In the face of a remote working world, how can we decide which tool in our belt best fits the needs of our clients and the restrictions of our users? There are many third-party remote usability testing suites that specialize in moderated and unmoderated online studies with all promising the ability to deliver quick insights at a lower cost than using traditional methods. Many promise to quickly recruit users, run them through a variety of usability scenarios, establish benchmarks, conduct large-scale user research and many more options. While many of these tools seem to reach a high level of convenience, how do you know which one is the correct one for your project? When would you be interested in an unmoderated online tool instead of moderated online sessions?[Read More]
Last year during the EPIC (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference) 2019 keynote speech by Sareeta Amrute, various researchers grappled with the idea of tech colonialism and the need for decolonizing research. Comparing the tech industry to the colonialism of the latter half of the past millennium, Amrute and others explored a number of concerns and issues present with current technological expansion, specifically calling attention to how big data is extracted, curated, transacted, and utilized for varying ends, and the potential consequences they bring. As companies strive to be more socially responsible and make a difference in the world, they will need to adopt new methods and approaches that curtail the challenges outlined above. Building off this insight, this post explores how UX research can tackle the challenges of tech colonialism by adopting Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods in their project design. As such, it is not meant to be an exhaustive overview but rather the beginning of a conversation concerning how we can shift the ways we conduct research and the broader impacts it can have on users.[Read More]
The autonomous vehicle is more than just a blurred dream that is still off in the distant future; it’s already happening. Recently, the first self-driving taxi service has been launched in Singapore. It is predicted that it’s only a matter of a couple of years before fully automated driving vehicles will be available for purchase on the consumer’s market (Tesla is already taking incremental steps to make semi-autonomous driving vehicles available to the public). However, only a few companies like Google and Volvo have been testing fully automated driving cars on public roads.[Read More]
In this era, designers and researchers with all types of backgrounds are becoming strategic leaders and specialists in creating new products, businesses, and services. While these leaders from all walks are coming into positions of power in which we have breathtaking technological capabilities, should we not feel an obligation to do no harm? Healers agree to a Hippocratic oath- upholding them to maintain ethical standards in the work they do. Detrimental and questionable products and features have been created when power and feasibility can turn honest intentions into design decisions that alienate and do harm to the very people that the product was created to protect.[Read More]
User experience seeks to be able to capture the accurate experience of the user, but it is critical to consider if we are truly being inclusive when it comes to including all users in that collective experience. Inclusivity in UX means helping to develop and/or improve products that can serve as many people as possible. It means that all users, including those with diverse characteristics, are all able to use the product and feel included in the collective user experience that is being captured surrounding a product. The reality is we are currently designing, studying and testing products that will be used by millions of people- and it is important to make sure that all potential users can feel included, and validated, in the shared user experience.
In collaboration with Annabell Ho.
Surveys are often regarded as being easy ways of collecting large amounts of data. You put together your questions, design your survey and boom- it can be distributed and accessed online by hundreds upon thousands of participants. While it seems easy enough, there is actually a great deal of design thinking that goes into the creation of a well-designed and efficient survey. In order to make sure that once your survey goes live you generate the best possible results, there requires a hefty amount of thought, design and care that goes into the construction of a survey. A bad survey design can lead to bad data through causing participants to be unsure of how to answer questions, or not providing enough options to accurately capture the participants true experience.[Read More]
In collaboration with Jasmin Joseph.
The goal of a user research study is to better understand users behaviors, desires, needs, frustrations and attitudes through using varying feedback and observation based research methods. Therefore, it is critical that we as researchers are able to understand and capture the user experience to the best of our ability. This relies in the researchers ability to listen, as well as the participants ability to articulate themselves. Sometimes, participants may find it difficult to think of things in the moment, or know what to tell researchers. In these instances, it could be helpful for researchers to add an extra step of “pre-work” for the participants to help ensure that the research study is able to illustrate their experience in the most accurate way possible.[Read More]
In collaboration with Jasmin Joseph.
Recruitment, whether it be internal or external, is a necessary part of the research process. Part of being able to carry out an effective UX research study is being able to recruit participants who are right for the study, as well as making sure to recruit enough of them. There are several articles (including our own) that provide various different tips and tricks in order to try to help the recruitment process run more smoothly and efficiently. But what about what not to do when trying to recruit participants?[Read More]
How confident are you in moderating conversations and discussions with research participants? In my experience, there is nothing worse than a participant speaking to a researcher for an hour that is monotone and deadpan. It only makes for frustrated and fatigued participants. During a session, the user’s shut down emotionally and become unwilling to share details because they just want the interview to be over. Effective moderating is the art of building rapport instantaneously with a user, resulting in a more holistic and robust data-driven story for your stakeholders.
Imagine being tasked to uncover and deliver findings on a niche topic that is new and uncharted among your audience. Let’s say you have been tasked, as a researcher, to explore the behaviors and attitudes of people living with Celiacs Disease for the product development of a new gluten detector. Although your audience is familiar with gluten-free food, they are unaware of the nuances that separate gluten-free ‘fadist’ from people living with an autoimmune disease that requires a gluten-free lifestyle. How will you illustrate the differences between the lifestyles once uncovered? How will you distinguish the lifestyle of a person living with Celiac from other dietary limited lifestyles?
In collaboration with Ryan Stratton.
Delightful and effective user experiences don’t usually happen by chance. More often than not, they’re the result of following a methodical design process that includes research, ideation, testing, analysis, and iteration. Prototyping is a critical practice that adds value throughout the process and helps to ensure a good user experience. In this article, we review what prototyping means and why it is so important for the field of UX design and research.
Effective storytelling is simple, unexpected, credible, concrete, and emotional. Simplicity breaks the story down into a digestible piece. The unexpected and emotional elements leave a mark on the viewer’s brain and heart, making it memorable. If a story isn’t credible and concrete, it lacks merit and loses its value. A great story leaves a memorable impact on potential customers and keeps your brand at the forefront of their minds when looking for the services you offer. It begins with your company’s purpose, then how to solve a customer’s problem.[Read More]