Notes on Identifying and Validating Assumptions and Mitigating Biases in User Research

(From a 10/19/15 post on uxmatters.com, link here) Experts who contributed to the post: Carol Barnum—Director of User Research and Founding Partner at UX Firm; author of Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set … Test! Pabini Gabriel-Petit—Head of UX for Sales & Marketing IT at Intel; Principal Consultant at Strategic UX; Founder, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of UXmatters; Founding Director of Interaction Design Association (IxDA); UXmatters columnist Steven Hoober—Mobile Interaction Designer and Owner at 4ourth Mobile; author of Designing Mobile Interfaces; UXmatters columnist Jordan Julien—Independent Experience Strategy Consultant Cory Lebson—Principal Consultant at Lebsontech; Author of UX Careers Handbook (forthcoming); Past President, User Experience Professionals’ Association (UXPA) Daniel Szuc—Principal and … Continue reading Notes on Identifying and Validating Assumptions and Mitigating Biases in User Research

Notes on Monal Chokshi & Guerrilla Research

(From Monal’s 11/16 Mind the Product talk, link here. Monal is Head of UX Research at Lyft.) Guerrilla research is an informal method of gathering quick, low-cost feedback from user It’s unplanned and informal; you simply go out into the world and approach people in an impromptu manner The famous example is approaching strangers at Starbucks and offering to buy their coffee if they will sit with you for 5 minutes and test something. You observe their reactions and any problems as they test the feature or experience Use guerrilla research to stop those endless, philosophical boardroom meetings by collecting real data … Continue reading Notes on Monal Chokshi & Guerrilla Research

UX Thought of the Day: Employ Emotion

I was listening Steve Portigal’s podcast with Elizabeth Kell, Comcast’s Sr Dir of User Research, link here. Elizabeth relates a story of how, while out doing research in people’s homes, she will interview couples together. Once they start talking, she finds she gets a much richer understanding of people’s emotional connections to their cable service—their close relationship really opens them up to discussing their experiences. Now get creative—how could you interview pairs to achieve greater understanding?? Continue reading UX Thought of the Day: Employ Emotion

Notes on Tomer Sharon’s Rainbow Spreadsheet User Research Tool

(From Tomer’s 4/11/13 post on smashingmagazine.com, link here.) Tomer created a collaborative UX research observation tool he calls the Rainbow Spreadsheet (download it here, but read his article!) Your whole team can use it to collect observations in the same document. Avoid writing a separate formal complete report by using it! Use it via Google Doc. Tomer has 12 steps he uses with the tool: Finalize your discussion guide, nailing down what questions you will ask participants in what order Schedule a 45 min break between sessions to discuss observations Make a copy of the master Rainbow Spreadsheet for this … Continue reading Notes on Tomer Sharon’s Rainbow Spreadsheet User Research Tool

Notes on Tomer Sharon’s UX Salon Inteview about his New Book

(From UX Salon’s Dec 20 2105 Skype interview with Tomer Sharon, link here.) In preparing to write his new book, Validating Product Ideas through Lean User Research (order it at rosenfeldmedia), Tomer interviewed some 200 top startup folks to find out how they make product decisions and how they utilized user input to improve their products He discovered 3 commonalities: They asked themselves good questions (yay!) They understood the priorities for answering those questions (great!) BUT they didn’t know how to answer those questions (whaaa?) Virtually none of them had even considered any form of user validation testing or other form of user research At … Continue reading Notes on Tomer Sharon’s UX Salon Inteview about his New Book

Notes on Erika Hall and Jared Spool’s Cultivating Shared Understanding from Collaborative User Research podcast

From Erika and Jared’s 9/11/15 podcast, link here. Be sure and listen to it–my notes only cover the first half! Erika will be running a workshop at the UI20 conference in Boston in Nov–sure wish I was going! Traditional, rigorous user research sometimes just ends up in a binder, not really read and not utilized in a substantive way Your customers for research are the folks on your team who will use the knowledge to improve the design and experience for their customers Research success can be measured by how well your team was able to utilize it throughout the dev lifecycle Think … Continue reading Notes on Erika Hall and Jared Spool’s Cultivating Shared Understanding from Collaborative User Research podcast

Notes on Colleen Roller’s Designing for Explicit Choice

from the 5/25/15 blog post by Colleen Roller on smashingmagazine, link here. When designing forms, it’s better to design for explicit choices with possible outcomes included: “I want to enroll in a 401(k) plan and take advantage of the employer match.” “I don’t want to enroll in a 401(k) plan and don’t want to take advantage of the employer match.” Why this format? Users are unlikely to seek out more information to inform their decision With less information, users are risking more and thus are less likely to make a selection that changes the current status quo Users are much more motivated by … Continue reading Notes on Colleen Roller’s Designing for Explicit Choice

Notes on Gerry McGovern’s Top Tasks Identification Method Explained

From a 11/12/10 blog post by Gerry McGovern on his site, link here. Gerry posted on the subject again on 5/21/15, link here. Gerry has developed a survey technique for finding top user tasks. Make a list with 100 tasks Ask survey participants to quickly pick their top 5 tasks That’s it! Well, actually, compile results etc… By surveying 400 customers, you will find users’ top 10 tasks with reasonable certainty 400 is a good number since the chances of a top task being in the bottom 50, or of a largely unwanted task being in the top 10, is … Continue reading Notes on Gerry McGovern’s Top Tasks Identification Method Explained

Notes on UXpod’s The Five-Second Test podcast with Paul Doncaster

From Gerry Gaffney’s 9/29/14’s UXpod podcast, available on iTunes. The 10 Rules from Paul’s book ( link at bottom of post) Only use the 5-Second Test on appropriate topics–not overly complicated questions, task flows or screens which require much reading Focus on a specific design item or aspect and test only that item. The Memory Dump Test, Target Identification Test or Attitudinal Feedback Test are three viable issues—but only use one technique per test session Don’t give a user any reason to say I don’t know or I don’t remember–make sure your instructions, images and questions are laser-focused Devote time to writing … Continue reading Notes on UXpod’s The Five-Second Test podcast with Paul Doncaster

Notes on LukeW’s There Is No Fold

from Luke Wroblewski’s blog post on 4/29/15, link here. The “fold” is an outdated concept and should be abandoned Here are the stats culled from 25m sessions: The areas just above and below the traditional fold get the most engagement The top of the screen gets little attention–people assume it’s all chrome and ignore it (it gets 75% less engagement than the area just above and below the fold) The call to action needs to be placed where users have been convinced to take action–in an A/B scenario, the CTA on B was 20x further down the screen than on A … Continue reading Notes on LukeW’s There Is No Fold