Articles & research papers

User Research

Top 5 posts at The UX Bookmark in 2012

I wish you, all my readers, a wonderful 2013. These are the five posts which people read the most in 2012.

  1. A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines
  2. Free User Experience books (Interaction design, HCI, web accessibility & Information Architecture)
  3. Download IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit
  4. Ergonomics for Interaction Designers
  5. Mobile Prototyping Essentials

Download the Collective Action Toolkit by frog- Design Thinking in Simple Language

The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal.

The toolkit emerged from frog’s collaboration with Nike Foundation/Girl Effect on a project where we explored the nature and value of connections for adolescent girls living in extreme poverty in the developing world. Pairing design research and skills development, frog worked with girls around the world to examine their communities and collectively devise solutions for the problems they faced. Inspired by the Girl Effect project, frog went on to create the Collective Action Toolkit to empower groups of change-makers everywhere.

The CAT isn’t a rigid template for problem solving. It's designed to be flexible and accessible, with an action map and activities arranged into six categories, from building a group, to imagining new ideas, to planning change. The toolkit challenges groups to move beyond discussion to action, continually clarifying their shared goals based on what they learn through the problem-solving process. The result is a holistic approach to help groups tackle issues in their communities.

Collective Action Toolkit

Expressing UX Concepts Visually

Our perception of the world is primarily visual. In fact, according to the article "Seeing Clearly: The Story of the Human Eye," by Bradford G. Schleifer, we receive 80 percent of the information that enters our brain through our eyes. Thus, it is no surprise that visual communication lets people perceive concepts and ideas most easily.

When we present personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables.

Expressing UX Concepts Visually

ESOMAR Guidelines on the Mutual Rights and Responsibilities of Researchers and Clients

The ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research sets out the ethical and professional rules which market researchers must follow. The Code is designed to enhance the public’s confidence in market research by emphasising the rights and safeguards to which they are entitled under this Code, with particular emphasis on the market researcher’s responsibilities when collecting personal information from respondents.

ESOMAR Guidelines on the Mutual Rights and Responsibilities of Researchers and Clients (PDF, 140 kb)

The UX of Co-Design: Experience Principles for Successful Client Workshops

While creating the right methods and activities for planning a client workshop is important, what has been especially fascinating is explicitly crafting the workshop-participant experience and recognizing how the participant experience is connected to the overall project success. Some of the experience principles for co-design workshops with client teams followed at Adaptive Path are:

  • Honor the gathering
  • Establish shared reference
  • Evoke the mission
  • Personalize the purpose
  • Prepare for excellence
  • Plan for productive groups
  • Reveal the forest in the trees
  • Remember the Enterprise
  • Be grateful
  • Bring your piece of the puzzle

The UX of Co-Design: Experience Principles for Successful Client Workshops

Breaking Down the Silos: Usability Practitioners Meet Marketing Researchers

Being a consultant with experience in both traditional marketing research and user experience and usability gives the author a unique perspective on a broad range of issues relating to customer experience. Not only does he have a good idea of what the other discipline does, he is also a practitioner of the other discipline.

However, in attempting to play both roles at once, he often finds that client companies keep these two disciplines locked up in separate silos—usability research within IT and marketing research within the Marketing Services department. This can have a serious impact on the sharing of information relating to customer experience.

Breaking Down the Silos: Usability Practitioners Meet Marketing Researchers

Sketchnote Army- a Sketchnotes Showcase

Sketchnote Army is dedicated to finding and showcasing sketchnotes and sketchnoters from around the world- from events, conferences, workshops or wherever sketchnotes are captured or created. If you want your sketchnotes to be featured there, you can send your sketchnotes URL and info to the webmaster.

Sketchnote Army

Developing Your Interviewing Skills- Preparing for an Interview & During the Interview

Sometimes when we have a poor interview, we blame the person we’ve interviewed. Regardless of the situation, you may be tempted to label a participant unengaged, inappropriate, inarticulate, or worse. But there is one constant in all of these different interview scenarios: you.

Bad interviews can result in missing data, incomplete detail, misleading results, partial insights, and lost opportunities, so you need to ensure your research is the best it can be—that you get good interviews.

Developing Your Interviewing Skills, Part I: Preparing for an Interview & Developing Your Interview Skills, Part II: During the Interview

When Interviews Go Wrong

Despite our best efforts to prepare for and run an interview smoothly, there are often challenges that crop up in the heat of the moment. Ideally, our interviewees are cooperative, well motivated, eloquent, knowledgeable, truthful, consistent, concise, precise, and coherent, states Steinar Kvale in his book InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. However, like the typical user, the ideal interviewee does not exist. Some people are harder to interview than others, and sometimes, interviews drift off into unproductive territory due to factors beyond our control.

In this article, the author introduces you to six types of people who can potentially jeopardize the quality of the data you’re able to collect during interviews.

  • The Chatterbox
  • The Clam
  • The Pollyanna
  • The Unraveler
  • The Distracted & Evasive
  • The Attitude Problem

When Interviews Go Wrong

What is Design Thinking Anyway?

Design thinking, as a concept, has been slowly evolving and coalescing over the past decade. One popular definition is that design thinking means thinking as a designer would, which is about as circular as a definition can be. More concretely, Tim Brown of IDEO has written that design thinking is "a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity."

A person or organization instilled with that discipline is constantly seeking a fruitful balance between reliability and validity, between art and science, between intuition and analytics, and between exploration and exploitation. The design-thinking organization applies the designer’s most crucial tool to the problems of business. That tool is abductive reasoning.

What is Design Thinking Anyway?