David Hoberman

Recent Posts

Contextual Inquiry Part 2: Defusing Objections to Using Contextual Inquiry

Contextual Inquiry is a method adapted from ethnographic research which combines interviews, observational research, and task learning sited within the operational (work) environment. In our previous post, we defined what the method is, when it is best used (exploratory user research) and why (rich detail around context-of-use). 

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Contextual Inquiry Part 1: The Power of Being in the Room Where it Happens

Imagine your design team has a great new idea for a product that you think has the potential to be a real game-changer in the marketplace. For the sake of discussion, let’s say it’s a new app that will let small business owners manage their supply chain, so they know when their products will arrive, when they need to restock, and so on. Now, if your design team already works in the supply chain space, they might already know a lot about the user requirements. But what if all of your previous products are corporate enterprise-level software, and you don’t really have a good idea of how that scales down - which features your typical small business owners need, and which ones they will never touch?

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How to Create Trust Through Digital Design

June, 05 2017 | Design, How-To

“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” ― Stephen R. Covey

With the ever-increasing number of data breaches, identity theft, and hacked websites, customers are increasingly leery of signing up for web services, wondering if they’ll get spam or worse, if the personal information they share is safe. How can companies design their websites and apps to foster trust with wary customers? Designing for trust extends beyond the user interface to encompass process, policy, product, content and presentation in order to create an experience that the user is confident and comfortable with.

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What's The Difference Between VR, AR and MR?

April, 26 2017 | VR, Emerging Trends, AR

Maybe you saw all the people wandering around glued to their smartphones when Niantic’s Pokémon Go launched in July of last year; or maybe you idly followed the release of Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Every year for the last few years, technology evangelists have claimed that “this year” is the year that virtual reality is finally going to take off. What’s the truth behind the hype, and what do you need to know?

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5 Commonly Used Metrics in User Research

November, 10 2016 | UX Strategy, Research Methods, How-To

The only way to assess whether a product enables users to achieve their intended goals is by measurement. Metrics are standardized methods of measuring aspects of user experience to establish benchmarks, and evaluate design interactions over time. Here are 5 commonly used metrics in user research explained:

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Unmoderated Online vs. Moderated Onsite Studies

 When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But is that hammer the right tool for the job?

Several third-party remote usability testing suites specialize in hosting unmoderated studies, and all promise powerful insights delivered at a low-cost. The companies can quickly recruit users, then run them through usability scenarios, establish benchmarks, conduct large-scale user research and more. But just because you have such a tool at your disposal, does that mean it’s the right tool for your project? When would you want to opt for an unmoderated online test instead of moderated sessions?

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Task Analysis: What It Is And Why It Matters

December, 03 2015 | Research Methods, UX Strategy

There are many simple activities that turn out to be not so simple when we take a closer look. A classic example is the American grade-school exercise of writing out the instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s easy to leave out crucial steps or make assumptions that don’t end up on paper. Did you remember to gather everything you need? Did you mention using a knife to spread the peanut butter? Did you use the same knife or a different one for the jelly?

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How to Plan a Better Usability Study

September, 03 2015 | Research Methods, UX Strategy

Ask any UX designer or Human Factors researcher about their most memorable moments planning or running usability tests, and you’ll hear some real eye-openers. From challenging client relations, to logistical nightmares, to balky participants, planning and executing a successful usability study requires attention to detail, a deft personal touch, and a fair bit of improvisation in the face of the unexpected.

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