Empathy is the key: UI design and testing on The Storyboard podcast

DevToolsGuy / Friday, November 18, 2016

 **The Infragistics podcast is no longer available.

In this episode of The Storyboard: Conversations about Usability and UX (iTunes | RSS | Direct Download | Google Play | Stitcher | Soundcloud), Elden Nelson sits down with Dave Broschinsky, UX Principal at LANDESK, to talk about why meeting customers face to face is integral to user interface design.

Dave has more than 20 years of experience working with customers to understand their needs and how they interact with software; he shares some lessons from hundreds of these interactions, including in-person interviews and testing sessions, phone and webcam conversations, and supplementary conversations with support technicians and salespeople.

Dave likes to approach in-person testing and observation as a “master/apprentice” relationship. “It’s my job to just sit there and soak in as much as I can,” he says, pointing out that recognizing the customers’ expertise makes them more comfortable talking about what they do and how they do it.

When in-person testing isn’t possible because of time or budget constraints, Dave recommends online video chatting so designers can see users’ reactions to the software and ask about what’s presenting challenges. Fundamental to all of it is empathy: Not just sympathizing with customers’ challenges but really feeling their pain, and being passionate about finding solutions to their problems.

As Dave points out, there is no shortcut to building empathy and trust, but there are many different tools that can help designers earn that trust over time. Tune in for Dave’s insights on best ways to structure interviews, ways to capture more information when there isn’t time for site visits, and strategies for making the most of follow-up.

Want to Learn More?

For more insights into UX design principles, download Usable Usability: Simple Steps for Making Stuff Better, available from Infragistics as a free eBook. In it, World-renowned user-experience expert Eric Reiss shares his knowledge from decades of experience making products useable for everyone...all in an engaging, easy-to-apply manner.