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Moderating usability test sessions: Are you Darth Vader or C-3PO?

Miranda Wee and Tania Lang
August 23 2017

Helping participants’ complete tasks; tipping them off that they have made a mistake; giving them too much freedom or leading participants; these are all things inexperienced test moderators might find themselves doing when moderating a test session. This article explores some of the common mistakes and why they’re damaging to the test outcomes presented through 5 Star Wars archetypes. Learn how to be a good test moderator and how to avoid being one of these 5 archetypes.

Categories: Usability testing,User centred design,Tools & methods

Planning usability testing – Writing test plans

David Humphreys
July 28 2017

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Planning is a critical part of the usability testing process. Without planning, your testing activity runs the risk of disorganisation at best and misleading or useless results at worst. Spending time planning will reduce the risks of the testing going off the rails and enhances the potential for great insights. This article explores the reasons for planning your usability testing process and just what you should think about. Hint: we mention checklists quite a bit.

Categories: Content,User centred design

UX Stands on the shoulders of Content Strategy

Dan Naumann
June 02 2017

Content is one of the main touchpoints between the user and the business. It is a core and critical part of the user experience. Content strategy and UX share similar goals and challenges. Content Strategy forms a foundation layer for UX activities, and UX activities (especially research and testing) serve to strengthen and improve content, thereby in turn improving the user experience.  This article explores some of the key overlapping themes between UX and Content Strategy.

Categories: Content,User centred design

Collaborative journey mapping

Amber Dean
May 09 2017

You’re probably all familiar with customer journey maps as a user research output and/or design tool. But their usefulness can also extend to the research process, especially when you are trying to understand user decision-making. That is, the journey map can be a useful visual tool for both participant and moderator in a one-on-one interview.

Journey maps can be used to map out users’ behaviour and delve into the beliefs, attitudes and emotions that underpin this behaviour.  When coupled with some research techniques grounded in cognitive psychology, you have a very sound and rigorous approach to understanding your user’s decision-making.

Categories: User research,User centred design,Design,Design patterns

Analyse early, analyse often

Amber Dean
March 31 2017

As UX researchers, whether we are working on some early exploratory user research, or working on a quick and ‘lean’ usability testing project, due diligence in analysis is a necessary part of our trade. But have you ever experienced ‘paralysis by analysis’ or felt overwhelmed by the amount of data collected? You may have just spent a month conducting contextual enquiries with your user base, and now face the seemingly impossible task of pulling it all together. Or you may be working in an Agile / Lean UX environment and have just finished 4-6 test sessions and now need to quickly work out what the key insights are – due tomorrow.  How do you get a handle on all this information and distil it into some meaningful insights?

Categories: User research,User centred design

Real world UX vs. University UX 101

Akanksha Hirokawa
February 23 2017

For those who want to foray into the field of User experience (UX) design, it should be noted that the elements of UX that you learn at university are very different to real life experiences in the industry.

UX design is often integrated into undergraduate university courses - not a course in itself, but you can major in UX design if you opt for a Bachelors in Information Technology and want to escape the lifetime of coding that looms ahead. However, if making the digital experience easier for people to use sounds like something you want to devote a large chunk of your life to, then reading this article may help you become UX design industry-ready.

Categories: User research,User centred design
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