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5 things every startup needs to know about UX – 26 June 2012

21 Jun

UX Tuesday returns with a jam packed session covering the five topics we think every start up needs to know to deliver good User Experience (UX).

Leisa Reichelt and Martina Schell will share what they’ve learned from working with dozens of start ups in London and beyond. In this time there have been a handful of challenges that they’ve seen many start ups face, and in this session you’ll get the know how to tackle and overcome these challenges. Including:

  • Picking a target audience, why it may not be as obvious as it seems and why it’s good for business and UX.
  • When to optimize and when to get out of the building
  • Tips and Traps for designing content pages and forms.
  • How important is branding and visual/graphic design?
  • Keeping sight of the forest AND the trees. (How to make sure you’re getting the details right but also make sure you’re maintaining a consistent, coherent experience across your entire service).

The event will be held on Tuesday 26 June from 7pm and we’ll be hosted by our new partners, General Assembly, in Clerkenwell London. Beer and snacks are on us.

Hope to see you there!

Usability testing for startups – UX Tuesday, March 27 2012

16 Jan

UX Tuesday returns for 2012 with an in-depth  session on usability testing for start ups.

In this session we’ll cover in person and remote usability testing for prototypes and live sites/application. By attending this sessions you’ll learn:

  • who to recruit for your testing
  • how to write a discussion guide for your testing
  • whether to test in person or online
  • online recruitment and testing tools
  • how to make sense of what you’ve seen
  • putting research into practice
  • how to benchmark usability and measure improvements.

Sessions are design specifically for start ups who do not have dedicated user research resources available to them and need to make progress at minimal cost and maximum pace.

Your mentors, Leisa Reichelt and Martina Schell, have many years of experience conducting usability research for clients large and small and working with start ups to apply UX methods in a Lean environment.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Innovation Warehouse – for hosting us!

usabiliTEST.com –   a complimentary month subscription to our usability testing tools for every attendee

 

When: Tuesday 27 March 2012, 6.30-8.30pm

Where: Innovation Warehouse, Innovation Warehouse, 1 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT

Seedcamp Workshop: What to include on your Customer Experience Map

6 Sep

Creating a Customer Experience map, spending some time designing it, making it big and putting it on your wall is, we think, one of the most valuable things you can do to try to keep Customer Experience at the core of your business.

You do this by making sure that business value and customer value are in alignment, and by making sure that you’re maintaining an awareness of the complete picture of what it’s like to be your customer, what kind of behaviour indicates that people are having good experiences (that you can gather from quantitative and qualitative research/data gathering), and regularly reviewing and keeping track of how you’re doing across the board.

This map can also help you decide on the areas that most need your attention and to prioritise all the potential things you could be working on so that you’re working on those that bring the most value to your customers and, thereby, to your business.

These are the slides we used to run a very quick workshop at Seedcamp recently showing the start up teams how to get started making one of these Customer Experience maps.

Step One: Build the picture:

  • what is the customer lifecycle you’re aiming for?
  • what is the ‘story’ of being your customer (from first hearing of you to becoming an evangelist)
  • what are the key journeys through your site/app? (add screenshots/flows)
  • how can/does the customer engage with you across various channels/platforms?
  • where is money made and money lost (or not made?)
  • what messages are you sending to your customers (inc. potential)
Step Tw0: Add Data/Measurements

What do you know about your customers?
What behaviour do you want to encourage?
How can you measure it?

  • Cost & Value of Customers
  • Customer segment value/growth
  • Email open rates/conversions
  • Funnel analysis for signup
  • Onboarding measurements (engagement)
  • ‘Voice of the Customer’ sentiment (various sources, add verbatim quote)
  • Customer service feedback
  • User Research findings

UX Tuesday 30 August 2011:
‘PayAsYouGo’ UX Clinic and
UX in Start Ups Panel

2 Aug

UX Tuesday is committed to providing Start Ups and Small Business access to great User Experience advice and returns in August with an all new format.

By day, UX Clinic: Consultancy by the Hour

Want to find out more about what User Experience is and how it could help your business, product or service? Here’s your chance to bend the ear of our experienced UX Consultants for just £150/hr.

Ways we can help you include:

  • reviewing your current user experience, whether it’s live or just sketches
  • advising you on better ways to integrate user experience into your team or your development methodology
  • helping you work out the best way to do Customer Development and get insight from your (potential) customers into your product at all stages of the product lifecycle – from a seed of an idea to an established product or service

By night, ‘Challenges for UX In Start Ups’.

Join Yaël Levey (UX Designer at Mind Candy, creators of Moshi Monsters)  and Lucy Spence (Head of Product, LoveFilm) together with UX Tuesday mentors Martina Schell and Leisa Reichelt to share experiences and ask your questions over a beer or two.

Come hear what they’ve learned and see what they can suggest to help any challenges you’re facing. Only 35 places available (£15 per ticket).

Both sessions are hosted by our friends at Fluxx Studios 75 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5EP – just down the lane from St Paul’s Cathedral.

Book Now!

There are limited spaces for the hourly consultancy and the evening panel. Book your timeslot to meet with our mentors and/or sign up to come along for the evening event.

6 tips for UX in startups

21 Jun

Today we measure the worth of UX designers by the quality and sheer quantity of deliverables they produce. But startups need user experience practitioners who make stuff, rather than documents. Process is nice, but startup reality is really very fast, extra lean and your amazing idea is only valuable if it’s out there in the market.

My top 6 tips working with startups:

  1. Manage the product. To succeed you need to keep a firm grip on the essence of the idea and the resulting product. You are most likely the only person on the team who has ‘end users’ in mind. Introduce measures for success. Develop the concept but save the details for later.
  2. Make stuff, not deliverables. Think white board sketching with the team instead of wireframe tomes. Cohabit with your developers to shape the product throughout build sprints. Communication is essential to make this work.
  3. Don’t fall in love with your design. The product/service will transform rapidly from initial idea to your first beta launch. Low fidelity prototypes help the whole team not to get too attached. Iterate, rapidly.
  4. Keep your users involved in the process. Beg, steal or borrow, but make sure you test your ideas. Your target audience rarely understand disruptive products that challenge their mental models from day one. Super saver tip: User research doubles up nicely as QA testing.
  5. Be flexible. Know what’s vital, what can be adapted, changed, omitted, saved for later. Make sure you communicate trade-offs clearly with the team. Cutting corners doesn’t equal doing a sloppy job.
  6. Don’t be coy. We are all perfectionists, so this advice is not for the faint-hearted. If your initial release doesn’t suck you wasted too much time bringing it to market.

Scream if you want to go faster

Scream if you want to go faster! Fail early, fast and often has never been more poignant advice. Working with startups is exciting and rewarding, if you enjoy making new ideas happen with a good dose of fast-paced energy, rather than a portfolio of delectable deliverables.

 

UX Techniques for Start Ups: Sketchboarding

13 Jun

Start ups offer some pretty unique business conditions so it makes sense that some UX Techniques work better for start ups than others.

We’ve been using the Sketchboarding technique for a while now and find that it really helps start ups to really quickly find clarity around what their product is and how customers should move through their website, application or cross channel experience.

There are a bunch of reasons why Sketchboarding is a technique that start ups should have in their UX tool kit.

  • it’s fast – in the space of a day or two you can map out, in detail, the key templates and user journeys for your product
  • it’s cheap - all you need is pen and paper and time
  • it’s collaborative – you can involve all your team and their varying expertise in this exercise allowing the all to contribute to improving the product in a productive way
  • explore more ideas – sketchboarding encourages you to rapidly explore a wide range of ideas and solutions meaning you’ll get to a better solution more quickly
  • it focuses on the customer journey not the page – it stops you obsessing about the page and helps you focus on the journey/task which will help you achieve a better overall user experience.

Read more about Sketchboarding here or come along to UX Tuesday and we’ll get you started with sketchboarding with hands on practice and expert guidance.

There are a few tickets left for UX Tuesday in June, get yours now or enter our competition and win a company ticket worth £699.

Start Ups & UX: Tell us about UX in your Start Up & win UX Tuesday tickets worth £699

13 Jun

Want to know more about what other start ups are doing about User Experience?

So do we.

We’re taking a survey and we’d love you to share your experiences with us.

We’re going to compile all your responses and share back what we learn.

If you’re able to get to London for June 28, we’ll offer you the added bonus of the chance to win a ticket to the first ever UX Tuesday session worth £699 where we’ll be introducing a UX Framework that any company can apply to help make better user experience decisions.

We’ll also be joined by guest speaker Matt Jones, Principal at Berg, Co-Founder and Designer at London start up Dopplr and advisor to startups Schoolofeverything.com and One-Click Orgs.

We’re going to compile all the responses we get and share them back with you here.
We look forward to learning and sharing more about what you’re doing and thinking about User Experience.

UX and Lean Start Ups = BFF (Best Friends Forever)

24 May


Watch live video from Startup Lessons Learned on Justin.tv

Did you see Janice Fraser of LUXr (an awesome Lean UX Residency program) panel yesterday at the Startup Lessons Learned conference.

Janice and friends talk about:

  • the natural partnership between Lean Startups and User Experience
  • how User Experience is far more than ‘pretty pixels’ but follow similar iterative cycles
  • how ‘customer development’ and user experience are essentially the same thing
  • how UXers have a vast suite of tools to help get you out of the building and engaging customers in building your product
  • how designers can help you to ‘get on the right mountain’
  • how you should ‘write the test first’ when you’re designing
  • how UX, Product and Development should be all the same team
  • and loads more

Janice also proposes a series of principles for Lean User Experience including:

  • Recognise hypotheses and validate them
  • FLOW: think/make/check
  • Research with users is the best source of information
  • Goal-drive and outcome-focused
  • Generate many options and decide quickly which to pursue

Well worth your time.

How User Experience (UX) MAKES money for start ups

23 May

If you think that User Experience (UX) is all about the shiny interface, think again. Actually, a good UX person most often measures success in increased revenue and reduced waste.

The kind of things we contribute significantly to are:

  • increased conversion rates – getting more people registered or purchasing thereby increasing your revenue
  • decreasing abandoned projects – making sure that your team are working on projects that customers actually care about
  • decreasing re-work – making sure that we’re designing the right things, the right way so that you’re not having to re-do things rather than working on great new things
  • increasing productivity – helping you to prioritise work/features/etc so that you deploy resources in the places they’ll have the greatest impact on the bottom line

We care about helping you grow your business much more than we care about a shiny interface. Although, we do enjoy delighting your customers when we can!

We care about:

  • When people find you, can they understand what you’re offering and how it’s valuable for them?
  • Once they decide to sign up/buy, can they complete the transaction without getting frustrated or confused?
  • Once they’ve signed up/bought, can they get started with your product/service and get the most out of it, so that they’re most likely to become advocates for you amongst their friends and peers?
  • Do you know what you should be spending your time and money on right now to get the best value for your customers and your business? (Do you have a value based framework to prioritise all the work you could be doing?)
  • Do you know how to make something so that it’s easy for your customers to use and feels rewarding or valuable?

We know start ups don’t have thousands of pounds to throw at consultants and we know, even if they did, that one off projects are usually just temporary fixes.

User Experience needs to be embedded at the heart of the company to really pay dividends. But you don’t need a full time User Experience person on staff to make this happen.

This is why we’ve started UX Tuesday. A regular, ‘pay as you go’, practical mentoring service for start ups who want to really understand and practice User Experience techniques.

We’ll help you solve the problems you’re tackling right now, but we’ll also help embed a framework for Strategic User Experience in to your organisation and give you the tools and techniques you need to apply them on an every day basis.

You should sign up for our June session now – places are very limited.

Not convinced? Check out this great summary of the ROI of User Experience by Dr. Susan Weinschenk.

You might not be able to afford a consultancy with Dr Weinschenk’s company but can you really afford not to come along to UX Tuesday?

Tickets on sale now – UX Tuesday June 28, 2011

18 May

Join us for the inaugural session of UX Tuesday – a hands on clinic specifically designed for start ups who want to do User Experience better.

Tickets are very limited – get yours here.

…a startup founder who “gets” user experience and design will likely create a more successful product than one who does not. It’s not just because a great user experience makes a product more enjoyable and ultimately fun to use. It’s because this type of design thinking and understanding of the customer seeps into every other aspect of the product.

— Jeff Gothelf, In the beginning (there should be UX)

Starting in June and continuing on the last Tuesday of each month, a small group of start ups come together to learn more about User Experience and then to work with our experienced mentors to solve the real User Experience problems that you’re tackling in your organisation right now.

Each UX Tuesday session runs a full day and is made up of three parts:

  1. UX Tutorial - a session run by our UX Consultants giving you background into a key UX topic.
  2. Guest Speaker - we’re inviting  great guest speakers with loads of experience of User Experience in new product or service development
  3. Hands on Clinic – we spend the afternoon working with you on the real UX problems you’re encountering in your business, giving you solutions you can take back and implement the following day.

Our topic for June is  How/When/Where UX? an introduction to a framework that any company can apply to help make better user experience decisions.

Our guest speaker is the extraordinary Matt Jones, Principal at Berg, Co-Founder and Designer at London start up Dopplr and advisor to startups Schoolofeverything.com and One-Click Orgs

Matt will share with us the methods and attitude required to create the inspirational products that have come out of the Berg studio including their Product Invention Workshops, and his hands on experience in bringing to market a product that people (and now Nokia) love.

Many thanks to our friends at Moo for hosting our inaugural session.
(If you’re a UXer having a stickybeak here, you know Moo are hiring a UX designer, right?)

Find out more about our program and our mentors, or email us if you’ve got a question.

Places at the UX Tuesday session are very limited. Get in quick to secure your place.