UX on fumes

Hi Everyone,

I am writing to get some input on my solution for evaluating and making some quick fixes on an existing website turned into crazy terribleness following an upgrade (apparently)

Our activities are pretty simple:
[]stakeholder workshop
]heuristic analysis of the site
[]basic usability testing (loop11)
]analytics analysis
[/LIST] We then produce a report outlining issues and proposing solutions that fit the dev budget.

They have previously conducted user testing on an older version of the site but the only user data gathered from that was demographic and it was not targeted regrettably. I feel we need to define user groups and develop personas so there is a prism within which to evaluate the existing site with the activities above, so I am planning the workshop to do this.
The workshop will be conducted with 6 stakeholders of various offices across the organisation (its a cultural institution) and cover:
[]objectives of the site and the project
]a ‘good, bad and ugly’ dump of people’s opinion of the current site (cover the easy wins and things that bug their current web person)
[]defining users using the KJ method/affinity diagramming
]persona development (in groups) which will also cover what they need from the site (features/tasks)
[/LIST] Hopefully with that we will at least have enough of a framework to justify our recommendations from a user perspective. There simply isn’t enough budget to do much more. Having said that is there anything else we can get (especially from the workshop) that will be of advantage? Any thoughts welcome and I understand that it is difficult given that there is not much detail in this post.

Thanks again guys and I hope this makes sense.


Sounds like you on the right track, I would emphasise the analytics, tracking some key metrics currently and after fixes. Hopefully this should give you good information to help convince the stakeholders, especially if there any conflicting opinions.


Your plan does sound good :). My only worry is that unless these stakeholders are also users, you may fall into the trap of people thinking they know their users, when they don’t actually. Is there any way of testing the personas that you create afterwards to see that they are indeed on track?

yeah - good point Natalie and thanks Paddy - I like the metric measure as a glue to measure the project.

We are doing some interviews afterwards to try and verify a little about their users. They do know them reasonably well, but see punters as a ‘demographic’ as opposed to a site user. There were reps from Customer Service as well and Marketing and other direct line areas.

We did the workshop and there was lots of cross over/misunderstanding with participants defining audience/users and also tasks on the site. ie young family mums and ‘donations’ donators etc…

We nutted it out a little bit but I think it was a bit confusing for them. Additionally certain stakeholders got into a fight over priorities but its always good to get an insight into internal tensions. :slight_smile:

Also the persona exercise was seen by a few as a chance to push their own agenda from what they wanted on the site, which was frustrating but I wasn’t sure how to avoid that.
Maybe try and explain the process a little further. Have you guys had a situation like this before?

Thanks for your feedback folks…really grateful.

I haven’t had that happen as such, but one workshop I was helping out with/observing the internal UX guy run, there was the case where one of the people was louder and tended to put down other people’s ideas. You do have to manage these kinds of situations quite well, as you don’t want to necessarily go head to head with the person either. It doesn’t help if their is a hierarchy in the group either (i.e. once person is another’s boss).

My advice would be to say that you’ll take their suggestions on board, but direct them back to the goal around using the personas and to drive home the end user. So this way they feel like you are still taking what they say onboard, they aren’t made to look bad in front of others, but you can redirect the conversation.

Anyone else come across this?