Articles & research papers

User Experience

ROIs on PhDs. How much are trailing letters worth to you?

Have you wondered whether earning a PhD would improve your lot? Mid-to Advanced career professionals often ask me if i think a PhD would be worth it for them. When they say “worth it,” they typically have two specific questions in mind:

  • Will having a PhD confer me more credibility and ability to move up in the workplace?
  • Will having trailing letters will result in a bigger salary?

The literal, simplistic answer is, “Yes, more credibility and 17K/year according to Sauro’s analysis of the recent UPA Salary Survey.” But, the real answer is probably no. Earning a PhD requires two things:

  1. The keen desire to spend roughly a decade thinking about ONE well-defined problem
  2. An enthusiasm to spend roughly a decade poor

ROIs on PhDs. How much are trailing letters worth to you?

The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

A psychologist by training and education, Dr. Susan Weinschenk takes research and knowledge about the brain, the visual system, memory, and motivation and extrapolate UX design principles from that. This article is a snapshot of the psychologist’s view of UX Design and describes the following:

  1. People Don’t Want to Work or Think More Than They Have To
  2. People Have Limitations
  3. People Make Mistakes
  4. Human Memory Is Complicated
  5. People are Social
  6. Attention
  7. People Crave Information
  8. Unconscious Processing
  9. People Create Mental Models
  10. Visual System

The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

UX Pond- a User Experience search engine

UX Pond is a search engine dedicated to user experience blogs, journals, discussion, UI patterns, and tools. That doesn’t mean it’s a cliquey club of bloggers scratching each other’s backs. The list of sites searched aims to encompass all relevant content.

UX Pond- a User Experience search engine

What every UX professional needs to know about statistics and usability tests.

It turns out you do need to know some math to work in user experience. Being in UX means that sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with data on user performance or satisfaction, typically from a usability test. Even if you restrict yourself to design and leave the user research to others, you’re going to have to review the results of user research to inform your design work, so you’re going to need some concepts for evaluating that data. Specifically, you need to know a thing or two about inferential statistics, the branch of statistics that helps you determine what you can reasonably conclude about your population of users based on what you’re seeing in your sample of users.

What every user experience professional needs to know about statistics and usability tests.

What You Need to Know About Eye Tracking

When you see a heatmap for the first time, you are probably so busy saying “wow!” that you forget to critically evaluate what you are seeing. It’s easy to feel intimidated. The technology involved is phenomenal. But this doesn’t mean all research done on an eye tracker is infallible– far from it. This talk is intended to give you a heads-up on how to think critically about eye tracking.

You may also view the presentation at Harry’s website, 90 percent of everything.

Design Research Guide

This site is designed to introduce design students and professionals to practical research methods for design projects. It is supposed to help you plan, perform and process your design research work so that the outcome of your design project can become smarter, sharper and more relevant.

Design Research Guide

All the top news on User Experience in one place

The following sites present to you the best user experience content on the web by aggregating RSS feeds from key UX websites around the web.

AllTop User Interface


User Experience Evaluation in Nokia

Nokia has a long history in designing for experiences, as mobile phones are very personal and experiental devices. We have established processes to take user needs and wants into account when designing new concepts, and we do various types of evaluations with real users during the development process. Experience evaluations are, however, an area we want to improve. In this paper, we describe the user experience evaluation practices in the different phases of Nokia product development process.
User Experience Evaluation in Nokia (PDF, 38 kb)

How to Use Social Media to Supplement Your Research

If you’ve been in the market or customer research business for longer than 20 years, then you remember when gathering data to come up with relevant information that you can make some decisions with was both an expensive and extensive proposition. You had to have access to sample and respondents, you may have had to either do a focus group, use the phone or mail your survey. Each method had its good points and bad points – and none are all that appealing, especially if all you wanted was a little insight and direction as to what areas of research to allocate your time and your money.

The internet has not only increased the ease and lowered the cost of getting to secondary information, but has made getting your hands on primary and demographic information just as easy and inexpensive.

The author shares some creative ways used to get to decent, usable information that has helped her pull together better surveys, and get better information.

How to Use Social Media to Supplement Your Research

Fresh vs. Familiar: How Aggressively to Redesign

Users hate change, so it’s usually best to stay with a familiar design and evolve it gradually. In the long run, however, incrementalism eventually destroys cohesiveness, calling for a new UI architecture.
Fresh vs. Familiar: How Aggressively to Redesign