Archive for the 'Usability Testing' topic

UIE Article: Testing in the Wild, Seizing Opportunity

This week, we revisit Dana Chisnell’s article on the benefits of conducting quick and informal usability testing. Here’s an excerpt from the article: When I say “usability test,” you might think of something that looks like a psych experiment, without the electrodes (although I’m sure those are coming as teams think that measuring biometrics will […]

The Right Way to Train the Wrong Way to Research – UI Conference Podcast

When we’re training teams on our design methods, what we perceive as ‘proper’ may in fact become a hinderance. Our dogmatic approach to our processes may prevent people from ever employing the techniques. Is it better to do it the right way, or to teach a wrong way that will get the job done?

UIE Articles – A Bias For Making

In todays article I look at the communication process designers and developers follow to bring designs to life. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Step into the Wayback Machine, Sherman, and set the dial to 1994. You’ll find me in a conference room, explaining to a room of developers and product owners (back then, we called […]

UIE Article – Bending the Protocols: Useful Variations on Usability Tests

I remember my first usability test like it was yesterday, even though it was actually more than 30 years ago. I sat in the newly built lab (first of its kind) and watched the participant through the silvered glass as they struggled with the design we were working on. What I didn’t know then was […]

Testing Your Content Is the Missing Link

Typically when we conduct usability tests we watch how a person moves from one task to another. Where do they click? Why did they take that action? But we should also look to see if usability issues are actually understandability problems. That’s one of the topics that Steph Hay and I discussed in a recent podcast, […]

Testing Versions of Your Content Might Be the Missing Link for a Useful Design.

Usability in products and websites is what most organizations strive for. Through research and testing, you can root out many issues with clunky interactions that hinder the experience. What isn’t as immediately clear is if some perceived usability issues are actually understandability problems. If your content works, it goes a long way toward improving your […]

Stop Doing Survey Research

Recently, Erika Hall published the article On Surveys where she emphasized the danger of using surveys as a research tool. She suggested that they’re often misunderstood and misused and frequently poorly done. Here’s an excerpt from her article: In my opinion it’s much much harder to write a good survey than to conduct good qualitative user research. […]

Erika Hall – Cultivating Shared Understanding from Collaborative User Research

Traditionally, user research has taken on more of a scientific identity. You would do usability testing and research, take a ton of notes, and then compile all of your findings into a report. The effectiveness of that research depended on whether anyone read the report, and then if they could do anything actionable with that data.

UIEtips: Starting Your User Research

This week’s Tips is a reprint of my article Starting Your User Research. I share ideas on how to start your own user research program and why there’s no reason to wait. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Once you decide to go down that road, the first thing you’ll realize is how rich your choices […]

Cyd Harrell – Doing “Pocket Research” to Learn About Your Users’ Lives Live!

Mobile phones are like research platforms in our pockets. With the right strategy, we can quickly understand our users’ behavior, wherever they are. And given the ubiquity of mobile usage — even among hard-to-reach populations — we as UX designers are especially poised to make our lives easier while designing better products. That is, if we actually do the research. Fortunately, Cyd Harrell knows how to gather data without breaking budgets or extending timelines.