Viewing all ideas posted in User Research
Whether or not Microsoft paid too much, I have little doubt that Skype is an extremely valuable property (and I don't say this just because they're a client.) I've seen Skype embed itself into my life unlike other services. At home, it's for video calls with my children's grandparents. At work, it's for lightweight video conferencing between our offices, and with our clients. So while Skype began as a voice calling service (and I'm sure that's how it's still primarily used), it's unique utility really became clear with how it handles video calling, and, as bandwidth continues to improve, I suspect this activity will only increase.
The thing about video calling, though, is that it has been “just around the corner” for over 40 years, beginning with the AT&T Picturephone. According to Stanley Kubrick, we would be using them by 2001:
I’ve written about the tension between truth and fiction in personas before. In that tension is the power of personas as a design tool but it is also their greatest potential weakness. Too much fiction leads to misguided design. Too little fiction leads to uninspired design. The magic stuff that gives us that proper amount and kind of fiction is intuition. It is the leaven in the bread; the spark of real live human that we put into the data analysis.
“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”
The biggest barrier to human centered design is just getting it done. Once you plan the research, recruit participants, conduct research sessions, then analyze and report the results, you’ve tapped hundreds of work hours and taken weeks off your schedule. You have to plan weeks in advance.
Instead, let’s say screw all those barriers. What about getting the customer voice when you most need it? Which, of course, is often difficult to predict in the ambiguous design process. I’m thinking there’s at least two alternatives:
We were working on the interaction design of a…
Brandon started a discussion on an internal mailing list, asking, “The usability lab is now the ________ ?”, and explaining:10 to 15 years ago the usability laboratory was the must-have for vetting and testing your design ideas. But more nimble development processes and new tools seem to have superseded the usability lab. Some of these are:
remote screen sharing and screen recording tools and services
voice of the customer feedback systems, like Get Satisfaction and other SaaS tools
A/B testing and multi-variant testing
remote co-design tools like online card sorting
survey tools for straight-up surveys and concept evaluations
public betas, previews, and…
We in the user experience design industry talk a lot about keeping the user’s perspective in mind as we make things. User research helps us do that. User testing keeps us in check. And here’s another interesting way to shift your perspective…shake things up and look at it from the object’s point-of-view.
When I watched this video for the first time, I was fascinated on the surface level of aesthetic. I loved seeing words written from the perspective of a pen. And then it struck me that it is also a great reminder of…
Yesterday I watched two insightful and thought-provoking TED Talks with experience design themes.
The first is Stefana Broadbent’s “How the Internet Enables Intimacy”. She presents meaningful commentary on the reality of how internet tools are used in a social, and intimate fashion. And I think her findings might surprise you.
The second is Pranav Mistry’s presentation on how he’s been trying to more directly connect the digital and analog worlds. His SixthSense technology is awesome, but what I hadn’t realized was how important it was for him to figure out how to do this at low…
If you’re trying to get a better experience out in the world, the best proof of your ideas is probably just doing it. It can take months and years to plan, spec, and align organizational bureaucracies around a strange new idea. But making your idea concrete enough to be used by real people can remove obstacles, win hearts, and create real traction.
The San Francisco city government is like other governments, not particularly known for its speed and nimbleness. But recently they’ve discovered the power of calling projects “pilots” to eschew the normal policies and procedures in favor…
Until recently, I used to bank with Washington Mutual. One of the things that made WaMu unique was their “Occasio” retail style branch design. Those of you who may have seen Don Norman’s conversation with Peter at UXWeek 2008 might recall that WaMu came up with the design after extensive research, field work and ethnography. They spent considerable time and money studying how people do banking and even created some trial banks to help them study customers. The layout, which included a concierge desk, children’s area as well as “teller towers” was friendly, easy to engage with and emphasized…
I’m very pleased to announce the relaunch of Changemakers.com, the leading network for open source social innovation. Changemakers is a program of Ashoka, a global non-profit organization supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Changemakers hosts competitions to find the best solutions to social problems, and allows the community to collaborate on, refine, enrich, and implement those solutions. The Adaptive Path team included Leah Buley, Rae Brune, Dan Harrelson, and Kumi Akiyoshi, with Jody Medich and Gray Kuglen.
[caption id=“attachment_3416” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Redesigned Home Page”]
The redesign was a nine-month project involving not only…
In preparation for teaching the Design Research day of our upcoming UX Intensive in San Francisco, from June 15-18, I’ve been reflecting on the different roles that design research plays in the design process and in the organizations we work with.
One interesting role that design research plays through personas, and other representations of qualitative research findings, is helping businesses escape from their usual organizational frameworks of personality, position, history, and silo dominance. I have seen personas become peace-keepers, in that they allow people to acknowledge and address an outside truth that they couldn’t otherwise talk about. I…