Category Archives: Research

5 User Experience Research Tips You Can’t Afford To Ignore

5 User Experience Research Tips You Can’t Afford To Ignore

There was a great post in my Linkedin feed recently by Luke Wroblewski of Google, with some simple and powerful stats. It’s a great post with bare facts on mobile phone usage. 2,600 interactions, just 6 ‘phone unlocks’ per hour and 14 hours of ‘awakeness’ just demonstrate how heavily mobile phones feature in our dailyRead more

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

  When we think of tech-savvy users, we probably imagine a younger person. This misconception is due to the incorrect belief that older users do not want or cannot use technology. But from my time conducting research at Akendi, and from academic papers, I find that this notion is incorrect.  So where did the misconceptionRead more

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Ok, we’re all humans. It is a label that encompasses us all. But in experience research and design we rarely, if ever, create for or try to understand the human. It’s usually the different types of humans we’re interested in.  Because once we understand who they are, we can list and prioritise these groups ofRead more

The Art of Asking Questions

The Art of Asking Questions

Surveys, interviews, usability tests and other UX research methods are meant to elicit information to help us clearly understand a user/customer, their needs and their experience when using a service/product; to find the best design/redesign recommendations for a service/product; and in general, to help companies figure out the best possible way to serve their users/customers.Read more

Collaboration is a team sport

Collaboration is a team sport

If there is one topic that stands out in my mind in the last few months, it would be the topic of collaboration. We have been asked to help others collaborate and we ourselves also desire greater collaboration in our work. Why is collaboration so needed in our workplace? Why do talent searchers look forRead more

How to Create a Space for Design Thinkers, Part II

How to Create a Space for Design Thinkers, Part II

In my last blog post, I talked about creating an interior space through the lens of User Experience Design (UXD). This perspective introduced the concepts of budget, circulation, and communication that would affect Akendi Ottawa’s exciting move to a new office space. At this point in time, we have secured a physical space, and areRead more

The Inverted UX Funnel: Or The Cost/Benefit Of UX Work

The Inverted UX Funnel: Or The Cost/Benefit Of UX Work

Today I came back from a lunch where I talked with a potential client about their product. This was a first conversation so most of the time was spent discussing what their software and business was and what I could do to help improve the user experience. I enjoy these conversations as we’re not gettingRead more

Menus, Navigation, Pages, Content Structure: Which one of these things doesn’t “belong”?

Menus, Navigation, Pages, Content Structure: Which one of these things doesn’t “belong”?

I think information architecture, (IA), is a fascinating topic and an IA is a very fulfilling thing to construct.  So why is it that, during the design process, so many conversations about IA quickly turn into conversations about menus, navigation, interaction design, or worse, what the pages will look like with all those labels onRead more

It’s True: Users Don’t Know What They Want

It’s True: Users Don’t Know What They Want

Users don’t know what they want; this is a fact of user research. Of course, it would be great to be able to ask users “How would you design this?” or “Where would you place this call to action?” or “What do you want to see in this design?” and get beautifully articulated answers thatRead more

Journey Mapping My Commute to Work

Journey Mapping My Commute to Work

An Authentically Torontonian Example of Journey Mapping Last week, I participated in ‘Experience Mapping’, a course offered as part of Akendi’s UX Training and Certification program. The course covered the theory, principles and research methodologies behind experience mapping – an innovation technique used to gain better understanding of a user’s overall experience and identify areasRead more

The Trials of Boaty McBoatface: Achieving balance between customers, users and business

The Trials of Boaty McBoatface: Achieving balance between customers, users and business

  At the time of writing this blog I am facing a real dilemma, nay even an existential crisis.  I am torn between addressing two pressing and hyper-relevant events that will forever go down in history as defining moments of our age. Do I write about: Boaty McBoatface or Tesla Model 3? I am wrackedRead more

The Power of Three

The Power of Three

Is three the magic number? Culturally, and historically, the number three is very significant. In Christianity there is the Holy Trinity, and in Hinduism, there is the Trimurti. In Chinese, the word for three is considered lucky because it sounds like “alive”, versus four, which sounds like “death”.  “Third time’s a charm”, and we countRead more

Library Science and User Experience? Makes Sense?

Library Science and User Experience? Makes Sense?

I’m a librarian and I work in the user experience, (UX), field.  From time to time when I tell people that I’m a librarian and I work in UX I see raised eyebrows, heads that turn slightly to one side, brows that furrow.  Unfortunately, I’ve also seen looks of dismissal.  Sometimes I’m asked what connectionRead more

The Art of Getting Started

The Art of Getting Started

Diving into a new project takes a different trajectory for everyone but for this visual designer it often begins with a healthy dose of fear. It has taken time, experience, and the influence of supportive colleagues to become friends with this fear and change its debilitating effects into a force that instead catapults the projectRead more

Exploring the Design Principle of Hope

Exploring the Design Principle of Hope

This is a time of year when I have extra and renewed hope.  It’s a very happy time for me and my family where we share a sense of hopefulness and cheer. I know we’re among the very fortunate to have this hope along with a holiday to celebrate it, so what does this haveRead more

Experience Thinking™ Maturity: 5 strategies to de-risk the experience

Experience Thinking™ Maturity: 5 strategies to de-risk the experience

Predicting how many teams figure out their product requirements has been following a distinct pattern over the years for me. Many times when I find myself in a sales situation, the conversation arrives at how the organization’s team has designed and, prior to that, figured out, what the product should be or do.  In short,Read more

‘I feel as though I’m cheating…’

‘I feel as though I’m cheating…’

A client once said this to me after watching his very first focus group session.  The concept of getting answers to questions from real potential users was foreign to him.  This comment didn’t come as a surprise to me as many other clients I’ve worked with have shared a similar sentiment; that they were ‘cheating’Read more

What do Tamagotchis, Furbies, and Smoke Alarms All Have in Common?

What do Tamagotchis, Furbies, and Smoke Alarms All Have in Common?

The Tamagotchi As a young child in the 90’s with no dog, I desperately wanted a Tamagotchi. Desperately. The pocket-sized virtual pet promised all the love and companionship that I had been missing out on. Everyone in my class seemed to have one and they looked so fun. So, I put it at the topRead more

What happened to the R?

What happened to the R?

Bringing a product to life has never been easier. “Products” of course can be websites, apps, things, whatever it is you desire can quickly be brought to life. Business concepts that appeared on a napkin on Thursday, can actually materialize into something workable on Friday. Hobbies quickly morph into side businesses that can reach thousandsRead more

Stepping Into Their world – How Improvisation Helps Us Become Better Designers

Stepping Into Their world – How Improvisation Helps Us Become Better Designers

A few years back I ran a workshop at a summer camp for high school students on the topic of user centered design (UCD), which probably doesn’t sound as fun as the workshop where they made ice cream with nitroglycerin. A large portion of the workshop was taken up by an activity where groups ofRead more