Articles about User Research

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]

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]

Dear Diary: Using Diaries to Study User Experience

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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]

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

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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]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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]

Deal Them Again: Card Sorting Revisited (Book Review)

A whole book on card sorting? This book is replete with solid advice, clearly written and illustrated, and well supported by case studies and examples. [Read More]

What Do You Mean? How to Write Good Questions

When designing forms, a background in survey methodology and social research can facilitate a transition into user-centered design. [Read More]

Forms on the Go: Usable Forms for the Mobile Web

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Designing forms for the mobile web confronts unique challenges that are difficult to test and are not completely in the developer’s control. [Read More]

Conducting Field Studies with Older Adults Lessons for Recruiting and Testing Older Users

Field testing and field research work especially well with older adults, if you are sensitive to their needs in both the recruiting and data collection process. [Read More]

Safer Skies: Usability at the Federal Aviation Administration

Study of user communities that make up the air traffic control system and the information, navigation and communication technologies they use. [Read More]

Zooming In and Zooming Out: Real-life Customer Experience Research

Evolving our customer-centric tools forms the basis for mutual understanding and challenges us to find the optimal moments for integration. [Read More]

A Clever Startup: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative UX Research

Our Spout project illustrates how smaller organizations and startups can benefit from conducting cutting-edge, integrated qualitative and quantitative user experience research. [Read More]

The World’s a Stage: Using Acting to Validate a Wearable Product Concept with Users

Acting, when used to validate a wearable product concept, describes the right target group, identifies use situations, and contextualizes issues to be addressed in product development. [Read More]

Cultural Probes: Understanding Users in Context

Probes force designers to think about the context and motivations of use, thus building a stronger understanding of the target audience and potentially leading to more informed designs. [Read More]