Wandering through the wonderful World Wide Web on evening during a bout of insomnia, I came across this absolutely hilarious website www.thisuserisdrunk.com. Richard Littauer is the brains and liver behind this awesome website and service. Richard’s hard stead motto is, “your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it” and in that motto is exactly the service the Richard supplies; he will get drunk, very, very drunk and then he will review your website. Richard will then send you a document outlining where he thought your website needed help, he’ll even send you screencast of himself going over the website. So, what qualifies Richard to do this? Richard is aUX professional and full stack developer. Richard believes:
“One of the core tenets of UX is that you’ve got to design like “the user is drunk.”
Any feature of your site has to be able to be used by someone who could be drunk –
because, invariably, the user will mess it up otherwise. Wonderful idea.
The thing is, it is hard to test. I and a lot of beer will test this for you, why?
So that you r website is designedto make your site just that much better for drunk — and, more importantly, sober — users”
I know, you’re thinking, OK…… so where is this blog going?? Well, Richard recently published an article on www.shopify.com the 10 Things I Learned About UX By Being Drunk, and I had to share them, so here they are;
- Don’t say too much – Easily the number one problem I run into as a drunk user is websites that greet me with a wall of text. Your site should aim not only at existing users who may be familiar with you and willing to slog through new content for a few minutes, but also at people who have never seen your site before.
- Tell me who your site is for – A similar problem are websites which don’t communicate well who they are written for. Websites are always built with an audience in mind; many websites fail to narrow down their desired audience in their design and copy. Need proof? Check your drop off rate!
- Solve a need, and tell me what it is – Every user has a need they want to fill, or they would be eating Nutella in bed like a boss! No one is on your website because they want to be there; they want what your website can give them.
- Don’t Copy and Paste content – Crap, that’s what I’m kinda doing here with this blog!
- Hide anything non-essential – What you want to guarantee with your design is that your users can immediately learn what you offer them, how they can get it, and where to do so. Everything else is essentially meaningless!!
- Make sure every link on your homepage works – Stepping back from abstraction for a bit, it is important to make sure your site works. This should be self-evident, but I still see this often as a drunk (and sober) reviewer. Your website is evolving day to day, and you’ll occasionally miss things. That’s how web development works. However, as a user, I have very low tolerance for faults. A dead link, or a dead anchor, leave me thinking the entire product is half-done. This can leave me disengaged, disorientated, and be deadly to your business model.
- Not every site needs to be flashy – Save your Flash for the dance floor people! DO NOT let the design get in the way!
- Time on site is not the only metric – Almost every team I have every worked with constantly worried about time on the site. You can see this in how sites manage their users, providing links to more content, filling up pages with paragraphs that could be cut, and adding in videos where a sentence might work; if you are selling socks for cats, does it really matter if a user is on your site, reading about ways cats are different than dogs? No! What matters is that they buy your cat socks.
- Use web standards – Adapt your site to current web trends, and make sure that your site looks like it is modern, up to date, and that it reflects current trends in design. Why? Because a site that looks dated reflects poorly on your company; it makes it seem like you are not interested in the web market, but have your site up because someone said it would be good for your business.
- Stand out – Stand out. It may seem like this goes against the previous points; “Wait, conform, but also don’t conform?” Exactly.