Just this morning I was reading a great interview with Steve Krug. He’s the guy that believes your experience on a website should help you get the thing you want to with the least amount of effort and thinking. He even wrote a book about it, called Don’t Make Me Think. 

I am a huge advocate for simple, digital experiences. Unlocking the issue is like scratching an itch. Thanks to my friend and talented designer, Nikki May, today we’re going to test some usability with her beautiful new COVID19 product. There has to be some good things coming out of this pandemic, right? 

It all started with a text.

And later the very same day there was a web page!

And then I remembered shopping on her site recently with my son. 

It was a bit of an ordeal. 

He was buying a journal for his girlfriend but then wanted to shop around. He is like his mom and not terribly adept at navigating. He got lost a few times. I even meant to record him and get some usability information for Nikki. It was day 2 of the pandemic, and I just flaked. 

But not today. I would recruit my sister for some quick and dirty user testing. 


Meet Michelle. 

She’s a middle-aged woman who shops online. Thanks to the pandemic, she is now well versed in sharing her screen via virtual meeting. This is how I will do some usability testing using Zoom.

Now take all the great information you’ve learned rom listening and create a single map that shows a linear view of pain points and opportunities. You can also place feedback on a giant whiteboard with a grid. This works well when you have many users testing and you want to track their comments in one view. 

If you rely on customer satisfaction to sell your product, you must listen to them. There’s no way around it. As expert strategist Rita Gunther McGrath put it so well, “Most organizations are just spectacularly uniformed about what their customer is really going through and where the experience breaks down. In many cases the biggest competitor they face is non-consumption.” Don’t fall into the trap of not listening. It’s easy to do. Just remember, the businesses we love, large or small, have developed a discipline around this idea. It’s not just important for improvement but will also lead you to opportunity and innovation.  

And check out NikkiMay.com for the highest fashion in PPE!



A note from the designer, NIkki May:

My sister is a physical therapist who does home care. She spends all day every day going into people’s houses who can’t get out to get the help they need. She is now required to wear a mask while doing patient care and was provided two masks. The masks she was provided have elastic that is too tight for her to wear for 5 minutes. In her own words, “The elastic is so tight, it would rip my ears off!” Friends gave her other ones to try, one where the elastic rubbed a sore on the back of her ear and one with ties that won’t stay tied. 

An illustrator that I follow online started offering these print on demand face covers and I knew they would be a great alternative. They are soft and stretchy and wrap around your face and neck rather than over the ears! I mocked some up and showed them to my sister and she immediately said they were perfect and she needed three of them!

Best of all, these face covers also double as headbands, scarves, bandanas, hoods… so once we are free to show our smiles to the world again, you still have a beautiful accessory to wear. 

I immediately knew I was on to something and sat down to make them available for her and for anyone who needs them. 

I also came up with another way to help with these products. The way print on demand works is that the manufacturer sets a base price and you can mark them up however you want. The base price is $13. The illustrator who led me to these face covers is charging $32 each. I’m only charging $25 and I’ve decided to donate $5 from each sale to Sprocket, a non-profit makerspace that I work with here in Paducah. They are currently working around the clock to provide these aerosol boxes for local hospitals to use on patients diagnosed with or showing signs of COVID-19.