In this interview, Julien Champagne explains how he applies Bastien & Scapin’s ergonomic criteria. Julien is a freelance UX designer and manager of the Design major at WebSchoolFactory. You can follow him on Twitter. Thanks, Julien!
In this series, we interview UX professionals about the importance of usability, ergonomic, and expert evaluations.
I don’t use evaluation systems as they’re meant to be used. Sometimes I’ll use an SUS when I have user tests to do, but otherwise in my day-to-day we do very few evaluations because clients simply don’t ask for them. As a freelancer I’ll work with agencies and they don’t push evaluations so I’ll do them, but just in my head. Actually, I always have Bastien & Scapin’s criteria in my head from having used them so much. It’s become automatic. So when I see an interface, I can quickly see what works and what doesn’t. On the other hand, it’s nothing official, so it all stays in my head and I use it a lot in the conception phase. The criteria, the part of the evaluation that I don’t really do, I use inversely in the design phase when I work on my wireframes. I have all the criteria in my head so I do an self-evaluation of my work as I go.
One place I use ergonomic criteria a lot, without realizing it, is when I mentor startups, which I do from time to time every few months or when they need it. Often, they’ll be working on a site or an app and they need an expert opinion. So we’ll have a one or two-hour meeting, I look at their site or application, and right away I tell them This works, this doesn’t” and I explain why before we work together on solutions. This all comes from Bastien & Scapin’s critera that I apply with the context of the specific startup. I worked for a while with a startup that allowed you to reserve AirBnB’s with a discount and there was a missing some reassurance because they have a very complicated reservation process. We looked at it together and started with the criteria before bringing in other information to make the design clearer. That’s the thing, when I meet startups they often want something practical and quick so I use these evaluation systems unofficially. It’s something you do out loud directly with the person you’re working with because they don’t have the time to read an external document.