People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: website

Monthly Method Spotlight: 80/20 Rule

80/20 Rulee5ece569c365396ed9dae4c23a972adc

What: The  80/20 Rule or Pareto principle is named after economist Vilfredo Pareto and specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.

When/why: The 80/20 rule can used in helping you make decisions in your user experience work. Wherever there is data that can be quantified there’s the possibility that you can use this rule to focus your efforts on the areas of your work that bring the most results.

How: For example, 80/20 can be applied to website usability. Analyze data to determine your website’s 20% most-used functions and concentrate on enhancing these functions. Don’t spend too much time optimizing stuff that falls in the 80% that’s not often used

Tips: When using the 80/20 rule in UX research to be mindful of sample or data size. You need to ensure that your research or analysis covers a sufficient sample size to be statistically relevant. 80/20 is a quick & dirty method and is by no means exacting in its results.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Online Form Nonexistent

In a recent attempt to join Sparkbox Toys, a Netflix style toy borrowing service, I hit a snag with the online form. More than a snag, a complete halt. No matter how many times I refreshed or hit the join button I kept coming to a dead page. Finally, I emailed the company & a week later received a response. In short, I was told to wait until February for the new site.

This irked me for several reasons:

1.There was no placeholder page when attempting to join. No kind message thanking me for attempting to join & what I can do instead; just a blank dead page.

2. I was told to wait an entire month with no explanation.

3. I was given no other ways to join, i.e. via this brief email or via phone.

While typing up this post I decided to revisit the website & found this,


In all honesty, my previous user experience with Sparkbox left such a bad taste in my mouth that I will probably not be joining the latest iteration of this service.

Bad site, bad user experience = loss of potential customer.


Monthly Method Spotlight: Content Inventory

Content Inventory

pencil and paperWhen/why: This method is a great way to start and organize projects by doing an inventory of all the content involved, so you know what you’re working with. Content inventory is a commonly used method for website reorganization and redesign. It can also be used for projects that involve products or physical objects.

How: Use a spreadsheet or pen & paper and list all the content on the website (pages, files, etc.) along with its corresponding URLs or website addresses.

Tips: Depending on what you’re doing on a content inventory on, for example, the website may be huge and contain many sections. You can divide up the sections and each team member can do a content inventory of a section. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to do the entire content inventory in one sitting.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for more info.

Webinar: Assessing and Improving Your Library Website

ny3rslogo2On Tuesday, I attended the first of NY3Rs Association’s webinars in a series on website UX presented by Aaron Schmidt of Team Influx, a library user experience group.

This first webinar, titled Assessing and Improving Your Library Website: Usability and Conventions, focused on basic website usability. Covering navigation, scope, rewrite, mobility,  and iteration, Aaron discusses website conventions. Complete with website screenshots, Aaron gives the good, bad & ugly of sample library websites.

Overall,  a very concise and informative presentation. I will surely be attending next week’s webinar on October 7th.


METRO New York Library Council Presents: Web Usability Testing for Libraries

logoTue, Oct. 1, 2013. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. US/Eastern

57 East 11th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

Check out this workshop being co-delivered by our very own Lisa!

Have you ever wondered what users really think of your library’s website? Learn how to incorporate something that is too often missing in web design: the user perspective. The session will include a discussion of why usability testing is important and easier to implement than you might think, a live demonstration of a real usability test, and hands-on training on how to conduct “discount” usability testing.

Who should attend:
Anyone interested in improving their library’s Web site, including those who work in academic, public, or special libraries.

By the end of this program, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of usability testing
  • Understand how to conduct their own tests
  • Know where to find more information and resources