Truly Great UX Advice from the Best in the Business

Great post from Spencer Lanoue at UserTesting.com. My favorites are the ones I’ve had the most salient experiences with: Observe what users do, not what they say, and design for scanning.

Most UX professionals will tell you how critical it is to get user input. And the concept of user feedback really resonates with stakeholders. But a common mistake is to take what they say at face value. Your users are, collectively, not usability experts, and they are not designers. But observing their behavior, through usability testing and analytics, will help you decipher what their comments really mean in the context of your design.

I’m not surprised to see Steve Krug being credited for the note about scanning. His work, combined with my own experience, is what drove this home for me. The bottom line is that no one came to your website by accident, they came to you with an agenda, a goal. A use case, if you will. To that end, they are looking for keywords that match that goal. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to read a long news story, lengthy user review, or detailed product description. But it does mean they won’t find it if you don’t hold their hand as they seek out such information. Lean heavily on keywords, and make them easy to find.