How often has your company run a focus group or usability test and generated big fat report that just sits on the shelf somewhere full of great ideas the never get implemented?
You can do all the research you need, but if you don’t use it in your decision-making process, you’d be better off not having done that all.
In order for that data in the report to get used, it must be highly visible and personally relatable. We all know what happens when the team has to seek out the results and can’t see how they relate to their work.
Enter the Information Radiator[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]An information radiator is a large, highly visible display used by software development teams to track progress.[/box]
One of the best approaches I’ve ever seen to achieving salience like this is a variant on the information radiators used for things like bugs fixed, bugs reported, or server uptime.
After conducting a series of recorded usability session with end users, one particularly clever usability expert I know convinced the team to let him put data from the sessions on the information radiators in the office (in this case, large monitors). Rather than reduce the users to a set of charts, he compiled the recordings of each session, edited them down to the biggest pain points, and played this highlight reel of ‘users having difficulty’ in a loop on the big screens around the office.
Every time people came in the office, they saw the endless loop of users trying and failing to use the website. Having those results staring at them every day was a great way to motivate the team to fix the confusing spots, empathize with the user, and raise the salience of usability problems to a level normally reserved for technical errors.