Sam Ng

UX Community and SaaS Marketing Ninja

I still remember the day we flicked the switch and released OptimalSort into the wild way back in 2007. It was an exhilarating and nerve racking moment in my life – would anyone actually use it? Does anyone else geek out to this stuff? Well, it turns out that a lot of people geek out to quantitative user research tools…

Validating personas using Chalkmark

Recently we used simple Chalkmark surveys to gather data to refine the Optimal Workshop personas. While Chalkmark was never designed for this specific purpose, it worked well. We were able to test our ideas and develop new theories about how you all behave. Here is what we did. We developed theories about our personas. We segmented our database according to…

Making (useful) information easy to find

Your job, and our job, is to make information easier to find. But is the stuff we’re making easier to find worthy of our users’ attention? The infographic below suggests that not finding what you want costs $1,200 per employee per year for UK businesses. While the accuracy of such statistics are debatable, it’s inspiring to be reminded that we…

Keeping it easy

We started this business to help you make things easy to find. User research is all about the insights. That’s the buzz we’re looking for. We make premium tools for information architecture professionals. Our tools are powerful and so this inherently involves a bit of complexity under the hood. Like you, our job is to hide unnecessary complexity. Generally we…

Leading by Design

Our office has been abuzz lately with talk about service design. Everyone fancies design and being design-led, but how do you actually create a design-led organisation? The crew over at Optimal Usability (our parent company) have done some thinking and have a few suggestions:

Lying to yourself

Recently we observed a participant in usability testing fail most of the tasks we set him. Surprisingly, when we asked him if he found anything difficult he responded, “No, not at all. BrandX.com is the best!”. This is not uncommon. In another recent usability test we ran, many participants attributed mistakes to some fault of their own instead of embracing the…

4Q – are you satisfied?

Over the last three months, we have been asking ourselves – 4Q? Aside from the rather unfortunate name, 4Q is simple way to get a gauge on the happiness of your website visitors. 4Q is a free online survey that you can place on your website to ask 4 questions (hence the name). The questions are: What are my visitors…

Picking the right tool for the job

Life as a UX professional is busy. One day you’re trawling through pages of content, then you’re doing wireframes, next you’re user testing and not to mention presenting results to clients. We built our tools to help our consultants work more effectively. We have been asked about when the best time is to use which tool. So here are our…

Userfly – how much can you learn from a silent movie?

We’re on a mission to learn about how our website is being used. We’re about to embark on a redesign, resources are tight and time is short so we’ve been using a range to online tools to accelerate the process. Userfly is a tool that records, stores and replays live website browsing sessions. While we don’t believe it’s anywhere near…

Have you experienced cute design?

One of the guys was installing Microsoft Office on his home notebook that he brought in today. The DVDs came in a fancy new plastic case with soft rounded corners. Its contents gracefully swivel out courtesy of an innovative corner hinge. The catch: you have to get it open first. Scissors? Teeth? Hammer? Just about everyone in the office had…