Articles about User Research

Mechanical Turk: Quickly Scale Research Without Breaking the Bank

Through Mechanical Turk, user experience researchers can conduct quick, scalable, and budget-friendly studies, while testing a product’s accessibility and suitability for international audiences. [Read More]

Understanding User Motivation: Creating Compelling IoT Experiences

Understanding how IoT technologies impact everyone in the household is key to designing intuitive, compelling experiences. [Read More]

Nielsen’s Heuristic Evaluation: Limitations in Principles and Practice

illustration of a checklist

Nielsen's heuristic evaluation is one of the standard usability assessment tools outside of actual testing, but it has failed to adapt to the changing ecosystem of design. [Read More]

Collaborating Across Cultures: Designing UX Studies for Japan

Designing global research requires being sensitive to cultural differences. Tokyo-based researchers, who often partner with international clients, share tips on conducting UX studies in Japan. [Read More]

Finding Your Bearings: Co-creating Journey Maps to Understand Complex Landscapes

Journey maps are a powerful tool that can help define a complex user landscape, attain user and stakeholder buy-in, and empower problem solving. [Read More]

Big Data UX: Research Opportunity and Ethical Challenge

As UX professionals we need to serve as gatekeepers to properly handle ethical challenges when using videos of users’ participation within large sample new research tools. [Read More]

Want to Understand the Future of HCI? Take a Trip Down Memory Lane (Book Review)

A review of From Tool to Partner: The Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction by Jonathan Grudin. [Read More]

UX Researchers: Be Careful Out There! (Book Review)

A review of Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories by Steve Portigal. [Read More]

The User Experience of Libraries: Serving The Common Good

Libraries are increasingly seeking UX expertise to help them better serve the public. [Read More]

Is That Product Idea Really Good? (Book Review)

A review of Validating Product Ideas Through Lean User Research by Tomer Sharon. Guidance for why, when and how to conduct user research for product design. [Read More]

Big Behavioral Data: The Key to Eliminating User Frustration

Big data can provide behavioral patterns from thousands of people. These patterns can be searched and indexed and used to identify usability issues and eliminate user frustration. [Read More]

Current Customers: The Kano Model Helps Keep Personas Fresh

Understanding the progression of products and human behavior according to the Kano model—customer satisfaction measured via five categories—can help you refresh personas. [Read More]

User Research for Non-Researchers: How to Get User Feedback Without a Dedicated Researcher

A step-by-step guide on how to conduct qualitative research for times when your UX researcher is not available. [Read More]

The Power of Qualitative Methods: Aha Moments in Exploring Cybersecurity and Trust

A research team learns how to incorporate qualitative research methods into their work by examining user perceptions of and experiences with cybersecurity. [Read More]

A Civic View: Bridging the Gap between Citizens and City Government

An innovative civic data collection tool, Civic View combines video footage and GPS tracking to give citizens a more immediate voice in city government. [Read More]

Designing Credible Studies: A Research Framework

UX research can mean compromise between the credibility of a study and the needs of the business. A research framework can bridge the false division. [Read More]

Surviving Tricky and Sticky Research Situations (Book Review)

A review of The Moderator’s Survival Guide by Donna Tedesco and Fiona Tranquada. Improve your research moderating skills. [Read More]

Building Empathy in the Enterprise: Using Conferences as a Research Venue

Crowd at a conference

User group conferences can provide great opportunities to reach qualified prospective research participants in a single location—a potential goldmine for collecting rich user data. [Read More]

Max Diff Survey: Informing Design, Driving Strategy, and Facilitating Collaboration

Max Diff surveys answer design questions and drive strategic direction. The collaborative approach invites team members to feel ownership over the results. [Read More]

Business Origami: Learning, Empathizing, and Building with Users

Business origami is a participatory design method for creating a map of the ecosystem surrounding a product, design, or other solution. [Read More]

Customer Feedback: Collecting In-Context Product Insights

Creating an effective customer feedback system requires an understanding of the data provided by analytics but also an understanding of the user and business goals. [Read More]

Finding Meaning with Ethnography (Book Review)

A review of Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector by Sam Ladner. A detailed view of what makes research ‘ethnographic.’ [Read More]

UX Advocacy in a University Context: Strategies and Tactics for Multiple Stakeholders

Designing university websites presents a complex set of challenges. Being methodical in identifying internal and external users, and understanding operational, tactical and strategic considerations is essential. [Read More]

Scarcity: Focusing on Limitations to Explore Design Opportunities

Looking at the concept of scarcity can lead to new ways of understanding users, designing for their needs, and making the best use of their resources. [Read More]

Talking To Strangers On The Street: Recruiting Through Intercepting People

Recruiting for research projects can be challenging, but going to places where the people are can make it easier to find the right participants. [Read More]

Using Journey Lines: Insights and Ideation

As a user research tool, mapping out the a journey helps the researchers and UX team develop a shared understanding of the story. [Read More]

The Impact of Images: Research on Users’ Processing and Perception

Eye tracking study results show that images of people grab the attention of users and have substantial impact on their processing and perceptions of webpages. [Read More]

The Future of UX Research: Uncovering the True Emotions of Our Users

A brave new world of user experience research that includes physiological responses is on its way. Stay tuned as the tools become more economical and practical. [Read More]

Ethnographic Research: Business Value

Knowing why people act, feel, think, experience, and choose the way they do gives us rich cultural insights to inform design or to build meaningful, empathetic user experiences. [Read More]

Tell Me Your Problems: Therapeutic Strategies for User Experience Research

Therapists and user experience researchers both aim to diagnose and treat problems. User experience researchers may benefit from applying evidence-based, solution-focused strategies used by psychotherapists. [Read More]

Dear Diary: Using Diaries to Study User Experience

xx

A UX diary contains notes on experiences using an application in a natural environment. Learn how to use diaries in your research studies. [Read More]

Expect the Unexpected: Tips for Conducting Global Research

Global research presents unique logistical and cultural challenges that may conflict with researcher and stakeholder assumptions. Open-mindedness and preparation are key to a successful project. (Full article available in English and Español) [Read More]

Measuring Perceptions: Meeting the Challenge of Perceived Quality

Radar chart

Measuring user perceptions is a difficult challenge. The Perceived Quality Test helps researchers quantify users’ perceptions. (Full article available in English and Español) [Read More]

How the Other Half Live: UX Design in Brazil and New Zealand

Insights on global UX research from eight UX professionals in Brazil and New Zealand. Research tools, favorite resources, and love of the work are shared in these two very disparate countries. [Read More]

UX Research in the Top 3 Economies in Latin America: What You Should Know

Learn how to effectively conduct UX research in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico including tips for screening, translation, running the study, observation, and interface design. [Read More]

Choosing the Right Research Method: Easy as A, B, C

ABC diagram on chalkboard

Choosing the right research methods means doing what makes sense given the questions and the constraints. Start with a simple discussion of ABCs:Attitude, Behavior, Comprehension. [Read More]

Usability Testing for Healthcare Portals: Even Small Problems Add Up

Want to fix the web portals for a major government initiative? Usability testing with health consumers helped improve CoveredCA, a portal in California. [Read More]

Being a UXer: It’s A Lot Like Being a Therapist

He doesn't even respond when I am talking to him

Add these counseling skills to your user experience toolbox to increase positive experiences for clients and co-workers alike. Read three case study examples. [Read More]

Customer Councils: A Research Tool for Agile Development

Website screenshot

Customer Councils help ensure quality user research in an Agile development culture. They provide both strategic insight and practical usability feedback throughout a project. [Read More]

Seeing is Believing (Book Review)

A review of Eye tracking the User Experience – A Practical Guide to Research by Aga Bojko. A must-read book with tips for running eye tracking studies. [Read More]

Positioning Field Studies for Company and Customers

By understanding and communicating the benefits of field studies, you can maximize your ability to undertake such studies and the effectiveness of the deliverables they produce. [Read More]

Engaging Study Observers: An Overlooked Step in User Research

Sign for observers to stay quiet with cartoon face

Observer participation is an important piece in conducting usability. A little work up front can help engage observers more effectively. [Read More]

Engaging Users in Product Design: Bridging the Gap from Insight to Strategy

image of notes from joint design meeting

More researchers should partner with their users in targeted research and design activities to help bridge the gap between insight and strategy. [Read More]

Contradictions and Implications: Making Sense of Apparently Irrational Behavior

Brain image

Might it make sense to recommend faulty products to your friends? Usability research shows that behavior that seems irrational might be just the opposite. [Read More]

Playing to Learn: Teaching User Research to Game Design Students

Students of Game Player Experience understand the value of user research first hand by learning good game user experience principles and seeing those principles implemented. [Read More]

Designing with a Service Perspective: A Bronx Tale

photo of street interview

The world is heavily reliant on services. User experience and design professionals are primed to apply a service perspective for making these experiences effective. [Read More]

How Was It for You?: Helping People Describe Their Experiences

image of word cloud

Usability study participants may choose words from a list to assist their feedback. Produc-ing one set of words for an entire user population proves challenging. [Read More]

Shh. Listen First! Social Networking, Wikis, and User Experience

The age of information is shifting to an age of interaction. To best take advantage of this, learn and observe your users first before collaboration. [Read More]

Model-driven Inquiry: A Streamlined Approach to Data Collection

Contextual design models can be developed through exploratory modeling, providing a potentially useful framework to guide and speed up the later modeling activities. [Read More]

User Interview Techniques: Guidelines for Obtaining Better Results

An interview technique review worksheet emphasizes continual improvement and provides an easy way for team members to evaluate a user research interview session. [Read More]