user experience

The State of Massachusetts SSAA Grouping

desirabilityQuick-UX provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s User Experience (UX). In answering the question of Desirability, "Should I use it?" the sub-category of Layout is one of frequent discussion, especially in the latest wave of online products and how they handle content presentation and interaction.

The relationships between and among various page elements, how they play off of one another, constructively guiding a process, or organizationally segmenting a concept, can influence how accepted, by the user, the product is, and how Desirable, how much they (the users) will actually want to use it.

Today, we will look at an example of an Internet product with Poor Grouping, representing a Layout value of 0.

Example: Poor Grouping (value = +0)

Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association’s web product, primarily informational, is one that presents a Layout and Grouping of elements detrimental to the overall User Experience, and, in this case, its Desirability, earning it the distinction of being today’s excellent example of a web product with Poor Grouping.


Many elements appear to be grouped, but with none, other than the java-based menu, actually presenting any logical grouping or separation of similar or dissimilar elements. At first glance, many parts appear to be grouped.


But, upon further inspection, the perceived groups are revealed to be a mish mash of apparently random elements.


The content of this product is organized into columns. Within these columns some elements appear to form groups and sections. Upon further inspection, it is obvious that any perceived visual cues have occurred merely by chance, rather than through any human expression of intent to assist the user in isolating and identifying the content of interest.


Beyond the product navigation and the general content, there is no organization. The content is scattered throughout the main body of the product, with no true associations or relevance between any group, column, or mini-group.


The Layout and Grouping of Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association‘s web product provides a scattered, chaotic, random experience that does not contribute to the Desirability of the product — a great example of a product with Poor Grouping.

Over the next several weeks I will be providing real-world examples of Layout values…

Clear Visual Hierarchy (value +0.4)

Fair Visual Hierarchy (value +0.2)

Poor Visual Hierarchy (value +0)


Non-negative Visual Flow (value +0.3)

Negative Visual Flow (value +0)

Poor Sequential Flow (value -0.15)


Clean Grouping (value +0.3)

Inconsistent Grouping (value +0.15)

Poor Grouping (value +0)

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Desirability and Layout of Quick-UX, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall User Experience of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.


Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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