Nella newsletter di Adaptive Path (non trovo l’url online) c’è una stupenda intervista con il direttore UX di YouTube, che spiega tra l’altro come hanno usato una tecnica di codesign chiamata FIDO per riprogettare l’interfaccia di YouTube. Interesting.
UPDATE: aggiungo alcuni stralci dell’intervista, per appuntarmeli e perché sono “highly inspirational”.
Sulla semplicità e priorità dei task:
Ours goals were to make the experience simpler, smarter, and cleaner. We removed many things from the default view that weren’t critical to watching videos and finding more videos to watch.
For viewers, the site is first and foremost about watching videos and finding great videos to watch. So our focus is to make those experiences the best they can be. In order to do that, we knew we needed to “unlaunch” some things to focus attention back onto what matters. We analyzed the usage of each UI element and feature, and were pretty rigorous about removing infrequently used elements from the default view.
Sulla tecnica di codesign utilizzata che guida le scelte di design, assieme ai dati (analitics, clickstreams, heatmaps, etc):
We used a participatory design technique called FIDO (Freehand Interactive Design Online); it’s kind of like refrigerator poetry for design. You provide a magnetic board to the study participant, and you ask him or her to design their ideal video watching interface by choosing just the right elements and functionality from a collection of magnets.
The most important finding was the distinct difference between what someone who watches videos wants versus the needs of someone who uploads and curates videos. (vedi foto)
These findings allowed us to discuss what was critical to the page and what was of secondary importance. We combined the data with other studies like heat maps of clicks on the page as well as session analysis to drive some tough discussions about de-emphasizing and un-launching things. This is hard, because every element is the result of some team’s hard work. But we now had data to make the right decisions.
Sulle metriche e gli effetti del redesign:
There are a few things we are watching closely. Obviously the time spent on site and how often they visit are very important metrics. We are looking to extend sessions by exposing people to a more diverse set of videos to watch. And from our UI clean up work, over time, we’ll see an increase of usage of our sharing and community features, as people take a fresh look at the options and discover things of interest to them.
Lo sottolineo, perché è importante: la semplificazione ha aumentato la scoperta delle nuove opzioni e l’utilizzo da parte degli utenti. Semplificare aiuta a favorire e intensificare le azioni degli utenti.
Sul processo interno e integrazione con i team di sviluppo:
One of the changes we’ve made over the past year is the role of user experience research. It was hard for the team to run traditional lab studies and share the findings quickly enough to impact the work before it shipped. So we shifted our time towards upfront, strategic research to understand our users and better inform the business, and instead of extended lab studies, we focus on lighter, quicker validation techniques. As a result, research is in a much more influential role. UX designers are working more strategically as well, driving aspects of the product vision, while concurrently keeping pace with the short release cycles. It’s challenging to balance the flows, but the team is doing a great job.
sometimes the product gets developed in silos, rather than holistically. So in UX, we’re moving to organize the projects around similar experiences instead of around our organizational structure. For example, historically the advertising department would focus on ads across the entire site. But we knew that the ways the ads look and behave in relation to the context in which they are placed is very important. So the same designers working on the video watch page and player design are driving the UX for the ads design. The result will be a cleaner, more intuitive, and more effective user experience.
Working directly and effectively with engineers is critical to the success of any designer at YouTube or Google. We form small interdisciplinary teams that often sit together and are focused on solving specific problems. Our focus on deep collaboration on product strategy up front bonds the teams; when you have shared goals and a shared vision, you tend to be better partners and better listeners. In UX, we are always gathering feedback and changing the ways that we work with other departments.
Sulla leadership e il management:
It’s very difficult to do great work without support from leadership. At YouTube, we have an executive team that cares deeply about the user experience and wants to do the right thing and to always be improving. I and members of my team meet regularly with our executives and share our work on an ongoing basis; their level of engagement is really remarkable. That focus gives me a lot of confidence to speak authoritatively. It gives me the ability to have high expectations of what the team must deliver. And it also gives us the inspiration to craft a longer term vision for where we are headed. This vision must be formed and shared as a team, since each team member will need to go out and share and apply that vision across every part of our organization and the site experience.