7 Tips to Set Up Your Home Office for Remote Work

October, 22 2020 | How-To, Research Methods, Remote Testing

      There was a time when we were encouraged to keep our work and personal lives separate. Keep your work at work. Don’t check your email at home. Don’t bring personal matters into work. Although I agree that it’s important to find work-life balance, it’s near impossible to do so now that a lot of companies are moving towards remote work out of necessity.

Whether this is a temporary trend or becomes a more permanent policy remains to be seen. While we wait for things to shake out, we can focus on what we do have some control over. Setting up an effective home office is crucial to staying productive while working remotely. Here are a few tips I’ve learned in the past six months regarding both remote work and remote research:

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How COVID-19 Affects User Research

June, 26 2020 | Research Methods, Remote Testing

      COVID-19 has already drastically changed the way Americans go about our daily lives. Some people are out of a job, others are living paycheck to paycheck, and others are more fortunate to be able to work from home without as much disruption to their socioeconomic wellbeing. In what is essentially the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, COVID-19 will undoubtedly affect the way we conduct user research. As companies around the country try to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, we at Key Lime Interactive are preparing our researchers to continue providing quality research, while taking into account how the stress and anxiety around COVID-19 can cause bias in the process. 

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5 Considerations for Switching to Remote Research During COVID-19

June, 10 2020 | Research Methods, Remote Testing

       In early March, as a response to the increasing growth of global COVID-19 cases, Key Lime Interactive moved its employees to a “work from home” arrangement. Concurrently, a number of our projects required a quick switch to remote methodologies. Although these switches allowed us to continue “business as usual”, a number of key considerations concerning conducting research during COVID-19 became apparent. Due to the distinct challenges posed by COVID-19, Key Lime Interactive is dedicating a number of blog posts centered around UX Research during a pandemic, providing suggestions on how to best account for uncertainty and “the new norm”.

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Insights on Remote Work Culture + Tools

      We have been attending several panels from experts speaking about remote culture + tools in response to recent workplace transitions. Here are 5 insights we wanted to share with the greater community:

  1. Create a toolkit of useful resources.
  2. Build rituals that encourage a sense of community across generations.
  3. Don’t let mental wellness be the elephant in the room.
  4. Time to experiment with Virtual Reality.
  5. Create new rituals. Think outside the box.
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Moderated vs. Unmoderated Online Studies

March, 17 2020 | Research Methods, Remote Testing

      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? 

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More than a User: Implementing Participatory Research Methods in UX

March, 04 2020 | Research Methods

     

      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.

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The UX of Autonomous Vehicles

       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. 

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Should Designers and Researchers Sign Their Own Hippocratic Oath?

November, 27 2019 | Research Methods, UX Strategy, Industries

     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.

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Inclusivity and UXR Part 1: Revising Survey Screeners

   
     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.

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3 Tips to Writing Better Survey Responses


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.

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Pre-Work for Usability Studies


       
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.  

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Participant Recruitment: What Not to Do


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?

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