Usability Events Round-Up: 2014

Nov 26, 2014

This past year DigitalGov University has hosted at least one Usability event per month and we thought we’d give you a round-up of those events. After all, November 13th was World Usability Day.

Usability concept in tag cloud

Rafal Olechowski, iStock, Thinkstock

Since this year’s theme of World Usability Day is Engagement it would be great to take a look at the event recap article, Improving the User Experience with The folks at took a user-centered approach to refresh their site and make the design more engaging.

Another great event we hosted this year was with USAJOBS and was focused on quantitative methods for measuring and demonstrating the impact of user experience programs. The USAJOBS team shared a tool they created to evaluate their usability testing program and tell you how to do it at your agency. You can also read the post event summary and watch the shorter summary video.

Some of you are also facing the challenge of convincing your supervisor or other senior level staff that a usability program is imperative to creating a great customer experience. In response we hosted Arianne Miller, Deputy Director of The Lab@OPM to present UX Design: Getting your Agency to Embrace the Value. Arianne describes different maturity models for understanding where your organization is on the UX design spectrum as well as different approaches for fostering a shift toward greater “maturity.”

One easy approach to making swift changes on your site is doing a Top Tasks Analysis to Make Your Site More Usable. Ben Rosset of the Federal Reserve Board presented a case study of how his agency used this methodology and recaps the event nicely in the follow up post highlighting the main points.

Strides at the UX Summit

Back in February the UX Community of Practice held its first half day summit. Jonathan Rubin, User Experience community co-chair, summarizes the event and shares the slides in the post titled What Happened at Our User Experience Summit (with slides!). There were presentations highlighting the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Innovations in User Testing and Mobile User Experience.

Speaking of Mobile

We’ve hosted some events specifically around mobile user experience. One of our most popular events is You’ll Have Them at Swipe: Making an Awesome Mobile User Experience Webinar. In this webinar, MobileGov developers from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Veteran’s Affairs talk about how mobile user experience is different from traditional channels—they argue it’s about satisfying user emotion. They discuss how to keep users happy with their approaches to user experience during mobile implementations and demonstrate their successful practices.

You might want to know what’s involved in mobile user testing on a small budget and How to Make a Mobile Paper Prototype. There are lots of mobile prototyping tools out there (both free and paid) to make a digital mock-up, but paper prototyping requires zero tech skills and can be done very quickly.

Upcoming Events

Join us on November 19th for our Hands-On Usability Testing Workshop or our November 25th Around the Horn Call.

Tell us what other Usability events you’d like to see this coming year or tell us about ways in which you’ve made strides by implementing a UX program at your agency.