Articles & research papers

UX Strategy

Agile + UX: Six strategies for more agile user experience

Six ways to be more agile and better integrate user experience and information architecture into agile development teams.

Agile + UX: six strategies for more agile user experience

Corporate Usability Maturity

Summary
As their usability approach matures, organizations typically progress through the same sequence of stages, from initial hostility to widespread reliance on user research. An organization that reaches the managed usability stage still has far to go to reach usability nirvana. Attaining these higher maturity levels requires many years of effort.

Stage 1: Hostility Toward Usability
Stage 2: Developer-Centered Usability
Stage 3: Skunkworks Usability
Stage 4: Dedicated Usability Budget
Stage 5: Managed Usability
Stage 6: Systematic Usability Process
Stage 7: Integrated User-Centered Design
Stage 8: User-Driven Corporation

Corporate Usability Maturity: Stages 1-4
Corporate Usability Maturity: Stages 5-8

User Research Reports: Six Data Points to Create a ‘User Research History’

As a user experience consultant, a fair amount of time at the beginning of a project reading any existing user research reports. These reports help understand the user research history of the project (i.e. the user research done in the past, the outcome and what, if anything was identified for further exploration). For small and relatively simple projects these reports are fairly easy to thread together. But for large and more complex projects that involve multiple user experience professionals conducting user experience activities in parallel, tracing the user research history just six months after the project is complicated and can sometimes be challenging.

Here are the six data points that the author recommends including in a user research report to help build a user research history for the project.

User Research Reports: Six Data Points to Create a ‘User Research History’

Building Respect for Usability Expertise

Summary
Enemies of usability claim that because “the experts disagree,” they can safely ignore user advocates’ expertise and run with whatever design they personally prefer.

Building Respect for Usability Expertise

5 Models of Corporate User Experience Culture

These patterns are recurring, and can be found in almost all companies that have a user experience practice. The author has grouped them into 5 models of how companies incorporate user experience in their culture. These 5 models are based on where in the corporation the user experience practice resides, and what types of interactions the user experience practice has with the rest of the organization.

  1. User Experience in I.T
  2. User Experience in Operations
  3. User Experience in Marketing
  4. User Experience as a Unique but Equal Entity
  5. User Experience as a Unique but Superior Entity

The 5 Models of Corporate User Experience Culture

The HFI UX Maturity Survey – 2009

HFI’s UX Maturity Survey indicates that stable, visible, internal usability and user experience groups with executive support have become significantly more prevalent since 2004. But having a presence is not the same as having a practice.

The HFI UX Maturity Survey – 2009 (PDF, 630kb)

Evangelizing UX Across an Entire Organization

A discussion on how to communicate and sell the UX message across all levels of an organization, and what strategies and tactics for evangelizing UX have worked for the panel.

Evangelizing UX Across an Entire Organization

Ethnographic Research: A Key to Strategy

Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself. The ethnographic work at my company, Intel, and other firms now informs functions such as strategy and long-range planning.

Ethnographic Research: A Key to Strategy

Integrating UX into an Agile Environment

The author gets into the nitty-gritty of what it means to practice user experience in an Agile environment. She lists out some of the benefits of UX , some potential set backs to UX in a true agile environment, how to address these problems and three different types of UX roles, that when combined in a team create a solution. Those roles are:

  1. The Integrated Practitioner
  2. The Support Practitioner
  3. The Researcher

Integrating UX into an Agile Environment

Ideal UX Team Makeup: Specialists, Generalists, or Compartmentalists

What makes an effective UX team is the completeness of the skillset across all the members. The roles of individuals are secondary &emdash; a team with generalists will always be more flexible than a team of specialists.

Specialists help when the local economic conditions support their being there. Yet, specialists have general knowledge, so they can be flexible and interact with the rest of the team in a productive manner.

Ideal UX Team Makeup: Specialists, Generalists, or Compartmentalists