Your Salesforce Needs Some Design Love (Part Three) by Reilly Ellis

Usability Testing (You are not your users)

The most important thing to remember about design is that you are not your users. The design principles that I previously covered will help you set the groundwork for a usable system, but the best way to see if your system is usable is to test your users using it.

Remember the law of familiarity. Admins are in Salesforce all the time. What makes sense to you may because of your history with the platform may not make sense to someone who is just in Salesforce to enter program data.

The is doubly true when you’re doing a redesign or introducing a new feature. You’ve developed familiarity with your design through the time that you spent creating it. It can be hard for you to tell if something makes sense because of its design or because you’ve developed a learned association.

Usability Testing vs. User Acceptance Testing

You’ve probably does user tests in your system before, but it’s likely those were user acceptance tests. User acceptance testing checks to see if your systems working correctly, for instance, does the “Total Payments” rollup accurately calculate all the payments?

Usability testing checks if your users are using your system correctly. For instance, do they know what the “Total Payments” field is? Do they use it like you want them to use it?

Usability Testing in Six Steps

1. Identify users

Survey a range of users - new users, super users, and users who still struggle.

2. Introduce a scenario or task

This is what you’ll be testing! Something like, “create a new contact” or “find the date of someone’s last donation.”

3. Ask the user to narrate their thoughts while they complete the task

Their narration will give you insight into your design. What parts do they understand? What parts are they missing?

4. Observe the user complete the task (silently!)

This may be the hardest part of user testing - but it’s important for you to stay silent. You won’t always be there to guide them when they’re using Salesforce.

5. Ask follow-up questions after the task

This is your chance to dig in to the actions you observed and get more feedback on the design.

6. Iterate & repeat!

Make the necessary changes, find more users, and repeat!


Usability Testing Quick Tips

Not everything is perfectly intuitive the first time around. You can test “learnability” by asking the same user to complete the same task multiple times. If they get it after a couple tries, great! If they still need help weeks later, you should reassess your design.

If you or your users don’t have time for dedicated usability testing - wrap it in with training. When your users ask you how to complete as task, have them show you how they do it first before you show them. This will give you some quick insight to the usability of your design.

Now IT Matters has Moved!

The early morning breeze blows through the window and gently raises the curtain as another clear Montana summer day begin.  The eastern horizon lightens and the tranquil, seventy degree, perfectly still morning escorts the high staccato of song birds as they begin their morning search for the early worm.  Then, without warning comes a horrible burst of squawks and screeches; the morning call of a bird called "The Montana Frikin Magpie".

“CAHHH, CAHHH,” it screams at it’s neighbor.
“CAHHH, CAHHH,” the neighbor screams back.
"CAHHH, CAHHH," interrupts a brutish youngster on the adjacent branch.
“CAHHH, CAHHH,” shriek all the other magpies in the tree.
Back and forth, forth and back they yell their blood curdling insults at each other.  The white and black flying abomination, with it’s beady eyes, bad temper, thieving attitude and inconsiderate nature, begins each morning with a verbally abusive meditation.   The horrible birds are about the size of a crow, gather in gangs, leave their graffiti on our windshields, rob anything they can carry from our garbage can, and torture our dog by pretending they can't fly.  It’s illegal to kill Magpies so they are here to stay, and we are here to stay too, cause Magpies are pretty much the only bad thing about Montana.
When we moved to Bozeman last summer, there were misgivings about moving Now IT Matters to a state with more cows than people.  One client asked if there was internet and another asked if there was pavement.  There are both, we are glad to report, and indoor plumbing! We’ve ended up liking it so much (Montana, not the plumbing) that we are moving the Business too.  Our new business address is 323 Lindley Pl, Bozeman Mt, 59715  (here here is a vcard file.vcf).  Since this will really only affect where to send checks, Jenny will followup with your billing staff.  The Market Street address in San Francisco will work through August, so if you forget don't worry about it this month.  However, if you forget next month we'll ship a Magpie to your office.
Besides the address change, we wanted to let you know that this month we have brought on two new staff and are shuffling some roles around.  Most of these changes are internal, but one is client facing and we wanted to let you know that Jenny will be handing off billing and invoicing.  Jenny's incredible attention to detail and her ability to navigate the finances of NiM have been incredible gifts to our team and to our clients.  Fortunately, she is not leaving NiM, but will work fewer hours and is handing off billing to a new staff member named Hannah Searsy.

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