As I addressed before, great designers are far and few between, which may make it very difficult to locate a great designer for your price range. I am beginning to think Usability testing companies seem to have the same problem. Many people make gross overstatements regarding working with designers and feel that it is necessary to keep the designer on a short leash. This is most recently voiced in an article in the February, 2010 issue of Website Magazine. In this article, “Keep Your Graphic Designer on a Short Leash,” Tim Ash, CEO of Site Tuners, made gross over statements of how to make usable design.
Attention Wizard vs Crazy Egg
I appreciate his sentiment as I have had the occasion to work with a designer I felt would do better on a short leash. However, there are many more great designers that will take into consideration usability and user experience to make for a better overall design. While I was reading his article I noticed that he was using images from a product called Attention Wizard (This is a product created by Site Tuners). So I ran Codero through the Attention Wizard and tracked our actual clicks through a product called Crazy Egg.
The bright areas on both images are suppose to be the most viewed and most clicked. As you can see the results are slightly different. This is due to the fact that Attention Wizard is an algorithm that is trained to believe that people’s eye path will work a certain way. Where as the Crazy Egg image is tracking actual clicks by customers of Codero.
Room to Breath, Not a Leash
If you provide your designer with information about demographics and the purpose of what they are designing, then you will get a fully-optimized website that excels in usability. However, if the decisions are made based on a favorite color or just because it feels good, then you have already cut your leash too short for your designer to create something good and usable.
Based on this data the Attention Wizard, which in general provides good information, doesn’t seem to be in tune with what customers are looking for and clicking on as they experience our site. If you disagree, feel free to comment below.