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Tools and resources

Download our guide on how to brief a UX agency

May 17, 2017
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Download our free Request for Proposal template which will guide you through the process of determining which UX services you need – and which UX agency is best placed to provide them.


Usability test note taking, how to do it and what to write?

We at Bunnyfoot complete a lot of user tests on a day to day basis, many of us having years, and some, even centuries of experience in moderating user testing sessions. With each of us adopting our own unique ways of note taking, I want to share with you our top tips and tricks to get the most out of your notes when running a session.


8 Top tips for running a tip top focus group

At Bunnyfoot, we tend to spend more time running one-to-one user research sessions than focus groups. This isn’t to say, however, that focus groups can’t be a useful tool for gaining opinions on a particular product or service. In this blog post, we outline our top tips for running a successful focus group based on the experience we have gained over the years.


The reality of Virtual Reality user testing – our top tips

We have had a lot of questions recently about how we run usability testing in virtual reality environments so we put together some tips that should help you avoid pitfalls your first time around.

At Bunnyfoot we spend a lot of time looking at new technology. In particular, virtual reality has been a hot topic this year and has become a lot more accessible to the mainstream with devices like Samsung’s Gear VR headset being so affordable.


Mobile and Tablet Testing at Bunnyfoot

Here at Bunnyfoot we’re always looking to improve and innovate on our processes, methodologies and equipment. As a User Experience Consultancy, testing our products on customers is at the very centre of what we do. Innovation in testing is pivotal for us to have the most natural way to observe our participants. Over the last 3 years we’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of mobile and tablet testing we carry out on a weekly basis – mainly driven by the rise of ‘mobile-first’ design.


Scarcity: Why we want what we can’t have

What is scarcity?

The concept of scarcity occurs when a product is only available for a limited time or if it is in short supply. People always want more of things that are running out.


Your guide to card sorting and how to use it

An introduction to card sorting

Card sorting. It’s really as simple as it sounds, but one of the most effective tools in user centred design to understand how your customers navigate to structure your content and name your sections.

I’m going to use this blog post to try and give you an overview of card sorting – what it is, how we use it and why you should make it a part of your next design project.


Your guide to personas and how to use them

June 8, 2011 - This post has 3 comments
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Personas. You’ve probably heard of them and maybe you understand them, or maybe you don’t. That’s OK – these little chaps seem to receive a lot of attention and yet we are frequently asked by our clients what they actually are.

They are a key part of ensuring you stick to your user centred design principles. This post will hopefully give you a bit of an overview of what a persona is and isn’t, how we’ve used them and why you should too. There are also some suggestions for further reading at the end if you’d like to get your teeth sunk a little deeper into this topic.


The Best Free and Affordable Web Apps for Creating Wireframes and Interactive Prototypes

January 11, 2010 - This post has 2 comments
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Wireframing with a desktop app? Oh come on – that’s so 2009.

Recent months have seen a slew of online web apps specifically for the creation of low-fidelity, clickable prototypes. It all started with “Balsamiq” some time ago now (complete with Comic Sans default font scandal) and has quickly progressed to an alarming array of free and affordable options.

Over at Bunnyfoot towers we’ve been giving them a spin. Here’s a quick rundown.

Mockflow

http://www.mockflow.com/
Pricing: 1 mockup with 4 pages is free, or $49 per year for pretty much unrestricted use.

The overall experience feels swift and straightforward after initial bump of a UI learning curve. The key differentiator over others on test here is the ability to co-edit mockups with collaborators. Online chat is also built in, making it easy to work together to craft your dream app.

Other nice features include align guides as you draw, a comprehensive library of components and quick and easy sharing (both private and public).

The main gripe whilst editing was the lack of keyboard shortcuts (at least on a Mac), making every copy and paste a menu selection.

screen shot of the mockflow application

screen shot of the mockflow application

iPlotz

http://www.iplotz.com
Pricing: free for 1 mockup with 5 pages. Subscription packages from $15 per month to $495 for 10 users with desktop and online access.

Phew. iPlotz is a beast. As well as wireframing, you also get an array of project management features, including to-do lists and completion status. There are also other powerful features such as version control, fine drawing tools, HTML export and annotations. It also makes a mean cappucino if you ask nicely enough!

Putting together a mockup is fairly straight-forward, once you’ve become accustomed to the (quite busy) interface. The default “sketchy” style is similar in feel to Balsamiq (see below), but a little less “play school” in feel.

Of course the trade-off with many powerful features is simplicity. The overall experience is more akin to a desktop app and takes some determined effort to feel comfortable.

screen shot of the iplotz application

screen shot of the iplotz application

Balsamiq

http://www.balsamiq.com
Pricing: free for online use, $79 for desktop app.

Balsamiq is fairly well known in web circles, and courted controversy with it’s choice of the oft-slammed font Comic Sans as a default (although you can change this).

The overall experience is not bad: drag, drop and edit works reasonably well. You can also search for widgets and add them to your canvas with the press of an enter key, speeding up the drawing process. There are some nice human touches: there’s an inspirational design quote as the app loads.

You can export your design, but unfortunately you can’t easily share your mockups – you need the desktop version to do this.

Overall, the end result feels a little too playful for serious heavy duty projects – we’re not sure how well it would go down in the financial sector for example.

screen shot of the balsamiq application

screen shot of the balsamiq application

Mocking Bird

http://gomockingbird.com
Pricing: free (currently still in beta).

Probably the slickest of the apps on offer here, Mocking Bird has a clean look and easy to learn UI.

Like Balsamiq, you can get stuck in and create a mockup without creating an account (you get a prompt to signup on save).

There’s nothing drastically new on offer in terms of drawing tools, but they work well and there’s a comprehensive library of components to start you off.

Public sharing is also pretty straight-forward, making it easy to send out a link for user feedback. There’s no private sharing unfortunately, although the URL is sufficiently obscure.

On the downside, it’s not straightforward to create precise pixel width layouts (there’s no ruler or way to specify exact sizes) and no page masters or templates to save on copy and pasting.
So will we be throwing away Axure anytime soon? Well, the job is not entirely done — there’s a gulf between quick and dirty concept tools and full-blown, enterprise standard specifications. It also requires a client with a good understanding of the design and user research process and confidence in the value of low-fidelity, disposable prototypes. Oh, and maybe a soft-spot for Comic Sans.

screen shot of the mockingbird application

screen shot of the mockingbird application

The biggest boon has got to be the ease and speed of sharing (anyone trying to upload an Axure prototype with its 1,000s of spacer gifs via a slow connection will feel our pain). It’s dead easy to get an idea online for client review and a rapid round of user feedback.

Got your own favourite, or an opinion on these apps? Have  you used them on client projects? Let us know.


20 Minutes to a Better Website Structure

For World Usability Day, Bunnyfoot have been working with sustainable charities across the country to perform free expert evaluations of their websites. The charity sector is a sector where budgets are typically tight (if non-existent) yet there is great expectation on web managers to increase donations and maximise the performance of their sites.

We’ve spent the last month working with a number of charities (gratis) to help guide improvements on their sites and we’d like to share a quick process for generating ideas for your website quickly and cheaply.

Time required: 20-30 mins
What you get: Ideas for prioritizing content and page layout to maximize engagement with customers.

Overview

To provide an example we’ve used www.bunnyfoot.com to show how you can use this activity to enhance the design of your site. Remember, this is a top exercise if you have NO research budget and aren’t exactly sure how to start prioritizing content for your customer groups. This exercise is relevant for any type of site, and we find it a great starting point when thinking about initial designs and improvements.

Disclaimer:

This is a kick starter activity; it’s not a complete high performance engine and shouldn’t be used as one. This is no substitute for engaging with your customers, but rather a great starting point in helping you to create customer journeys and prioritise your site content. Use this activity as a means for generating some good ideas quickly.

1. Think about the content your customers need

2. Sketch the layout according to content priority

3. Try some detailed pages using the same method

1. Think about the content your customers need

Your customers are getting to your site, somehow. Step 1 is to think about who they are (in the case of Bunnyfoot these could be a prospective customer, an existing customer, a competitor, a job seeker, a journalist and so on). List all the potential customers and then next to each customer type ask yourself, “What are they looking for?” (to continue our example with Bunnyfoot, information needs of our customer groups could be Case studies, Contact details, Company History, Services, etc).

2. Sketch the layout according to content priority

Once you have identified the needs of each audience group, you can start to count the number of instances where customers are looking for the same content (e.g. a prospective customer, existing customer, competitor and job seeker could all be looking for more information about services; this would result in 4 counts). Once you have counted up the instances of cross over, a pattern for content priority will emerge.
Once you have the counted priority, pick up a pen and paper and start to sketch out your content according to priority. ANYONE can do this, you don’t need to be a designer, and your sketches certainly don’t have to be pretty. The purpose is to think about how you’re going to give your customers the information they need.

Sidenote: We often undertake usability testing of hand-drawn screens; it’s a low cost and effective technique we use with our clients. With a limited budget, there’s nothing to stop you taking these initial designs to representative customer groups and getting some feedback.

3. Try some detailed pages using the same method

After you’ve finished with the homepage, go on to explore other key pages. We’ve shown an example of what our new case study page could look like. To create this we thought of what the story of a case study was and what are the most interesting aspects people need to find out about. For our site ROI was top priority followed by a summary of the brief the services used, the team involved, the process/services used, example output and a client quote. It’s natural for other ideas to be generated at this point, for example we’d like to add the feature for people to comment on our case studies and the approach taken on the original brief.

Conclusion

Going through the exercise helps with the content and layout, and will also aid insight into navigation and user journeys to tie different content together.
 After 20 mins we have a good idea about the customer groups and their information needs, and we have some initial sketches to take to our customer groups. Ultimately, many of these sketches will be thrown out – we don’t expect our new site to end up looking like it’s been drawn on a flip chart. However, many of the ideas generated during the process will be included in the end design for some low budget but effective quick-wins.


Read enough? Get in touch...

Contact Caroline Bentley to discuss your needs:
0207 608 1670 more@bunnyfoot.com

Or come visit us, we have offices in Oxford, Sheffield and London.