Summary: Hiring UX Designers and UX managers or UX consultants can be difficult especially for product, marketing, engineering or HR folks who are unfamiliar with what a UX designer ought to be doing to generate real value. Know what you are shopping for, so you get what your organization needs! Better yet avoid these mistakes made by those before you. Good UX hiring contributes to reinforcing an Outside-In Design organization.
Summary: Testing with 5 users has become a commandment in UX research. Worse yet, a sample of 5 has become the rule, for any type of user research (field studies or diary studies). Sample size is a big deal in UX because it impacts your learning and decision-making. Skimp on sample size and you will likely cut yourself short of valuable insights.
For Usability Testing: If you follow Jakob Nielsen's advice: test with 5 users or less (2 users for low-fidelity prototypes) and do many iterations of testing (at least 3 rounds of testing). Our advice: if you have multiple user segments and you don't have time to play with 3-5 iterations, test with 8-10 users for prototypes, and 15-20 users for finished products. If you can, or need to iterate then a second round of testing should suffice.
Summary: This infographic summarizes 7 classic mistakes in approaching user experience design and process. The text of the infographic is below the image, with the addition of more summary notes not found in the infographic--look for “Comment” in the text version below for these exclusives.
[INFOGRAPHIC]: Accelerate your UX Management by repairing these 7 issues
User Experience Management combines organizational dynamics: the right people, in the right role/org chart, doing the right processes and delivering business value through design.
Repair these 7 issues to accelerate your UX efforts:
1. Seeing UX as just ease of use
Comment: If you just think UX is about ease of use, you’re missing the party over in the Desirability department.
Summary: Diary Studies are one of the most under-utilized and least understood UX techniques. Diary Studies are slightly more complicated than user testing and require additional know-how in study design, moderation and deployment. In this webinar and complimentary e-book, you'll learn how to use diary studies like a pro, avoiding the pitfalls inherent in diary studies.
Why Diary Studies?
Summary: Surveys are often over-used or mis-placed as a research technique that many teams rely on to figure out usability and user experience problems. Understand the limits and opportunities of the tool and instead either don't lean on it too heavily or use it as an adjunct to reach a wider audience--as part of a qualitative user research project (user interviews).
When Surveys Fail You
Surveys are great, except when they are not. Surveys are often used as a way to gather usability feedback. This makes sense, after all questions like: Do users use your site or app? Do they find it valuable? What do they want? are perfectly reasonable questions to ask your users. So what is the problem with surveys for user experience questions?
First, be clear that surveys are a market research tool. That means they are not entirely appropriate as a usability or user research tool. Why?
Summary: If your best intentions are not on meeting business and user goals, you should take a hard look in the mirror and re-callibrate. Ego-centered design means you think you are the user, and that means your design will be lacking in empathy. Instead practice User-Centered Design.
What is ego-centered design?
It's the hardest thing for a designer, developer or manager to admit. We often make a call without evidence (beyond a hunch). But even the best UX Designers do not trust their hunches until they have listenend and observed their users. Note: It's a learnable skill.
Ego-centered design means design decisions are lacking user validation. Many a dozen design revisions were done (you know who you are) without any idea of the audience, their tasks or the business objectives driving the priority. Commonly understood definitions of ego-centered design include:
Summary: Designing for VR must include users with disabilities. If you are working on AR or VR content, the accessibility of your app or piece should be on your radar from design time through to implementation.
Designing for blind users in VR requires the use of spatial audio using tested 3D sound techniques. At Experience Dynamics we work on a lot of R&D projects that we end up publishing results to the wider UX/ HCI community. One of these projects is a Disability & VR project called SoundSpace.
We include this case study/ demo (VIDEO) included below of how sound can aid navigation, information finding and social VR.
Summary: UX efforts should improve their quality of data and informed decision-making by making sure feedback is coming from the right users.
Let's talk about fake users
Fake users are the wrong people who will provide you biased, tainted or innacurate and imprecise feedback. Precision is everything if you want to be successful with UX. Getting the right users, priceless.
At Experience Dynamics we learned this from doing it the other way (Hint: Your UX Agency does it this way most likely, ask them). Like many, we used to have a Market Research firm recruit for us, now we do it all meticulously in-house.
Market research firms provide recruiting (focus groups are happening all the time). But it's also very common to have user no-shows, luke-warm relevant feedback or someone that feels like a badly hired actor. We have not experienced any of that for many years-- that's when you know you are doing it right.
Summary: Ethnography, a core UX technique for intercepting user needs and issues is essential for getting beyond the guidelines-following approach to Accessibility. Understanding the needs of your users with disabilities can take your accessibility efforts to a new level, that can be measured in quality of experience.
Summary: Time is an important design variable to understand. Time or temporal aspects of tasks hide metaphors, flows or triggers that you can bring into your design. Designs that miss out on the time aspect of Interaction Design face a poor or failed user experience.
Examples of Time in Design
1. Pizza ordering: Domino's uses the time tracker as a way to manage expecations.
2. Ticket-ordering: TicketMaster and others use the countdown timer to secure the purchase (and refresh inventory).