This series will highlight some of the challenges of doing UX when the resources are low but the stakes are high. When there are not enough resources, such as time, people, access to users, access to tools, or just general knowledge of UX, to properly perform user-centered design, that’s when you need to employ Guerilla UX practices. These are short-cuts, workarounds, and best practices to help anyone tasked with facilitating the best possible user experience for a product.
In my nearly 20 years in the industry, I have never had the perfect set of variables for UX. Sometimes it was lack of knowledge or understanding. Other times, it was lack of access to users. The most common deficit was the almost constant lack of time to perform the entirety of the UX process.
I have learned to work with what I have, because even a little strategic thinking, coupled with a deep knowledge of research-based best practices, along with at least SOME testing and validation, can go a long way towards creating better products that are usable, useful, and attractive.
Other the next year, I will cover many topics, including:
• Learning UX on the job – how to transition from whatever role you currently have to a UX role
• Using user proxies – When access to real users is slim to nonexistent, there are other ways to test using user proxies – folks who interact with or are intimately knowledgeable about your users and their needs.
• User testing with user panels and remote user testing services – Sometimes a panel may be your best bet to access people who are closer to your user base.
• Performing heuristic evaluations on your products– Using knowledge of best practices, perform a review of your product to better understand what needs to improve.
• Performing competitive audits – one of the easiest research methods as it does not require access to users, only your competitor’s products or services, or in the case of the web, their web address.
• Working with developers – learn how to better communicate with developers and how to create specs that they can read and understand to ensure your vision is effectively brought to life.
• Understanding your business – UX isn’t all about users. UX is best applied when strategy is employed and that means understanding your company’s goals so that what you design helps to satisfy business and user needs.
• Tools of the trade – Common tools, software, and other resources.
First up in the series, to be published later this month: Learning UX on the job.