Discovery, Research, and Testing

December 5th, 2009

Tree Testing

A quick way to evaluate your IA

After hearing about Donna Spencer’s paper-based tree testing, Dave O’Brien and his colleagues were hooked, so much so that they built an online tool to allow you to effectively test a site hierarchy. Hear about the tree testing approach and see how O’Brien’s tool works.

January 22nd, 2009

Researching Video Games the UX Way

A Look at How Bolt|Peters Researched Usability for Spore

Video game research is mostly focus groups and controlled lab play. For EA’s Spore, Bolt|Peters set out to do better by letting the users play the game in a natural environment, without interference from other players, researchers, or arbitrary tasks.

Sometimes we need to take a step back to ensure that our motivations are in the right place. It can be easy to forget that, when people participate in our studies, they are our partners. Dana Chisnell has taken the time to examine these attitudes and help us understand how to avoid falling into such traps.

October 31st, 2008

Prototyping with XHTML

Leverage Code as a Design and Specification Platform

Looking for another way of realizing your design deliverables? XHTML are easy to code, can double as specifications, and create constraints that increase design effectiveness.

Completing usability testing in a short amount of time is a challenge that consultancies and development teams often face. In the first part of a two-part series, Paul Nuschke describes how to cut time out of the preparation leading up to a study. Part two will discuss how to run the study and analyze the findings.

June 1st, 2008

Quick and Easy Flash Prototypes

Bring Your Wireframes to Life

Alexa Andrzejewski shares her quick yet powerful way for translating static screen designs (from wireframes to visual comps) into interactive prototypes using Flash. Only fairly basic ActionScript knowledge required.

Clients don’t know a thing about their users, and designers think that if they like it, everyone will. Sound familiar? Daniel Lafreniere’s 30-minute “extreme user research” plan comes to the rescue for those of us facing this exact situation. With this practical method, you can generate loads of useful data that will have a real impact on design, thus making the website more effective and profitable.

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