April 8, 2010
The Design Experience Health Check is a combination of the 20 Second “Gut” Test and the User Experience Health Check by Austin Govella and Livia Labate. It is a technique you can use to help clarify the preferences, specifically aesthetic preferences in visual design of individual elements. You can also use it to evaluate the percieved relative priority of different elements against each other in the overall design.
Materials & Requirements
- A list of individual user interface elements you are trying to evaluate, such as “advanced search” or “faceted navigation”
- A collection of web pages, no more than 12 to 15, with screen captures of the individual elements
- Pre-printed score sheets with a Likert scale for each web page
This requires more time than the 20 Second “Gut Test” because you have to multiply 20 seconds by the number of elements, then again by the number of sites. It might be good to only pull a range of 5 to 7 examples of each element to reduce the boredom in this exercise, but either way plan on an hour.
- In advance of the meeting, assemble 5-7 screen captures of the user interface elements on different web pages. Try to capture a range of approaches and styles.
- Put them in a random (or strategic) sequence in a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation. Place a letter and a number of the alphabet on each slide, so that each element has a different letter, and each example has a different number. For example, 5 examples of advanced search would be A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5.
- Create a scoring sheet that has only the letters and a Likert scale for each letter. You can use two Likert scales to capture different dimensions of preference, such as aesthetic design and priority. Note: You’ll need a different scoring sheet for each element, so each meeting attendee will have the number of scoring sheets . It is important that you don’t list the names of the actual web pages you are going to display; seeing what is coming in advance would be giving them more than 20 seconds to formulate an opinion.
- At the meeting, distribute the scoring sheets, and explain the exercise. Show each element for 20 seconds, and have everyone circle the number that represents their gut reaction for each, with 5 being highest and 1 being lowest.
- If possible, have someone gather the score sheets and tabulate live results (average the scores for each letter), so that later in the meeting, you can present the top 2 and bottom 1 in each element to discuss.