Below is a blog post I wrote for Follow The UX Leader a couple of years ago. This great online resources will be retired and repurposes soon, so I’m reposting the article here. I hope you find it as useful today as when it was first published back in 2011. Thank you Jeff Parks once again for allowing me to contribute to Follow The UX Leader.
One of the hardest parts of the User Experience process to fit into a project is the up-front user research. There are many reasons for this, many unfounded, that make this the first thing to go when trying to cut down the scope or cost of a project. It seems that user research is the red headed stepchild, always being left out of all the family fun. It’s time that this changes. With the tools … Read More »
I’ve had several conversations lately with people getting ready to dive into the startup world. A common question that comes up with them is “What’s the best way to get feedback from my users?” Since these are startup initiatives, I know budgets are probably tight. So, I try to offer them as practical advice as possible. The best advice I’ve been able to come up with is ”Just buy someone a cup of coffee and have a conversation with them.” Sometimes, a cup of coffee is all it takes to get the feedback you need to be able to move on from a problem that has been plaguing you, or to validate an idea you’ve prototyped out.
It’s my belief that every project should incorporate some form of user research, or user involvement. Depending on the problem being solved, and the … 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 »