In the first installment of my new column Continuous Research, I looked at automating recruitment processes for user-research panels, or user panels. These are lists of relevant participants who would be motivated to join your research and help you understand your target personas through their participation. Having a user panel can be helpful to any company that is conducting UX research, but absolutely essential for companies who are conducting collaborative and continuous research. The foundation of these research methods is built on having frequent, lightweight touchpoints with customers, involving the whole product team. To ensure you’ll have enough people to talk to, you need to have enough sufficiently engaged participants who have the right backgrounds.
Conducting collaborative, continuous research is a great way to start UX research activities when you don’t yet have enough dedicated researchers, as is likely during a startup’s early stages. Plus, this is the period when your company needs to gather the most feedback about the product you’re building from your prospects and customers. You can use these insights to make your early-stage product really stand out. Unfortunately, this is also the time when you have the least resources to get the feedback you need. Read More
All UX professionals are storytellers. Whether we’re describing a user’s journey or explaining our thought process and choices in designing a product, we rely on the power of narrative to make our case to our business stakeholders. It’s vital that we always tell ethical stories—ones that align with the values to which we and our organizations aspire.
Rather than being a question of what is good or bad, ethics is the process of deciding between conflicting values. How might your story displease one group of stakeholders or another? How should you communicate hotly debated issues? How should you decide what data to use in making design decisions and how should you represent that data? An ethical approach helps you to tackle making decisions such as these with confidence. Read More
Since the dawn of digital-product design, there have always been questions about the impacts applications and Web sites have on people’s minds. Some designers exploit dark, devious patterns to get people to waste their precious time and spend a few more seconds using an application or Web site. In fact, some big corporations optimize every small interaction to ensure maximum stickiness. In this column, I’ll consider dark patterns through the lens of User Experience and how we could apply them for good.
The inspiration behind this column was a product that I recently designed and built, whose focus was building habits of mindfulness and meditation. In that moment, I realized that patterns are dark because of the reasons for which designers use them, not because of their essential nature. If we applied the same foundational principles of behavioral psychology to something positive, we could actually help people to establish good habits. After all, hacking the toughest system of all—the human brain and nervous system—is no small feat. Doing this to help people build positive habits rather than negative ones would be a great way of gauging the role that User Experience could play in self-improvement applications. Read More
Accessible design is normal design. So the designers and developers of mobile apps should not draw a line between accessible and normal or usual design. Most people are likely to experience some form of disability—either temporarily or permanently—at some point in their life. Plus, we all make use of accessibility features at times—even if we don’t think of them in that way. If you’ve ever used your mobile device’s operating system in dark mode, zoomed or adjusted the size of text in a Web browser, or dictated text into Siri, you’ve benefited from your device’s accessibility features.
Designing accessible apps just means designing them so all users can navigate their user interface comfortably and easily—just as for any mobile app or Web site its navigation system and content must be in a logical order. In this article, I’ll share a few things you should keep in mind when designing for mobile accessibility. Read More
Have you ever wondered how developers fabricate business solutions, enhancing users’ productivity, converting visitors to customers, and driving revenues for their enterprise? Developing or adopting an existing front-end application framework can help companies to fulfill their business goals.
In this article, I’ll describe the top front-end frameworks in 2022, including their popularity, brief descriptions of their features, and their advantages. It is always important to align with the latest design and technology trends. So, if you want the application you’re creating to look attractive and behave more responsively, you are in the right place to explore some of the top front-end frameworks. Read More
In Part 1 of this series, I defined UX strategy, described some typical skills of UX professionals who fill UX strategy functions, and posited some reasons why it is becoming increasingly important for large companies to bolster their UX strategy skills as they evolve their solutions, orienting them more toward SaaS (Software as a Service) and the cloud. In Part 2, I took a similar approach with service design, another skillset to which companies should pay closer attention, which also necessitates improving the employee experience.
Now, in Part 3, the final part of this series, I’ll turn my attention to UX writing, which is another UX skillset that is becoming increasingly important in the ever-evolving, cloud-based world of SaaS companies. Unifying all the various elements of the modern customer experience requires creating consistent, clear user-interface content and messaging, so these companies need to develop their teams’ UX writing skills. Plus, UX writing should be in close alignment with the UX design process. Read More
Starting a new user-research project can sometimes be intimidating—especially if you are a junior UX researcher. When I worked on my first UX research project, I battled impostor syndrome along with the anxiety of being a newcomer at my company. My intent for this article is to help other UX researchers—especially those who are early in their career—plan and conduct an effective UX research kick-off meeting—the first step in the research process.
A research kick-off is a meeting that you should conduct prior to launching a UX research project. It involves all of your key stakeholders who can help you determine the scope of and plan your research project. Read More
After attending Qual 360 North America (NA)—which took place in Washington DC, in March 2022, and at which I was a speaker—I would like to share my key takeaways from the conference with UXmatters readers.
My fellow UX and CX (Customer Experience) professionals, as well as qualitative researchers from a variety of global brands—including TikTok, Reddit, Microsoft, Mars, Marriott, Indeed, Pinterest, and PepsiCo—joined me at this event, where we discussed recent trends and changes in the practice of qualitative research. Read More
The product experience, or PX, refers to what customers or users experience when they use a product—that is, their motives, emotions, and thoughts. It plays a critical role in the customer and user experience.
When we consider that we would be nowhere without our users, it is not hard to understand why the product experience is so critical. After all, if users do not enjoy using your product and the emotions they feel do not line up with what you’ve anticipated, you would have a problem on your hands. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the product experience. Read More
During the initial stages of computing, developers were the users and created punch cards to give commands to mainframe computers. Once they entered their programs, they got the results back on tape or paper printouts. Then technology advanced and personal computers (PCs) with screen displays and keyboards took their place.
With the Macintosh computer, pointing devices and GUIs, or graphical user interfaces, entered the scene in 1984. Since 2007, we’ve seen a succession mobile phones and tablets with touch user interfaces. Fast forward to 2022 and we’ve been interacting with PCs through external devices such as wearable sensors, smartphones, and wireless sensors for about 30 years.
In recent years, touchless user interfaces have become a popular means of human-computer interaction. Read More