Users are not like us — they view the world with a completing different filter. As designers, we’ve trained ourselves to notice every little detail about a design — everything grabs our attention. We assume that users do the same when coming to a site or using an application for the first time. We assume that all those details that took us, as the designers, hours to figure out just right will catch a user’s eye and invoke pleasant thoughts and emotions that go along with facilitating a positive user experience. But, that’s not how our brains work. In fact, the average user will miss almost everything within their field of vision when working with a design for the first time. This phenomenon occurs all the time during usability studies, much to our bewilderment.
Fortunately, recent research within neurological and cognitive … Read More »
Field Studies are great learning opportunities to capture personal details about people and their environments. This activity provides challenges though, like when you find yourself in an uncomfortable position due to an offhand comment or if you notice something about their environment that is a danger. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct field studies where sensitive information was the focus and odd, or unexpected, situations came up. Based on my experiences, I’ve put together lessons learned that can help practitioners prepare for performing fields studies, and also provide warning signs for when things start to go awry.
These lessons will be given as parables to interviews I’ve conducted with people around dinner tables around the country. These stories range from the humorous to the slightly disturbing. And each has a unique message to tell that … Read More »
The term ‘User Experience’ has been associated with User Interface for too long. An experience isn’t limited to a navigation scheme or the use of a particular product. It transcends the computer screen or mobile device, and has lasting impacts on our lives. What do these impacts mean? How can they be managed? These are questions that User Experience Designers try to answer. A user interface can be a gateway to these lasting impacts, but a positive user experience requires much more than that.