I blacked out when he said he wanted to underline text so that the site looked more interactive. I couldn’t hear him anymore because of the internal dialogue reinforcing my superiority. “He doesn’t think of the user. He only cares about sales. What kind of stupid idea is that? A really, really stupid one. What happens when someone tries to click the underlined text? Nothing? Awesome plan.”
I was stuck in the room for another 15 minutes, so I decided to play a game called “in what universe is this a good idea?”
One of our finest tasks as designers is to filter the abundance of choice into easily digestible bits. Creating great interfaces is as much about motivating, teasing, leading, and guiding users along—so that they experience value, faster—as it is to improve usability by removing friction. This requires an endeavor into product psychology and the art of designing with purpose and intent.
Build a command line option into your next user interface.
Some of you techies may be reading this and thinking, “Yes! I live in a command window all the time on my computer.” Well, I’m not really thinking about you as my target audience. I’m talking more about applications used by everyday people outside the IT industry.
User experience (UX) researchers tasked with improving customer-facing products face many challenges on a daily basis—perhaps none more daunting than translating their research insights into positive change. This article presents 10 tips I have learned over the course of my career to help UX researchers increase the impact of their research insights in applied settings. These tips are intended primarily for in-house research teams, but they may apply to consultancies as well.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn.”
At the SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC), we frequently organize the so-called “Method Mondays,” a regular one-hour meeting series in which the team members share, practice, and test different methods.
In this article, I would like to share the five methods with you that work best for us—they’re worth trying!
The majority of our work at Google has involved conducting user research with small business owners: the small guys that are typically defined by governmental organizations as having 100 or fewer employees, and that make up the majority of businesses worldwide.
Given the many hurdles small businesses face, designing tools and services to help them succeed has been an immensely rewarding experience. That said, the experience has brought a long list of challenges, including those that come with small business owners being constantly on-call and strapped for time; when it comes to user research, the common response from small business owners and employees is, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
To help you overcome common challenges we’ve faced, here are a few tips for conducting successful qualitative user research studies with small businesses.
From start-ups to banks,design has never been more central to business. Yet at conference after conference, I meet designers at firms talking about their struggle for influence. Why is that fabled “seat at the table” so hard to find, and how can designers get a chair?
Designers yearn for a world where companies depend on their ideas but usually work in a world where design is just one voice. In-house designers often have to advocate for design priorities versus new features or technical change. Agency designers can create great visions that fail to be executed. Is design just a service, or can designers* lead?
*Meaning anyone who provides the vision for a product, whether it be in code, wireframes, comps, prototypes, or cocktail napkins.
Have you ever asked for an update on a project you’d invested a great deal of time and energy in, only to hear “they have completely redesigned it since then”?
I did, and it left me with this very empty feeling.
After some wallowing, I realized I needed to discover a new way to think about the way I work and what really matters in my consulting career. My answer: The mark of a truly good consultant is investing in people. Focusing on investing in people will ensure that your work will still continue to see results long after the application is redesigned, and that is change that matters in the long run.
In the following article, I will give three areas in which we can focus our efforts: mentoring, client education, and our own team members. I hope that the reflection will help us all be better consultants and make better investments.
Design research has always been about qualitative techniques. Increasingly, our clients ask us to add a “quant part” to projects, often without much or any additional budget. Luckily for us, there are plenty of tools available to conduct online surveys, from simple ones like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey to more elaborate ones like Qualtrics and Key Survey.
Whichever tool you choose, there are certain pitfalls in conducting quantitative research on a shoestring budget. Based on our own experience, we’ve compiled a set of tips and tricks to help avoid some common ones, as well as make your online survey more effective.
We’ve organized our thoughts around three survey phases: writing questions, finding respondents, and cleaning up data.
Which version of the ‘suspended account’ dashboard page do you prefer?
Perhaps you don’t really care. Each one gets the job done in a clear and obvious way.
However, as the UX architect of the ‘overview’ page for a huge telecom leader, it was my job to tell the team which treatment we’d be using.
I was a freelancer with only four months tenure on this job, and in a company as large, diverse, and complex as this one, four months isn’t a very long time. There are a ton of things to learn—how their teams work, the latest visual standards, expected fidelity of wireframes, and most of all, selecting the ‘current’ interaction standards from a site with thousands of pages, many of which were culled from different companies following acquisitions or created at different points in time. Since I worked off-site, I had limited access to subject matter experts.