When the global coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year, conference organizers had to respond quickly and decide whether to cancel their conferences outright or move them online. With a tremendous amount of effort in a very short period of time, numerous conferences were relaunched as virtual conferences; recorded or live-streamed speakers broadcast in a multitude of ways, with varying degrees of interactivity. It looks like it may be a long time before it is safe to host or attend large in-person conferences. So based on our experience attending virtual conferences in the past few months, we wanted to explore what makes a great virtual conference.[Read More]
In a world where our interactions with services, companies, and even other people are increasingly mediated by mobile apps, software, and services, unpleasant user experiences can leave people feeling unsettled and exposed. Those negative experiences affect not only people’s opinions of the products but often the reputation of the company itself, spreading swiftly through social media and word of mouth. Some of these issues have been addressed, some are ongoing, but it seems that all share the same root cause - failure during design and implementation to consider potential bad outcomes from using the product.[Read More]
The best way to ensure a successful partnership with a consultancy is to have a solid shared understanding of what the goals of the project are, what work will be done, how it will be done, and when it will be done. The Statement of Work (SOW) governing project work is the foundation for a successful outcome. This article explores how to take a high-level SOW from an accepted proposal and turn it into a robust and effective contract.[Read More]
Recruitment agencies are invaluable for locating and managing participants for your UX research studies. They can be generalists or even specialize in recruiting hard-to-find types of participants, such as medical personnel, law enforcement officers, or any other profession or group of people meeting a particularly restrictive set of recruitment criteria. Their extensive experience and databases can often make difficult recruitments possible as long as they have the appropriate information and lead time for the planned sample size.[Read More]
There have been breathless articles written about how virtual or augmented reality is going to change everything for decades. Virtual Reality (VR) hardware (often glasses or goggles) allow the user to interact with a computer-generated immersive environment, where Augmented Reality (AR) devices overlay information onto the world without the processing power requirements of virtual reality. Costs are down, bandwidth is up, but it’s 2019, and with few exceptions, what Adam Draper of Boost VC calls “digital reality” remains a technology in search of a killer app.
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).[Read More]
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?
“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.[Read More]
Maybe you saw all the people wandering around glued to their smartphones when Niantic’s Pokémon Go launched in July of last
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:[Read More]
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?[Read More]
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?[Read More]