By Brenda Jonsson 6/25/2020
I’m an intern here at Kingston Business Solutions, and I’m about to embark upon a journey to earn my MLIS, or Master’s of Library and Information Science.
Why intern for an IT company?
Information technology is not so different from library and information science. Both are involved in the storage, retrieval, and sharing of information. However, IT directly and specifically involves computers, whereas library science involves books and other physical documents.
Learning More About Both LIS and IT
The American Library Association, which often determines whether or not an MLIS graduate is employable in United States libraries, requires that each graduate program it accredits “Integrates technology and the theories that underpin its design, application, and use.” Most MLIS programs also try to offer courses in human-information interfacing. My specific MLIS program offers a course in UX (user experience) design for websites, integrating modern technology with human-information interfacing. Here, I investigate a little further into this information tool.
What is UX design?
UX design is the process of testing, intuiting, and arranging how a user will experience a product, system, or service–especially a computer product, like a web app. Always, the user is at the center of questions, research, and new iterations.
Interdisciplinary and Creative
Don’t Make Me Think is an enormously popular book about UX design. This phrase is at the core of not only good visual design, but good writing as well–or at least writing as described in another classic book, On Writing Well.
I was surprised at the similarities between the texts. Both suggest that a website’s words should be simple–that jargon and unnecessary words should be removed. This is an example of the interdisciplinary nature of UX design. UX design borrows from many other disparate fields such as psychology, the visual arts, and programming. Like these examples, it is a creative field. It focuses on human emotion.
The UX Honeycomb (The Seven Factors of UX)
Peter Morville famously identified seven properties of UX that predict a product’s success. When creating a product or service, ask yourself: is the product–
- Useful (Does it serve a purpose for the user?)
- Usable (Is it intuitive? Is it learnable? Can users do what they would like to do with it?)
- Findable (Can users find what they are looking for in the product?)
- Credible (How much trust does the user have in this product?)
- Desirable (Will this product have buzz? Will it improve your reputation?)
- Accessible (Can people with disabilities use it?)
- Valuable (Is the user better for having used it?)
- Iteration is a key way to think about a user’s experience. Each click can change the emotions and attitudes of the user. It is vital to break down a user’s path with your product into beats, analyzing each the way an actor or filmmaker would.
- Remember that users typically only scan websites, waiting until they have found what they are looking for before reading word-for-word.
- Ignore the advice you were given in school about paragraphs. One-sentence paragraphs are acceptable for web content.
- Conducting smaller tests more often is better than fewer, larger tests.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel unless you’re certain your idea is better. Convention helps people navigate.
The Value of UX
Your website is competing for the user’s attention. If you frustrate them, they will leave, and there is a good chance they won’t be back.
Apple built its empire on devices that optimize good UX. Its job descriptions for designers are filled with UX buzzwords. I’d say that’s a glowing recommendation!
UX design is something that Kingston Business Solutions takes into account when it designs web applications for its clients. Would you like a quote for your web application idea? Contact us.
Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. New Riders, 2014.
Zinsser, William. On Writing Well. Harper Paperbacks, 2013.