Once you find the right freelancers for the project, make sure you make them feel like a key part of the team, and keep them happy. It's better to put in the effort to have a good relationship with a single freelancer than to have a revolving door of professionals working with you.
Having hired many user experience (UX) freelancers, and now taking on the role of a freelancer myself, I know how difficult it can be to find the right match between project, team and UX specialist. Here are a handful of tips on finding the right freelance candidate for your open UX position.
There is an increasing amount of buzz circulating about Web personalization these days. Many organizations embarking on significant site redesigns are considering it. But what is personalization exactly? How does it work? Does it make sense for all organizations. For years, user experience specialists have advocated the practice of designing online experiences with both a company's goals and a user's needs in mind. Though well-intentioned, this approach generally grouped site visitors together, assuming they had similar needs, exhibited the same behaviors and were looking for the same information.
My colleagues and I have looked to the timeline of consumer tech, from the Commodore 64 through to Google Glass itself, to see if our history could be a useful predictor of what will be trending in the future. It turns out that there is a clear pattern in the shifts we've made during the last 20 years, and it appears as though this pattern will continue to drive innovation.
Like many of my columns, the inspiration for this comes from my day-to-day life at an interactive agency. We currently have the pleasure of working with a industrial gas company—helping it re-organize its public-facing Web content, and redesigning the site to make it both more usable and more engaging. If you're anything like me, you've probably never given even a moment's thought to industrial gas; which, in my opinion, makes the redesign process all the more exciting—an information architecture (IA) challenge. So just for the sake of context, companies like my client supply gasses to a wide variety of industries—to preserve foods, improve the efficiency of industrial processes, treat hospital patients and even put the fizz in soft drinks.
Concept testing—which is different from usability testing—puts two different website design treatments in front of representative users to see if one concept is perceived to be more usable or engaging than the other. Once a design is chosen and client-approved, the build phase can begin.
Most Web projects include the task of wireframing site interactions to visually convey page-level design thinking. It's the wireframe that details the minutiae of how a site will work—detail that's required to create a useful, usable and engaging site. It's ironic that this core deliverable, the foundation for all subsequent design work, is so often misunderstood.
Mega menus work in conjunction with the global navigation bar to help users move through your website confidently and efficiently.
Website content needs to be divided up and spread across a network of interrelated pages. When dropped into this information space, users want to know where they are, where they can go and how to get back. The clearer the path to their digital destinations, the less anxiety they feel about the experience overall.
There are several standard pages that worm their way into most organizations' websites simply because that's the way it's always been. My hope is to convince marketers to be discriminating when it comes to the (all-too-frequently included) Frequently Asked Questions page on their companies' websites.
Mobile browsing is set to outpace desktop browsing in the next three to five years. Yet, the landscape of the mobile Web leaves something to be desired.
Most people who have participated in a website or application design project of any heft are familiar with a standard set of user experience deliverables.
When working with clients to create engaging online experiences for their customers, I recommend iterative usability testing—essentially repeated testing—as part of the design and development process. However, I've noticed that few of our clients are interested in conducting formal usability studies, particularly over the past couple of years as the economy has slowed.
Think about the e-mail messages you receive in a day. Whether from colleagues, family or friends, this amount of e-mail adds up quickly. In fact, studies show that, on average, business users receive 133 work-related e-mails daily. In one year's time that totals 35,000 e-mails.