Somebody please tell me I’m not the only one who turns into a tongue tied secret picture taking star struck weirdo when famous tech industry folks are near. Lol.
I had the opportunity to attend a book signing by Karen McGrane at the 2013 Web Conference at Penn State. I definitely walked up to the table, handed her my copy of Content Strategy for Mobile, and blurted out, “I LOVE YOU!”
Karen was really cool about it, and just grinned and said, “Thanks!” while she signed the book.
This year I attended ConvergeSE in Columbia. During one of the sessions I looked up and realized Ethan Marcotte was SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!
Instead of, you know, introducing myself, I snuck my cell phone out and took a completely creeper-ish picture of him that he was definitely not aware of. My coworker thought it was hilarious and picked on me for months about it. 🙂
A week ago I spoke at the Web Conference at Penn State where Ethan was also a speaker. I was again, mega shy (#introvertproblems) and saw him but didn’t actually approach him. (I did not, however, take any more creepy pictures. 😉 )
During Luke W’s session break, I went out to grab a cup of coffee and ran into Ethan. I was all, “You’re Ethan Marcotte!” after I recovered from the shock. He grinned and said, “Yes I am, it’s very nice to meet you!”
This time I actually shook his hand and introduced myself like a normal human. I later publicly admitted on Twitter to my ConvergeSE secret picture taking covert activity. Ethan responded with a very kind tweet, and didn’t seem overly creeped out. lol
Please, please tell me there are others who suffer from this awkward affliction?
Seriously though, Hollywood celebs? Meh. Famous tech industry peeps? Insta-starstruck.
Have you ever seen a person and thought, “Wow! He or she is REALLY attractive!” Then the person starts talking and is so arrogant, crazy, clueless or obnoxious that you’re all, “Wait, false alarm, the attraction is gone.”
Well some websites have the same effect on people. I’ve gone to some beautifully graphically designed sites, only to discover that their content is a giant hot mess, and I can’t find a thing.
On the other hand, I’ve visited some HIDEOUS sites (Ahem, Craigslist) that get the job done. I’m able to find what I need in seconds but I have to force myself not to hide my eyes.
So let’s talk a bit about what it takes to keep your site from landing in the “Wow, this site is awesome! Oh wait, no, never mind.” category.
1. Display all of your contact information prominently on your homepage.
Or not so prominently as long as it’s somewhere on your landing page. Put it in the footer if you must, but for the love of all things holy, do NOT put it in a graphic. There is nothing worse than wanting to call a business, looking it up on your phone and not being able to click the phone number. My short term memory is shot, I don’t want to have to memorize your phone number and type it into my phone keypad. The same goes for email and physical addresses. In the wise words of one of my favorite meme stars Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
2. Don’t bury your product information.
I do not want to click 94 times to get details on your product specs and pricing. I also don’t want to chase the the info around an obnoxious homepage slider. Just list your products and give me the deets quickly please.
3. Make it sexy AND well organized.
While I cringe each time Craigslist loads, I do come back. And there’s another site that shall remain unnamed that is a nightmare content wise, but it’s so beautiful that I still peruse it from time to time. Your goal? Gorgeous AND well organized. Lean too far away from either option and you’re tempting customers who have a 3 second attention span, to leave (myself included). You want their money, so find a happy medium.
4. Don’t ever unceremoniously dump people on the landing page of your mobile app when they find you through search.
Hate. That!!! And it happens to me about 42 times a day.
“Oh look! I Googled and found EXACTLY what I need! Happy dance!” Click the link: “This isn’t what I… Ugh, are you kidding me? AGAIN?”
Google search has also started penalizing sites that do this, so it’s bad for business in addition to being wretchedly bad UX.
5. Optimize your site.
Even if I adore your product, I’m not going to wait longer than 5 seconds for your site to load. In fact, 5 seconds is an eternity. Check out stats on extended load time bounce rates. Even hundredths of seconds count! Make 110% sure your site is optimized for the quickest load times possible across devices.
6. This goes without saying, but make your site mobile friendly.
There are tons of ways to go about this (native app download banners on the site if you navigate to it via phone, mobile web apps, responsive web design), just pick one and make it happen. The number of mobile only internet users is rising significantly every single day. You can’t ignore the phenomenon, and if you try you’re going to get left in the dust and experience massive financial and customer satisfaction repercussions. Take a deep breath, pick a method and make it happen.
Put this it all together and what do you get? A website that is fabulous looking, easy to navigate, cross device compatible and full of well organized content! You also get happy customers, more money in your pockets, and you keep your website from becoming “That Guy.” Good stuff!
This is a list of some of my favorite UX, design and accessibility testing tools at the moment! I hope you find them useful!
Tools for Collaboration
Tools for Usability Testing
Usability Testing Services That Provide Testers
Tools for Mobile Usability Testing & Prototyping
Tools for Usability Tester Recruiting
Mac Tools for Demoing Apps
Tools for Stat Tracking
Tools for Accessibility Testing
Miscellaneous Tools I Love
If any of your favorite tools aren’t listed, please feel free to leave them in the comments! I love testing out new tools! 🙂
One of the things I’ve noticed while talking with other UX pros is that keeping lines of communication and collaboration open between departments can be very challenging. If an organization isn’t adequately prepared, it can be even trickier when you add remote employees to the mix. I have put together this list of tools that keep our organization Schoolwires running smoothly when folks are in the office, as well as when people are remote.
These tools in combination with a completely awesome staff, keep our company running smoothly whether employees are all in one room or spread out all over the country.