People who are involved with usability might be called visual designers, interaction designers, information architects, or user experience researchers. The real value is in combining these roles.
Identifying pain points becomes more anthropological.
People who are good at usability need to:
- Not mind asking dumb questions
- Be fascinated with human behavior
- Focus on task, try to keep people who aren't actually end-users from interfering
- Customer service oriented
- Eye for detail
- Enjoy complex problem-solving
- Filling all white space
- When in doubt add News
- "Useful Links" or even "Very Useful Links"
- Equating "easy to build" with "easy to use"; usability must be balanced with ease of design
- Equating you with your audience; avoid by getting proximity and facetime with users
Good design approaches:
- Research first
- Build prototypes through web applications such as AXURE--more than wireframes; can make entirely clickable sites
- NPS score-a subjective means of providing quantitative information. Ask likelihood that someone will recommend that site. Do before and after measurements.
- Card-sorting-- put names of pages on index cards and ask users how pages should be organized (or use Optimal Sorting)
- User testing