Tag Archives: user 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 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

Empathy in UX

Empathy in UX

Empathy is a popular term in user experience design nowadays. Many recommend that designers need to empathise to create better experiences. And I’d wholeheartedly agree with that. But what I read in these conference talks, blog posts and other publishing places differs greatly from what I hear when designers talk to each other. The differenceRead 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

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

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

Trust Me, Visual Design Matters

Trust Me, Visual Design Matters

A look at how sharing-economy giants, Uber and Airbnb, differ in their approach to garnering trust through messaging and visual design. We’re hearing it in the news more and more, the sharing economy is growing and despite consistent pushback from governments and industries, the advantages and level of demand are keeping tech disruptors such asRead more

Strategy – Can a product have a vision and mission?

Strategy – Can a product have a vision and mission?

If you look around at product design processes, you find out that there are almost as many as there are products.  While some differ simply in terms of the order of the activities or stages in the product design process, others hardly appear to be describing a process at all.  Some jump from great ideaRead 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

Investing in UX research: increasing the quality of requirements

Investing in UX research: increasing the quality of requirements

In my UX consulting life I go through many, sometimes brief, cycles of meeting a potential new client, talk about what their pain points are, what we offer and how we can help address their pain points. In the course of these sales journeys I see some conversations come up more than others. The painRead more

Trust them; they thought about you – and your money.

Trust them; they thought about you – and your money.

New York City sees over 50 million visitors annually, with numbers rising each year.  This is a huge number and an important one to consider when designing the MTA subway card machine. The MTA card machine needs to be extremely intuitive for new users, as well as time pressed New Yorkers. A bit of historyRead more

GO Train – An Experience Review

GO Train – An Experience Review

I’ve recently relocated outside of the Greater Toronto Area and find myself commuting into Toronto on the GO Train quite frequently. In the early days, when I was first learning how the whole system works, I made my fair share of user errors; these errors were sometimes difficult to recover from.  For example, if youRead more

Making Things Un-Usable (For Some)

Making Things Un-Usable (For Some)

At the hospital where Dr. Henri J. Breault worked in Windsor, Canada, a parent rushing in with a poisoned child was a daily occurrence. Medical teams would hurry to pump the child’s stomach before it was too late, but they didn’t always have enough time. These poisonings were caused by children getting access to pillRead more

3 Books Every User Researcher Should Read

3 Books Every User Researcher Should Read

Before the beginning of every summer, I like to research and choose my summer reading list.  I try to balance my list with fiction and non-fiction books, alternating as I read on.  So with about a month left of sunny skies and warm weather, I thought I would share with you some of the classicRead more

Smart watches: a solution to a problem that wasn’t there?

Smart watches: a solution to a problem that wasn’t there?

Smart watches have become an increasingly popular item in consumer electronics over the past few years, exploding on to the scene back in 2012 when the original Pebble watch was posted on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Pebble creators started out with a modest fundraising target of $100,000, and within two hours of going live, theRead more

Improve Desirability: Improve your Experience

Improve Desirability: Improve your Experience

As I fought to run away from a sudden hoard of attackers before they killed me, I accidentally pulled out my cell phone holding it up so that it completely blocked my vision with a map of the town. I continued to run blindly into the darkness as I struggled to put the phone awayRead more

Akendi Goes to the Movies – James Bond

Akendi Goes to the Movies – James Bond

  As we gear up for summer blockbusters, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how usability and user testing is represented in the fictional worlds created on the silver screen.  For this initial post of “Akendi Goes to the Movies” I thought I would start with something that is aRead more

The Case for Usability Testing

The Case for Usability Testing

Every year we do lots of usability testing on products that are in various states of design and/or development. Many are already in market, and in each one we find, on average, at least 20 usability issues. Every time we do a test I’m reminded that usability testing is a wonderful thing a wonderfully misunderstoodRead more