040 - Tim Broadwater, UX Architect
Tim is an artist and front-end developer, presently the UX Architect at West Virginia University Libraries and several times certified by the Nielsen Norman Group. He’s written two articles for LibUX ( “Value vs. Feasibility” / “Why am I doing this to our users?” ), and he’s been super amazing to work with.
I asked to pick his brain about his experience in NN/g’s certification programs and the burgeoning UX degree field – and I am left feeling pretty good about the state of library user experience design.
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Here are the pulls
3:50 – UX Certifications and the burgeoning UX degree field
9:22 – Are we at peak UX?
I know a handful of professionals who are great web developers and great designers …, and they refer to themselves as UX designers or UX architects, however they have never once conducted any type of usability study or intercept or any type of evaluation that involves their users – they don’t meet their users, ever. I think the term gets broadly applied to where it becomes a buzzword.Tim Broadwater
15:55 – Pitching user research to stakeholders
16:35 – Tim’s case study
We can shoot from the hip over and over and over again and sometimes we get an “okay” success, but … most of the time we get an absolute failure. How do we go forward? We have to make decisions based on user data. … Our target audience is constantly changing so we have to always be able to take the pulse.Tim Broadwater
20:21 – We — Michael and Tim — love the hamburger menu. Unashamedly. And it’s going to be around for years.
I can’t deny [the hamburger menu] affords a certain amount of convenience in terms of design because of the … complexity of maintaining a front-end framework that must be as malleable [as a libraries’ must be] to adapt to so many different kinds of applications and so many different kinds of users.Michael Schofield
28:50 – This has become Navigation UX Talk with Tim and Mike.
34:03 – Left navigation? Ugh! As if!
I think left hanf navigation is kind of a lazy way to deal with your secondary tier navigation. There are so many different options now that are out there. I think what we’re seeing now is that with long scrolling pages and different kind of navigation items or navigations that are sticky, staying on the page, … there are different ways to get to the same information and it’s more important to evaluate what works best for you or your users, as oppose to playing it safe or going with your peers.Tim Broadwater
Why do all higher-education websites look the same? Because we’re all looking at each other’s for peer research! No one is looking at apartments.com, which has this great search box functionality and I would argue that’s a perfect example for a library website … – and it uses the hamburger icon as well.Tim Broadwater