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User experience

User experience is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. (source: Wikipedia)

Understanding variables in UX research

Global and local vars, lots of them.

“UX research pulls many terms, methods, and conventions from other fields. Selecting a method is an important first choice in measuring the user experience. But an important next step is understanding the variables you’ll have to deal with when designing a study or drawing conclusions. Variables are things that change. Variables can be controlled and measured.”

Jeff Sauro a.k.a. /jeffsauro | @MeasuringU ~ MeasuringU

Rise of the meta-designer

Abstraction going meta.

“Meta-designing in this sense could be the next grand frontier of design practice, imbued with a strategic sense for humanism and intellectualism, which are necessary elements if we are to make design thinking + customer experience + user experience into more than a checklist of ingredients for a successful business. What will you do to advance this approach? It’s admittedly aspirational and fuzzy to tackle, but that doesn’t mean it’s not feasible or valuable.”

Uday Gajendar ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.4 courtesy of @riander

UX writing and content strategy: What is the difference?

Just a matter of abstraction and focus.

“In this article, we explore how UX writing compares to content strategy. Since many are confused a bit about how UX writing fits in with content strategy, we compare the two fields and see how your business can use both of them to build an online presence and improve customer experience with digital products.”

Bridgette Hernandez ~ UXPA Magazine

Startups and UX: Relating success to good UX practices

Like we believed for years and years: UX is the success factor of products, services, and organisations.

“Incorporating UX allows startups to spot failures fast, scrap bad ideas, and stay lean. In the startup world, time is of the essence and correctly implementing UX practices allows startups to save a lot of time. User experience is a cyclical process; it always needs refinement and feedback to get better and better. Startups that are incorporating UX from the beginning have a clear understanding of where the field sits in relation to their build process, thus making them more efficient. They iterate faster, have higher adoption rates, and have happy, diverse customers.”

Ayesha Saleem a.k.a. @ayeshabydesign~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association

Who Makes a Good UX Person? Results of a Survey Using the Five Factor Personality Model

Focus on talent versus development of design competencies.

“What makes UXers tick? How are they different from other people? What do they have in common among themselves? We surveyed a group of UXers to see. First, we surveyed them using the Five Factor Model, a standard typology widely recognized in personality research.”

Cliff Anderson and Joe Grant ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association

Building an Ethics Framework for UX Design (2/2)

On the ethics, morals and norms of digital designers.

“This is the second of a two-part article. The first part of this article was devoted to exploring existential values and ethical issues where ill or misdirected intent occur. In this article, we will identify and examine ethical issues (with special reference to the healthcare industry) where the intent, though benevolent, results in latent ethical problems.”

Chris Kiess a.k.a. /chriskiess | @chris_kiess ~ UXPA Magazine

Creative next: AI, automation, and the practice of user experience design

Become more strategic, ‘creative’ and human, as we always should have been.

“The word automation conjures an image of a factory full of robots, a modern marvel symbolizing both technological progress and the regression of working-class opportunities and lifestyles. But our notion of automation generally remains ossified in this physical, machine-replaces-labor frame. We don’t think of automation in the realm of knowledge work beyond the most mundane and mindlessly repeatable tasks. But automation, powered by machine-learning advances in artificial intelligence (AI), is coming. It’s actually already been here for decades, going back to relatively primitive software innovations that eluded our ability to connect the dots back to industrial robotics before it. Perhaps surprisingly, modern AI automation has been making original art for years and has collaborated with a human team on an original painting that sold at Christie’s for $432,500. Beyond art making, AI automation can also write procedural content such as stock blurbs and minor league sports stories.”

Dirk Knemeyer a.k.a. /knemeyer | @dknemeyer and Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ ACM Interactions (XXVI.3)

A novel technique for A/B testing using static prototypes

Fortunately, life is not as binary as you think.

“A/B testing is a powerful technique for evaluating the success of a specific design element, but it is not yet widely adopted among library user experience professionals. Many libraries cannot or choose not to do A/B testing on a live website for a variety of practical reasons. Appalachian State University Libraries recently piloted a variety of A/B testing that has the potential to address some of these shortcomings: a Qualtrics survey of tasks carried out on static prototype websites embedded into the survey as inline frames. The technique allowed us to capture qualitative data in the form of survey questions and link it to quantitative server data typical in live A/B tests. Prototype A/B testing allowed us to reap the benefits of A/B testing without needing to modify a production server environment. Based on our findings from a large sample of undergraduate and graduate students, we were able to justify a post-migration design choice.”

Scott Goldstein ~ Journal of Library User Experience 2.1

The vandalisation of UX

How the semantics of UX change all the time.

“If anything, the T in T-shape isn’t a deep dive into a specific UX sub discipline, and its not to stay within the confines of either research or design. The skill you most want to T shape is the ability transfer the principles of good design across these factors. This is why the broad UX lens is perfectly positioned to engage the ambiguity that comes with design. After all, why put a cap on your abilities? We all have a ceiling but don’t put one there yourself.”

Max Taylor ~ Medium courtesy of @thebrainlady

Time Change: How the UX of time begins below the UI

From UI to UX to (…)

“The user experience of most web-based applications begins well below the interface, all the way down to fields in a database. Examining how systems and users experience time prove this point dramatically. Think about how messy time can be—time zones, leap years, recurring events. As the creators of educational technology, our team learned the hard way about failing to consider the UX implications of time—not just about how time works in technology, but also how our users experienced it in our UI. What follows are some of the technical issues that UX designers should consider about time, along with takeaways and specific methods that can be used to keep the user experience of time at the top-of-mind during product development.”

Michael McLeod a.k.a. @mcleodm3 ~ UXPA magazine

AUX3: Making UX research track with Agile

Putting a square in a circle?

“Agile and user experience have been partnered successfully since the Agile Manifesto was first authored in 2001 and have had a history of working well together in many situations. However, user experience research (UXR) has been largely unaccounted for in this work. The Agile Manifesto encourages us to revisit our processes and to iterate on ways to better describe how we work together with our teams. That is the goal of this article: to share our progress toward improving how we work by documenting an iteration of a model for you to try.”

Carol J. Smith a.k.a. @carologic, Thyra Rauch, and Hannah Moyers a.k.a. @h_moyers ~ UXPA magazine

Forge a Guild: Elevate your UX team to superhero status

Design remains team work. Even in guilds, tribes, and other social labels.

“In our busy Agile development environment, our UX team was under-resourced and frequently a bottleneck. We had won the fight for buy-in: People wanted us, but there were not enough of us to go around. So, we were seen as more of an “injustice league” than the band of heroes we wanted to be. Facing the challenge head-on, we successfully leveraged the guild model to scale UX within our mid-sized development organization. We deputized UI developers and QA resources to lighten our design load and to spread good design throughout the land.”

Jennifer Bullard @jbullard and Carol Bergantino @cbergantino20 ~ UXPA magazine

UX mentoring at scale: A how-to guide

Growing the nextgen digital designers at scale.

“Traditional mentoring programs have a lot of value. But finding the mentors can be difficult, and then pairing them one-by-one with mentees can be time-consuming. Because the recruiting and matching processes are such a heavy lift, the number of mentees who can be paired with mentors is always limited to the maximum number of mentors. Many potential mentees are left without mentors. In this article, you will learn about the following: How we created rapid group mentoring activities, how we organize the mentoring activities so mentees and mentors get the most out of the time they have together, and all the details of logistics and recruiting, so you can organize a similar activity in your UX community.”

Bob Thomas and Jen McGinn ~ UXPA Magazine

What is the role of creativity in UX design?

What’s the role of thinking in UX design. A big one.

“Did you know that there are three brain networks that are involved in creativity? In this article, Susan Weinschenk explores what creativity is, the recent brain science on what is happening in your brain when you are being creative, and the role of creativity in UX design.”

Susan Weinschenk a.k.a. /susanweinschenk | @thebrainlady ~ Smashing magazine

A structural model for unity of experience: Connecting user experience, customer experience, and brand experience

“Understanding customer experience from a holistic perspective requires examination of user experience in the context of marketing and branding. This study attempts to underpin the effects of UX on brand equity by developing and verifying a conceptual framework that connects user experience (UX), customer experience (CX), and brand experience (BX). A structural equation modeling test using data from smartphone users verified the effects of UX on brand equity mediated by CX. In the UX dimension, usability had a strong effect on brand equity, and affect and user value had an effect on customer experience. As a mediator, customer experience had an impact on brand equity with a high path weight. By implementing UX strategies that cohere with management strategies, companies can establish a high level of consumer perception of customer experience and brand value. The results and analyses of this research can help businesses establish a strategy for examining which element of UX is related to CX and BX.”

Hye-jin Lee, Katie Kahyun Lee, and Junho Choi ~ Journal of Usability Studies

The methods UX professionals use

Methods are useless without proper concepts, theories and even visions.

“The wide range of UX methods is one of the things that makes UX such an interesting field. Some methods have been around for decades (like usability testing), others are more recent additions, while some seem to be just slight variations on other existing methods.”

Jeff Sauro a.k.a. /jeffsauro | @MeasuringU ~ MeasuringU