Who Loves Mandatory Sign Ups?

Nobody, this is who. We discussed how Instant Gratification is a very important motivator, so make sure to provide a taste of your site before requiring a sign up. This article from Medium make this exact point. He also lists a couple of great apps that allow you to test the water before diving in, including an app helping you to set up your own A/B test.signup

Good Confirmation Page

We talked about how is a good idea to use the confirmation page to reinforce the branding and to conclude the shopping experience on a high note. I think this confirmation page was another great example. It was also quite a surprise, as the site itself, and the checkout were not outstanding at all.

What Did They Do Right?
• all the necessary information was included, from order review, to billing address to shipping address, to confirmation number
• it offered the chance to print a receipt
• it specified that the card will be charged only when the item ships
• it showed the total charges how they will appear on my credit card bill
• it offered a customer service number
• and last but not least, the design was unique, original and a pleasant surprise


User testing resources

Usability testing and focus groups are essential tools to understand your target audience. As a developer it is very interesting to participate to these tests…from the other side of the fence. Participating to a test as a user is a great experience and will give you insights in the process. It will also  give you some pocket money.

Intuit and Taylor research are two great places to start.


Another Usability Testing App

We talked a lot about user testing. While nothing beats in-person interviews and shadowing, when is not possible, there are ways to conduct research  remotely. One app that makes it possible is usertesting.com. You get to watch videos of users interacting with your site and you can even ask follow up questions. You pay per user.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in being a user tester, you can also sign up at the same site.

uertesting screenshot

Building Your Prototype

We are getting closer to our main testing days. Your click-through prototype, obviously, needs to be ready to go. I am not asking you to code the whole site, even though you are free to do it.

A couple of apps to build click-through prototypes:
• http://www.invisionapp.com/
 http://www.solidifyapp.com/ (now Notable Prototypes)

InvisionApp offers upgrades accounts for students.

Also, this is an example of and InvisionApp clickable prototype from past students Vera Goerish and Spencer Shell.

UX and Site Performance

We have talked a lot optimization and performance, and learned many ways to do it ( this will bring back memories, I hope). Now, let’s look at how performance and UX are strictly related. Paul Boag in his article, says:

Many things shape the experience of users. However, nothing is more likely to drive users away than a poorly performing website

He also presents data to support his claim: go check out his whole post.