Articles & Interviews

Field Research

Putting "Context" Into Context
Design happens at the intersection of the user, the interface, and their context. It's essential for interface designers to understand the gamut of contexts that can occur, thereby ensuring they create designs that are usable no matter what's happening around the user. In this article, Jared explores the various components of context and how to integrate them into the design process.

Designing Products That Work the Way People Work: An Interview with Kate Gomoll
While techniques, such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys, can lead to valuable insights, the most powerful tool in the toolbox is the field study. We talked with Kate Gomoll, a User Research expert, about how she and her team at Gomoll Research & Design conduct their Field Research.

Field Studies: The Best Tool to Discover User Needs
Jared M. Spool talks about why field studies are the most powerful user research technique for successful design teams.

Personas

Seven Common Usability Testing Mistakes
As we work with teams all over the globe, there are mistakes that we see frequently. These mistakes are very easy to prevent -- if only the team members realized they were making them. Here are seven of the most common mistakes.

Perfecting Your Personas
Cooper's Kim Goodwin, an expert in persona development, provides a few tips on avoiding the most common pitfalls of persona creation.

Three Important Benefits of Personas
UIE's research has surfaced obvious benefits from the persona technique, such as better designer agreement on important features and an in-depth understanding of the user's motivations. But, it also unveiled some benefits that we don't see discussed anywhere. Read about these other benefits here.

Personas: Matching a Design to the Users' Goals
Learn how personas can help designers tackle the huge challenge of designing products and web sites for a large number of different users.

Personas and Goal-Directed Design: An Interview with Kim Goodwin
We recently had the chance to interview Kim Goodwin, Director of Design at Cooper, about persona development.

Getting from Research to Personas: Harnessing the Power of Data
Kim Goodwin, Director of Design at Cooper, explains the process of creating personas from research.

Usability Testing

Six Tips to Ensure a Successful Usability Test
Ginny Redish, a recognized expert in the world of usability testing, and author of the book, "A Practical Guide to Usability Testing", has written a fantastic article with tips for ensuring you get the most out of each usability test.

Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go
UIE has been researching how designs are created in the first place. Our goal is to identify those places where usability problems are first put into the design and to come up with ways to prevent it from the outset. in the successful teams, the same three techniques pop up again and again: field studies, personas, and usability testing.

Honing Your Usability Testing Skills: An Interview with Ginny Redish
Ginny Redish, a recognized usability expert, shares her insight into usability testing best practices.

5 Things to Know about Users
"Know Your Users" is the mantra of any good designer. Yet, what should you actually know about your users? How old they are? How much they make? Or something else entirely? A recent usability test helps identify the 5 things every designer needs to know about their users