It’s one reason why so many UX designers are frustrated in their job and why many projects fail. And it’s also why we often can’t sell research: every decision-maker is confident in their own mental picture. In this article, Sophia Prater shows you how to collaboratively expose misalignment and gaps in your team’s shared understanding by bringing the team together around two simple questions. What are the objects? How do they relate?
Topic: User Research
How do we know that we’re creating the right enhancements for the web, at the right time, for the right audiences? The ins and outs of qualifying and quantifying just who we are designing for, and what they want—from data mining and analytics to email surveys, from lab-based usability studies to one-on-one interviews, from ethnographic field studies to eye tracking, from card sorts to desirability studies, from message board mining to A/B testing.
Design for Safety, An Excerpt
None of us want to build products that put our users’ safety at risk, but how do you reduce the risk that our products will be weaponized by abusers? In this excerpt from Design for Safety, Eva PenzeyMoog offers a clear strategy for building inclusive safety in our products.
Beware the Cut ‘n’ Paste Persona
User personas are a cornerstone of user research, but can fail when they portray abstract caricatures rather than actual potential users. Emanuela Cozzi and Lennart Overkamp show us a new take on user personas that can prove to be more effective and meaningful.
Discovery on a Budget: Part III
Rounding out her series of articles on how to conduct value-adding user research when resources are limited, Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek takes us on a journey through the results of the fake door A/B test set up in Part II. After shedding light on the darker side of surveys, and offering guidelines to maximize their value for minimum input, she concludes by touching on that that old favorite: how to know when the research is done and it’s time to start building.
Working with External User Researchers: Part II
Most people agree that it’s important to get feedback from users, but in reality, not everyone can afford a dedicated user researcher on their team. In this second and final installment on working with external user researchers, we focus on how to get things done once you’ve found the right person to bring onto your project. With these best practices around on-boarding and collaboration, you’ll be able to get the most value for your money, and get the most candid insights into what your users really think.
Designing for Research
Image quality may be about striking the balance between speed and quality, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. What if, despite having methods to develop better and better image experiences for the web, the user disagrees? In a quest to find answers, Jeremy Wagner takes us through an image quality study that he designs, develops, and iterates on with user feedback. Asking “Why?” is no easy undertaking in research. His lossy is your gain.
Discovery on a Budget: Part II
When it comes to evaluating the next “big idea”, not everyone has a pot of money, crowds of existing customers and a roomful of eager researchers and analysts. So in this second installment of her three-part series, Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek leads us through the next steps in budget-conscious discovery—analyzing the data gathered from initial research, refining the problem hypothesis, and setting up a fresh round of more-targeted research. For Meg’s fictitious startup, Candor Network, it’s clear that a new focus is needed …
Working with External User Researchers: Part I
So you need to bring on an external user researcher. How do you start? Authors Chelsey Glasson, Jeff Sauro, and Cory Lebson have run a user research agency, hired external researchers, and worked as freelancers. Via their different perspectives, they provide a solid guide to hiring researchers as contractors. Part I of two articles.
No More FAQs: Create Purposeful Information for a More Effective User Experience
Putting the right information in the right place to best support user (and company) goals requires carefully targeted content and good information architecture (IA) … and definitely no FAQs! However attractive the FAQ “solution” might seem at times, using it makes information hard to find, access and maintain, and generally hinders task completion. Discussing the limitations of—and alternatives to—FAQs, Lisa Wright is on a mission to banish them forever, or at the very least make them more effective if you have to include them.
Discovery on a Budget: Part I
“Discovery” is a key phase of design. It’s the starting point, where you define and clarify the problem you’re about to solve. For established or big businesses with dedicated budgets, teams, and customers to interview, the process is straightforward. But what about small companies, startups, and nonprofits that lack these resources? How can lean organizations participate in and benefit from discovery? Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek shows us, in Part I of “Discovery on a Budget.”