The user is drunk

We’ve been having a great laugh this week relooking at this fabulous YouTube clip entitled ‘The User Is Drunk’. As well as getting us giggling it has also had us nodding our heads in agreement as it’s actually about a really effective way to test the usability of your website. We often think about user testing as being done by serious customers in an office environment – but this video asks you to think outside the box and imagine that the user is drunk! So how would someone who has had a glass of wine too many find your website? How would they use it? And how would they react to it?

If you can make it work for them you can make it work for anyone so, here are some of the key points that the video makes…

Drunk people have a short attention span (and blurry vision)

Imagine that you are trying to help a drunk friend make their way home. They need constant clear guidance and reassurance. The best websites are so clear that even someone drunk can use them (that’s why so many people end up regretting late night chats they have on Facebook).

Make sure that the screen is clear so that even with blurry vision they can easily see what buttons they have to press. Tell them what the next steps are and talk them through the process. Say things twice so that what they have to do really sinks in, and they are in no doubt as to what they need to do to get the result they want.

Drunk people can be emotional

Being drunk heightens the emotions, and frustration and anger can come to the fore very easily. We have all had moments where we feel really frustrated with our computer or a website we are trying to use and can understand those feelings. It’s hard to judge what emotions your website may set off by just by looking at a screen so get a real person to test it out.

Ask someone to go to your website and get them to do certain things. It could be finding out information on the product, completing the sales process or trying to find where you are based. If the user comes away calm then your website interface is working well. If you see them getting more and more angry or frustrated then you probably need to take another look at how easy your user pathways are!

Drunk people are not stupid people!

Even though someone is drunk and may be slower than usual, it doesn’t mean that you need to talk down to them. Make things clear for your customers but don’t patronise them or they will end up getting even more annoyed with your website.

We think that this clip is fantastic as it really shows how important it is to think about the usability of your site. You can have a great product, great content and great SEO but if the customer can’t get to what they want quickly and easily you will lose them at the last hurdle. So, the main things to remember are:

  • Keep things simple and clear but don’t talk down to your customer
  • Guide and signpost your customer through your site
  • Don’t let your customer get frustrated
  • And of course….drink sensibly!

Contact us for more information on our usability services, or pop in to see us (though we can’t promise you a glass of wine).

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