A guide to choosing the best platform for your designs.

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After synthesizing user research and thoroughly uncovering problems to solve, user experience (UX) designers begin their design by ideating on a number of solutions. This is where the creative magic happens! Designers sketch to explore many workable solutions to user problems, then narrow them down to the strongest concept. Using that concept, the next step is creating a workable prototype that can be tested for viability against the user’s goals and business needs.

UX designers create prototypes — early models of a product built to test a concept and learn from it — to communicate and test designs for user interfaces of websites and applications. Prototypes communicate much more than static designs. …

Three common usability findings that tend to come up during baseline usability testing can be characterized by the following themes:

  • Product/website doesn’t speak in your users language
  • Advertisements and sponsored content feel misleading or forced upon
  • Inconsistent interaction patterns lead to confusion → lead to mistrust
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Not speaking your users language

With a single ambivalent word your users can miss the opportunity you are providing for them. Terminology used across the product or website, especially for menu items, section names, and taxonomies is the most surprising find in the majority of usability tests I conduct. Sure, I can hypothesize on one or two questionable word choices, as do my clients, (which is usually why I am hired). However, I continue to be surprised by users lack of comprehension to particular verbiage that neither I, nor the team would have predicted. It just goes to show that marketers, designers, content writers, CEO’s, and even us UX researchers cannot anticipate all user perspectives. …

Usability test to align the business model and product roadmap with true user intent

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What risk, you ask? The risk involved with designing and building without testing on your target user groups is critically high, that risk being failure. Regardless of your flawless execution (i.e. product uses recognizable interface patterns, functions as your team intends, no bugs, speedy load times, etc.) and even if you’ve hired the best designers, developers and content strategists, you simply cannot predict, let alone solve, usability problems without collecting the data.

My experience conducting usability tests for products and websites all have uncovered some high-level concerns, whether with the business model, audiences, or product goals. …


Jared John

UX designer // researcher // mentor

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