While reading this article, I was made aware of this service called peek. You give them your URL and your email address and they send you a 5-minute video with a first-time user. The user explains how they're navigating and what they're thinking, giving you a first hand perspective of how good (or bad) your site's usabulity is. I signed up, and I am terrified.
So, obviously I signed up and sent someone to the Ramen homepage.
And oh boy, was it painful.
As I watched the video, I felt like running away. As the sole designer at Ramen, my job is to have a user land on the homepage and convert them. I failed. Not only was this person a random user, but he turned out to be our target customer. He had a software project he wanted to validate and get feedback on, but shortly after getting him excited about the concept of Ramen, our homepage confused him, and we lost him as a customer. It was terrible to see someone wed consider our exact target market bounce because I failed to explain the benefits Ramen can provide.
|Instapaper Placebo: a Bookmarklet for Offloading All Good Intentions|
|'Dictionary of Numbers' Puts Numbers in Human-Understandable Terms|
|Randomly Surf Wikipedia|
|United Kingdom Starts Forcing ISPs to Selectively Block Websites|
|“Bioinspired Polymeric Woods.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”|
|The Paper Airplane Database|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|“Companies like Google seem to have a dangerous disconnect from those of us in the world outside their confines.”|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|
|Fake Name Generator|