Articles



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The Problem With Research Democratization That People Aren’t Talking About

6/6/2023

Research democratization can be done successfully, but it takes a lot of guidance and effort. The first requirement is having WILLING non-researchers. Just because non-researchers (i.e. designers, developers, product managers, marketers, etc.) can learn to conduct research, it doesn’t mean they want to. I’m all for fostering a user-centered culture, but using reluctant non-researchers is not the way to go about it. Before spending a lot of time and money on training non-researchers, ask yourself, “Does [team member] actually want to take this on?” Don’t make assumptions. Ask them...

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Using LEGO® Serious Play® in UX Research

3/28/2018

It's been said that you can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation. That's exactly the magic behind using LEGO® Serious Play® in UX research. This method is conducted as a facilitated meeting in which participants are led through a series of questions and each participant builds his or her own 3D LEGO® model in response. These 3D models serve as a basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing, strategic visioning, problem solving, and decision making. This method can be facilitated in groups or one-on-one and and can be used to improve group problem solving, communication, team building, and even help to elicit more feedback during user research interviews...

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Collaging: Getting Answers To The Questions You Don't Know To Ask

2/6/2012

When conducting user research, we all know that asking the right questions is just as important as how you ask them, but how do you know exactly what questions to ask? What if the discussion topic is very personal? How do you get a complete stranger to open up? There is a better way to conduct an in-depth interview, and it doesn't involve a clipboard. Just imagine what you could discover if the participant's answers weren't limited to a predetermined set of questions. This is where collaging can help...

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Unmoderated, Remote Usability Testing: Good or Evil?

1/18/2010

Recently, there has been a surge in the number of tools that are available for conducting unmoderated, remote usability testing and this surge is changing the usability industry. Whether we want to or not, it forces us to take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of unmoderated testing and decide whether we should incorporate it into our usability toolbox...

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Unsolicited RFPs: Just Say, No!

4/13/2013

Imagine that you're sitting at your desk, and you receive an email message from someone you don't know who is sending you a Request for Proposal (RFP). You don't even have any contacts at their company. What do you do? Like so many other independent UX consultants, when I first started consulting, I would jump at the opportunity to bid on work for new prospective clients...

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PDF Prototypes: Mistakenly Disregarded and Underutilized

8/6/2007

Creating a clickable PDF to prototype a new design is not a new concept, but it is a valuable tool that is often overlooked and underutilized. While working over the years with other designers, information architects and usability professionals, I've noticed that many of my colleagues believe the same fallacies about the limitations of PDFs. Contrary to popular belief, you can do more than just create links and interactive forms with PDFs...

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Why Usability is Key to Success Online

7/28/2007

On the Internet it's survival of the easiest. Now more than ever, a web site's success is dependent upon how usable it is. The main reason why usability is vital online is because usability has a direct impact on the potential revenue your web site can produce...

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Is Your Homepage Doing What It Should?

7/20/2007

The homepage is the most important page on a web site, yet it's content is often neglected or even worse, non-existent. There are a few reasons why the homepage is vital to the overall success of a website...

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