Why do I need Practical UX Methods?

Man and woman review work on a laptop
Reviewing paper prototype, tablet and computer
Man and woman review work on a laptop together
Woman creates wireframes in a notebook

An optimal user experience is absolutely vital.

With any interactive product, your job as a designer is to balance user needs and business needs. But learning what your users really need, how they think, and what they expect is a complicated process. Finding where to start has only gotten more difficult over the years.

 

You need solid, actionable instructions customized to suit you.

When we went searching for a helpful library of usability methods, we mostly found out-of-date standards, theoretical approaches, and vague guidelines. Concrete instructions often assumed we had more resources or time than we did. Finding advice that was applicable to our day-to-day work seemed like a fool’s errand.

No one was teaching us what we needed to know. So we decided to take on the task ourselves.

 

You’re a user too – so we made this site usable.

Finally finding one method that works for your budget and timeline is wonderful, but no single usability test will tell you everything. Here, you can search for methods based on real-world factors like budget, project phase, and available time, making it easy to apply more than one method to the same project.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a new addition to the world of UX design, we want you to put these methods into practice and build the best interactive products you can starting right now. So on each method page, you’ll find:

  • plain language. Less jargon, more clarity!
  • step-by-step procedures. Like a good cookbook, we tell you what supplies you need to start, how long it’ll take, and exactly what to do.
  • tips and tricks. The step-by-step approach will cover the basics, but our tips will help you customize each method so you can get the most out of it.
  • links to more information. If you’re still confused or would like to learn more, other UX professionals who have used these methods often have writings that can help.
  • related methods. Explore other design and research methods that are similar or complementary.
  • social media sharing. If you like an article or want more info on a method, share our articles on social media and start a conversation with other professionals.

 

When we put “practical” in the name of this site, we meant it.

Our goal is for design teams to put these methods into practice and make the interactive world a more usable place. Contact us if you have any feedback or would like to contribute a method to our growing library.

 

Credits and Thanks

The Practical UX Methods team would like to thank our friend Brian Sullivan, who conceptualized this site and began the process of compiling and curating methods.

Creative Director and Evangelist: Marti Gold
Designer and Team Lead: Emily Porter
Content Strategist and Author: Lauren Ludovicy
Co-Author and Editor: Kip Read
Usability Testing & Research: Joanne Kok