There are many procedures, rubrics, methods, analyses and theories with respect to assessing the overall User eXperience of a product. Most User eXperience assessment approaches require a heavy investment of time, analysis and effort.
Often, a quick assessment of User eXperience is more aptly called for. A quick assessment allows for rapid compilation of simple heuristics that can be very handy in providing…
- a summarized view of a product’s overall User eXperience,
- directional guidance for a product’s future development, and/or
- metrics for comparison with other products.
More detailed and extensive heuristics (many with hundreds of variables to evaluate) exist that delve into the finer details that lead to more directly actionable steps, but they are neither cheap in time nor money.
Quick-UX is a method that I have developed and refined over time and frequently utilize when quick assessments are best suited to the task. The method that I describe below is a great way to build a summary description with quantifiable and comparable metrics, representing the understanding of the overall User eXperience of a product.
The Quick-UX evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 3 questions:
- Can I use it? (Usability)
- Should I use it? (Usefulness)
- Do I want to use it? (Desirability)
The elements evaluated in response to each question constitute a minimal representative subset that accurately addresses the question posed while adhering to the goals of Quick-UX.
Whether or not something can actually be used is critical to a product. Quickly evaluating the ease with which the typical consumer can use a product consists of looking at the following variables:
- Recognition (also including Intuitiveness),
- Navigation (also including site-flow, transitions, and interactions), and
- Page Load Time.
Each variable here, as well as those making up the other 2 evaluation categories (‘questions’), possess specific rubrics to generate repeatable and quantifiable values (each normalized to be of the range from 0 through 1 or 2) that can consistency be understood and compared to like evaluations. For the Quick-UX, each category can, through the summing-up of each of its values, achieve a maximum category score of 5 (minimum being 0).
What good is a product if it isn’t useful? Does the product solve a new problem, or an existing problem? Does it do so in an innovative and creative way? The quick evaluation of Usefulness is constituted by an assessment of these variables:
- Functional Expectations (expectations are created via marketing, content, branding, etc.; put another way, ‘were the functional expectations of the product, from the perspective of the consumer, achieved?’),
- Errors (including handling, recovery, and prevention),
- Product Differentiation (including memorability),
- Findability (i.e. search engine friendliness), and
The Desirability of the product, its appearance and the feelings it can stir in the user through the methods of presentation, can often be a good proxy for the organic word-of-mouth campaigns and buzz that spring up around it. Desirability taps into the emotions of the product’s users through:
- Aesthetics (and Minimal Design),
- Page Layout,
- Color Scheme (including Contrast), and
Desirability consists of only 4 variables. Aesthetics, unlike all of the other variables in the Quick-UX, is normalized to a range from 0 through 2, due to its greater impact on the overall desirability of a given product.
Try it. Use it. Tune it.
All of the values, when summed up (max. value of 15), form the UX (User eXperience) Rating for the evaluated product. The higher the rating, the better the product’s overall User eXperience. My favorite use for this evaluation is to quickly compare the User eXperience of multiple products with one another.
As the Internet and online products evolve I update and adapt my approach to quick evaluations. Let me know how the Quick-UX works for you. Tweak it, adjust it to suit your particular goals. Please share your findings.
What sort of quick User eXperience evaluation methods do you use?
You can read more about alternate User eXperience evaluation heuristics and theories at these websites…
- Ten Usability Heuristics (link)
- Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility (link)
- The User Experience Wheel (link)
- Metrics for Heuristics: Quantifying User Experience (part 1 part 2)
- User Experience Design (link)
- User Experience Strategy (link)
- How To Quantify the User Experience (link)
- Designing Interfaces (link)
Enjoy & Post experiences with Quick-UX and other methodologies.
The Product Guy