Plan UX with a specialist.
UX is user centric. Real users need to be involved, not friends and
UX is iterative. Give time for design iterations.
UX is measurable. Results often show you need to redesign. Test as
early and often as you can.
Engage all departments to share the results and ensure buy in.
Design before you even think of developing, especially for large or
The UX lifecycle starts before the project and ends when the product
is retired. UX also happens after launch. It is about continuous
UX can be an innovation vehicle if done early and properly.