UIE Tips: What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting It

Jared Spool

April 11th, 2012

Even the best of plans can go awry. We role play in our head how a usability test will proceed, understand the objectives at hand, and do a rigorous job of screening the participants. But what do you do when something totally unexpected occurs? Life circumstances among the participants can throw a curveball at our testing plan. What you do with the curveball can make all the difference in how you move forward with delivering your products and services.

In today’s UIEtips, we look back at an article from Steve Portigal. Steve takes a look at how some past participants took him outside of the business questions at hand, and how their life circumstances impacted his client’s business strategy. Each of the four cases Steve describes in the article made a profound affect on how he moved forward during the session and what his client came away with.

Read Steve’s article: What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting It .

On April 17, Steve presents a UIE Virtual Seminar, Championing Contextual Research in Your Organization. He’ll describe the techniques, processes, and discussion points to make sure your design best fits the problem you’re trying to solve.

One Response to “UIE Tips: What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting It”

  1. Michael Etgen Says:

    It struck me as I read the article, and the thought has occurred to me many times before too, that UX research can be viewed as a type of “personal experience therapy” for participants.

    If your clients (or project stakeholders) are brave enough to really understand and work with the kinds of deeply personal revelations that can come out of research, then I think much more interesting products and services will be created.

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