Friday, June 13, 2014

Presenting a UX Assessment

This is a follow up article to Creating a UX Assessment.

Now that you have created your UX Assessment, you need to determine the best approach to rolling out your assessment to the business or stakeholders. Sure you can put together a friendly email that says "Here's that information you wanted", but if I know you, I'm guessing that this isn't supporting your cause for global User Experience domination enough. You want to use the opportunity to open a door to more work, or you want to reinforce your credibility. Whatever the reason, it is likely that you will want to present the information rather than simply letting the data set the tone.


Tone
Speaking of tone, let's talk about tone for a moment. When I'm preparing my presentation, I like to make sure that I am not only cognoscente of the effect of the tone of the presentation, but also that I'm deliberate in the tone that I set. The way that I look at it is that I want them to be left with an impression in their mind that says "This UX Practitioner isn't calling my baby ugly, but rather helping me make an even better, more usable baby later!". The idea here is to reinforce that we are teaming up with them. We aren't better then them, but also we aren't worse then them. Basically, we are just different then them and providing another set of eyes on what they have already spent a great deal of time looking at.

ux assessment presentation slide list

UX Assessment Presentation High Level Construct
Now that we've understood the tone, the rest of the presentation planning is a breeze. Because I use Google Slides to create my heuristic evaluation of the product, service or interface, I also tend to use Google Slides to create my presentation. Due to the regularity in which I conduct these assessments, I have found that it's best to create a template that can then be copied and revised. My presentation slideshow is made up of these elements:

Title Slide
The title slide is like a cover of your book. You will typically find the company logo. There will also be a title similar to this example: "productName UX Assessment". Following that, I'll put the date that the assessment will be completed. My teams name will appear. I'll also put my name and any other people I'm working with as well. Lastly, the mgr or boss' name (they like to get credit for your hard work).

Agenda
The agenda is next. Just like with a website, people like to know where they are in relation to the grand scheme of things. Every good presentation provides an agenda to the audience, and then follows the agenda.

Introductions and Recap
I like to explicitly provide time in the agenda for introducing myself, and then going around and getting the names and team of all the other folks in the meeting. This might not be realistic if you are presenting to a large crowd or group.

Immediately following the introductions, I ease right in to the recap of how we got to this point. I also use this time to summarize why we are here.

Approach and Logistics
It's good to provide the business with your assessments approach. They like to know that you have looked at their tool-set with a correct perspective. Hopefully this is not the first time they have looked upon your approach. This should be more of a reminder of an approach that they have already confirmed is in alignment with their wishes and needs.

Sometimes during your assessment planning and pre-work, the business voices that they want to have specific data gleaned from your assessment process. Example: The business wants to know what sort of task completion times we encountered during our analysis or walk-through. This slide section seems to allow this data quite well.

UX Assessment Introduction
The UX Assessment Introduction section is fully intended to describe specifically what a ux assessment is and why it's needed. I generally only have the second two slides appear in my presentations. The first slide (slide 7 from the image above) is a slide that I use to help myself refresh on the definition of a UX Assessment. When I get to the "UX Assessment Introduction" slide, I say "So what is a UX Assessment? A UX assessment is when a member or members of the UX Design team conduct a best practices review of a design with the goal of identifying potential usability focus points".

After that I step to the next slide which shows the format that my assessments take. I describe how there is usually a screenshot with a specific finding. I'll describe the various parts in a tad bit of detail so that as they look through the slides when I'm not there, they can easily decipher our method.

Next, I'll describe our theology on severity and the notation we use.

Highlights
One key factor in helping to set the tone (as described above) is to make sure that you not only include negative stuff in your presentation, but also positive items. I like to put about 5 or less of these. UX Highlights are those things that should stay in the design if there is a redesign effort, or in other words, great user experiences. I'll also include comments or innovation opportunities in this section (as freebies).

Usability Focus Points
A User Experience Assessment can be quite large, consisting of upwards of 80 pages. We're not going to cover all those for the sake of time and respect to each person. Instead, we I'll do is identify the top 10 items from the assessment and port those over to this slideshow. I'll remove any call-outs that are not part of the top 10. This is necessary because some slides will have more than 1 item called out with differing severity. Also, I'll pass through and remove any unnecessary notation from the slides.

Presenting this section MUST have the tone as described above. We shouldn't look at it as the "Good" and the "Bad", but rather, these are the points that we believe can go further towards a better user experience in future releases of the product or service. Remind of the severity settings and the intent to team up with the business.

If done right, you can do all of the above in your presentation within 30-40 minutes.

QA
QA, or Questions and Answers is a time that you want to provide for about 20-30 minutes for. The business will likely have butted in on occasion up to this point, but be prepared to kick-start the conversation with questions like...

  • Now that the data has been presented from this ux assessment, what are the next steps?
  • Is there anyone else who needs to get this information?
  • Is there anything else that our team can help with?
Thank You
Thank them for their time, and let them out 5-10 minutes early for good behavior.

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