Field studies are great for seeing real user behavior and pain points. It’s also important to get out and test your concepts “in the wild” before you get too invested in code. That’s what intercept studies are for.
Even with a good content management system it can be hard to re-arrange stuff after you’ve gone live. Take the time to test out your proposed navigation with a reverse card sort to quickly iterate to a working model.
Users are happiest when your site’s structure – its information architecture – matches the way they think about the problem space. Get insight into their thoughts using a card sorting task. You’ll be surprised how different their perspective is from yours.
Online testing can give you fast feedback for very little financial outlay. The results might be less trustworthy than face-to-face sessions, but the technique fits well as a complementary tool.
Cost-effective, quick research techniques don’t always inspire confidence in your data. Perform many small incremental studies to build reliability over time.
Check your product is following simple rules of interface design. It’s fast and finds potential UI issues before your users do.
Stepping through your UI and asking two deceptively simple questions at each stage can give you great insights into the problems your users will face.
Spend just one week to get the information you need to build your product right first time. Use these techniques to plan your sprints or even to work out what product to bring to market.
The cheapest, fastest way to mock up your interfaces is with pen and paper. The creation process involves the whole team, and the unfinished feel means you’re less attached to any one idea.
Design validation is not a phase, it’s a continuous part of the process. Testing your designs tests your assumptions and lets you make quick course corrections.