Lean Up Your Act: How to Tackle Lean and Win at Design

http://designforuse.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/just-the-ux-process-large.jpg

Jul 7
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It's 2014, and that means big changes - not just for Elon Musk, but for small UX consulting firms too! To shake things up a bit, Design For Use has recently overhauled our process from a longish-term Waterfall methodology to the very sexy newish Lean design and testing approach. After attending numerous UX conferences and networking meetups, we were inspired by the iterative and revelatory nature of Agile and Lean methodologies - and, of course, the major perk: less time spent on creating those beautiful deliverables. Armed with guidance from books like Lean UX...

Turns out Don Norman could Fit in My Suitcase: A ConveyUX Recap

Don Norman presenting at Convey UX

Feb 13
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Valle Hansen and I recently returned from the ConveyUX conference in Seattle where we conducted a workshop on a new card sorting methodology we’ve devised (more to come on that in our podcast next week). This was the first full-on UX-focused conference I’ve attended since SXSW a few years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. A big shout out to the conference organizer, Joe Welinske as well as the whole Blink UX team. The conference was just the right size, weighing in at about 350 attendees.  It was...

Off the Beaten Path: The Compassionate Moderator

Jun 24
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We've heard - and experienced - a lot of discussion about the technology hurdles of remote testing: picking the best testing tool, getting participants to download screensharing tools, dealing with proprietary software that participants don't have access to...Tech issues run the gamut. But we hear considerably less about the interpersonal challenges of running a remote usability session. It’s not just about finding the right tool or getting your participant to download Webex; it’s about maintaining your participant’s motivation and engagement by showing (gasp!) empathy and compassion during a remote session....

Skinning Cats: A New Take on Old UX Research

Jun 24
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They say there's more than one way to skin a cat - and that's true of UX research as much as anything else. Especially if the "cat" is everything you need to know in order to design a uniquely user-centered experience.   The Fat Cat: Taking Your Time and Getting All the Milk Our traditional approach to user research has been honed and refined over several years to tease out the major needs, goals, and behaviors of end users, as well as to gain a broad and deep understanding of...

Survey Says: Treading Carefully with Surveys and UX

Jan 7
2

Surveys have been an indispensable research tool since the dawn of time – literally! The first known census was conducted sometime around 3800 BCE in Babylon, and as you know, the census is still around today, even though the questions have changed a bit – from "What's your household livestock count?" to "What's your household income?"   What Are Surveys Good For? Surveys are key when you need a large and not super specialized sample size. They work best when you're interested in gauging attitudes, not behaviors. People tend to have a hard time answering...

The Remote Possibilities Are Endless: Part Two

Jan 7
1

Summary: After research into moderated and automated remote testing, Design For Use is ready to move forward with remote synchronous evaluations. We'd love to hear about your experiences and best practices with respect to moderated remote testing. Methods Now that we've looked at remote testing versus lab testing, we can delve deeper into remote testing for a more comprehensive analysis. There are two methods of remote usability testing—synchronous (moderated) and asynchronous (automated)—each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The major difference between the two methods lies in whether there is temporal division...

The Remote Possibilities Are Endless: Part One

Mar 14
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Summary: In preparation for upcoming remote usability tests, Design For Use has researched and evaluated the perks and drawbacks of remote testing versus traditional lab testing. Intro Remote usability testing is gaining popularity and prevalence as more companies and Web developers recognize the benefits of user research and look for more cost-effective ways of reaching out to users. Although test moderators are separated geographically and sometimes temporally from the users, the potential advantages of remote usability testing may outweigh those of lab-based testing. Specifically, the decreased cost and ability to recruit a...

Pushing the Boundaries of Remote Card Sorting

Jan 7
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An Age Old Problem DFU recently engaged in a project with a client to develop a new sitemap, focusing specifically on restructuring the global navigation and labeling conventions. The challenge for this project was the large volume of content: thousands of pages spanning various directories and subdirectories. The crux of the project was to conduct an open card sort remotely to determine the user’s mental model for the best labels and content groupings on the site. We’ve conducted dozens of card sorts over the years with OptimalSort, our trusted online application for...

The High Price of Heightened Security

Mar 14
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Password Protected How many web passwords do you use a day? How many user names do you have? When you consider the number of sites requiring a login, the number of different usernames applied to those sites, and the various password and security requirements that differ between sites, it’s no wonder that the most common user password is “12345.” We want to access our bank statements, watch Netflix, and view our sister’s vacation pictures easily and quickly. Why then do some sites require a password with a number, a special character, and...

The Gospel According to Krug

Jan 7
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Old Habits Die Hard One of the most insightful panels at South by South West was a presentation by design guru Steve Krug. Specifically, Krug touched on the importance of performing usability tests quickly and often during the design process. Some of his ideas seemed contrary to standard usability testing practices: recruiting loosely around the core user group, testing only 3-4 users at a time, conducting tests weekly, bypassing a comprehensive usability report for fewer more directed findings, and conducting tests in-house, rather than reserving a space at a neutral...