Notes on Christine Perfetti’s UI18 Essential UX Techniques for Creating Delightful Designs

From Christine Perfetti’s talk at UI18 (2013), link here

A brilliant user testing idea:

  • Find some users who are actively seeking to solve the problem your product is designed to solve
  • Give them cash to actually buy your product and see what happens
  • One team did this and only 5% of users bought it–the product’s website was far less effective than the team thought. There were many usage problems unconnected to the specific feature being developed. Even installing the product was a problem for users–the product team changed their website to automatically install the product (rather than making users go through an installation process) and instantly saw conversions go up by 20%.

Use 5 second tests to see how quickly your content is apparent to users. If possible, test two significantly different versions as the comparison may yield extra insights. Discover if users quickly understand:

  • What site is this?
  • What does it help me accomplish?
  • What action can I perform here?

A delightful product:

  • Accomplishes user goals
  • Delivers value that goes beyond users’ basic expectations
  • Gives users pleasure and joy

Focus on accomplishing user goals rather than product features

Do user testing in the first two weeks with some primary stakeholders–this helps them buy into the process and the product from the beginning

Go out and meet actual users in the field–then quickly release the key learnings to stakeholders. But:

  • Make sure stakeholders understand that results from a single user test are NOT necessarily actionable
  • Make sure stakeholders understand that single data points will be used to find patterns across multiple users tests
  • Use results from testing to update personas and keep the personas fresh and “live”

How to measure success:

  • Don’t measure success by number of prototypes made or rounds of user tests run
  • Measure success by how user research influences key decisions
  • Measure success by how how well stakeholder and user feedback is integrated throughout the entire design process

Co-locating a team is ideal–designers, engineers, product managers all sitting together helps develop trust and collaboration to create a better product

Get stakeholders out on fields calls–meeting actual people using your product really helps stakeholders develop empathy for real users and get insights on:

  • Users’ physical environment
  • User tasks that haven’t been surfaced by the team
  • Pain points and frustrations
  • How easy the technology is to use



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