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Day 1: We’re in the middle of
redesigning our website!
But you can’t make the decisions and we are not going to test
anything - wireframes are enough. Oh, we’re behind schedule too…
Photo credit: Marc Baptiste
Having an inconsistent UI
made our site look
I did what I could.
There was no time for a
complete redesign of the
commerce pages before the
big sale and before the new
main site was developed.
I did more.
Finally, a design that was
consistent, usable, speedier,
and much more useful.
You can’t test or ﬁx everything, so focus on
the obvious and most glaring problems.
It was oversensitive and
caused multiple usability
“The menu keeps popping out while I’m trying
to use the site.”
“It’s too sensitive and I can’t click the link I want.”
“I hate using this menu, it’s so frustrating!!!”
78 customer service complaints, co-workers complained, and some
vocal customers emailed me about the dropdown menu’s usability.
Did a few usability tests to validate the reported issue and found it
was a HUGE problem.
Found a good design pattern on NPR - a pushdown menu.
Our menu now required a click or touch to open and close.
0 complaints about the new pushdown menu.
Tested the new design and the usability issue was gone!
We consistently had too
many error messages and
a super slow site.
Slugs & Other Bugs
“Your site is worthless; a high school
student could do better”
–Angry customer via email
“Do you actually want me to buy tickets on
–Frustrated customer via Facebook
“Can you just do my renewal over the
phone? Every time I try to use the site I get
–Board member called our fundraising department
Errors will always be a problem
as a result of technical debt!
We signiﬁcantly reduced errors
and sped up the site over a long
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If
you want to go far, go together.”
Lead your peers to understand
and care about UX and you will
be able to make a diﬀerence.
Customer Service, the
Box Oﬃce, and Ushers
were my front lines to
• People called to complain, visited the box
oﬃce and subscriptions oﬃce, and made
remarks at concerts. This is where I got my
jewels for user issues.
• Secret: Their favorite person to complain to
was our president!!!
Quality Assurance (QA)
Testing Sessions helped
my team understand UX.
Developing a content
strategy with the PR team
gave me “additional
headcount” and waaaaayyyyy
helped me develop
empathy for my users –
other departments who
owned their section of
I worked with an agency who
cared about the user and
who wanted to do a great job.
If I’m not representing the
voice of our user, who will?
Photo credit: https://genevaanderson.wordpress.com/category/classical-music/
• The User Experience Team of One - Leah Buley
• Undercover UX - Cennydd Bowles & James Box
• Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide
to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems - Steve
• Just Enough Research - Erika Hall
Do what you can, when
Create your own team.
Always ﬁght for the user!