Source: Creativity can hinder innovation
Journal of Usabilty Study – Bill Albert, May 2015
The idiom of “don’t let the fox guard the hen house” warns us about the potential danger of giving someone responsibility for overseeing something that he or she shouldn’t be involved with, particularly when there is an inherent interest in the outcome. Unfortunately, that idiom is all too fitting in the world of user experience (UX) research and practice, especially with respect to usability testing. I have seen all too often designers who evaluate their own design, or the design agency that is responsible for evaluating their own work. This is an inherent conflict of interest that results in poor quality research and, perhaps more importantly, undermines the credibility of our profession. The good news is there is an easy fix.
Let us start by stating that I do not mean to offend anyone, especially the very talented UX researchers and designers I work with every day or the design agencies that produce world class products across every industry. I have tremendous respect for their skill and professionalism. I know that they want to produce and deliver great user experiences to their clients. But even with the best of intentions, wrong decisions about how to test the usability of those products and services are sometimes made.
Even though there has already been a fair amount written about the risk of designers evaluating their own designs, this continues to be a problem, particularly with the lean UX approach. The general consensus is that this approach is not a good idea because designers have great difficulty in maintaining objectivity. It is widely understood that it is just too hard to maintain objectivity. But, what are the risks of design agencies evaluating their own design work?
In this editorial I focus on the inherent conflict of interest that design agencies have when they are responsible for evaluating their own design work, what can be done to mitigate this problem, and the implications for the UX community. I define a design agency as a consulting firm that is hired to design (from a visual and interactive perspective) digital products…
The above snapshots are taken from leading news reports and industry research journals that stress on an already aware environment of the growing importance of online businesses in the coming years. Well this article is not a discussion about the growing trends of the online industry but a way to lay the foundation of the critical attention websites need to survive this extremely competitive era. Users are short of patience given how spoilt they are for the available alternatives.
Websites need to be designed carefully with scientifically driven, confident and researched approaches. This brings us to the two main dominating methodologies:
USABILITY: Use + Ability – The ease of a user to use a human made object
TESTING: A way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results
Every website has a target audience; they have specific ‘personas’ i.e. demographics…
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As we said many times before at Minerazzi.com, these are the days of turning searchers into data miners.
The days of just one-way searching for the heck of searching or staring at a list of search results ended like about 15 years ago with the last century.
It took so much money, effort, and time for commercial search engines to realize that?! These are the days of two-way searching. Socials simply makes this so obvious.
Glad to see that Google is catching up with our thesis of turning searchers into data miners!!!
This makes even more easy for users to deploy Minerazzi as a collection curator for their Google accounts!
By Gordon Rugg
If you’re designing something that’s going to be used, as opposed to something decorative, then it’s a really good idea to make it fit for its purpose.
How can you do that? Observing the users is a good start.
“Observing” is a broad term that includes various specialised forms of observation and analysis. In this article, I’ll describe a simple way of doing basic observation of users, which involves watching out for four key alliteratively-named actions:
It’s simple, but it’s powerful, and it usually catches most of the main problems, and it gives you a good start towards designing something that the users will like.
Sources of original images are given at the end of this article
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