Last September, I attended some usability training courses in New York City offered by the Nielsen Norman Group (www.nngroup.com). I took UX Basic Training, Measuring User Experience, and User Research Methods. In my own experiences, I have found that a site with a poor UX will not do as well in the search engine results. This comes as a result of people not liking the site, and thus not linking to it. This in turn informs the search engines that the site is poor, and thus the search engines drop its rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
- An excellent UX is thus REQUIRED for your website to achieve higher rankings in the SERPs.
In taking these courses I have become UX Certified and may now be addressed as: Shawn Campbell UXC (Ha!). With one more course, I will become a UX Research Specialist (probably next September).
The first course, UX Basic Training, explained UX beyond the website and into everyday life. Problems like a bathroom scale that is too complex to use, or a teapot that drips every time you pour it, these are usability problems that affect the user experience. We learnt which research methods to use and how to analyse the data we acquired. We learnt how to use the data to improve the user experience, and how to make UX an important part of any service or product. With this knowledge, we can now properly evaluate how to measure their usability.
A great take away from this course was to always make sure that your core service was easy to use, and that the peripherals did not interfere with the usability of that core service.