October 2013

October 10, 2013

The Five-Second Test: A Wealth of UX Data

If you KNOW HOW AND WHAT TO ASK

The Five-Second test — also known as “timeout test,” “exposure test” and/or “memory test” — is one of the easiest and most convenient rapid testing methods available.  Displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds and asking what aspect(s) were recalled most easily or vividly can help pinpoint (a) what stands out most about a design or product, and (b) how the viewer’s perception of the overall design is impacted.

However, the method’s value can be compromised by ignoring its restrictions, and by designing the tests to encourage empty or unhelpful responses.  After participating in dozens of such tests using widely available unmoderated testing tools, I found myself giving far too many responses like “I have no way of knowing this” or “I cannot answer this after only 5 seconds of exposure” — and getting far too many similar responses to my own tests.

Convinced there was a better way, I set out to examine the method more closely — how it become an established UX method, how it has evolved in light of new technologies, and whether users are using the tools effectively. – Read More –

October 9, 2013

UX Design Volunteering

When was the last time you volunteered?  What did you do – prepare food for your local food kitchen?  Hammer nails at Habitat for Humanity?  What if you could make use of your design and/or technology skills to improve the lives of the poor? – Read More –

October 3, 2013

Finding UX Hope for Greener Lawns

My family and in-laws work for Montreal City Council. I like this city. It’s my city. Even if it hasn’t been at its best recently, I like working here and I take care of the area I live in.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my in-laws, who had invited some colleagues around for a birthday celebration. Little by little, I took the opportunity to discuss their work processes and their decision-making strategies. All were extremely inspiring topics, enjoyed with an enormous cake and plenty of coffee.

As we discussed projects that had undergone a change in working methods, the author of this note, your user experience architect, was intrigued by a pretty captivating anecdote. Two of the civil servants in the room had been given the task of redeveloping the footpaths in a park, when the construction of a new administrative building meant they needed to be reconfigured. The concrete paths had been done away with, and they had to find a solution that would create a pleasant and efficient walking experience for park users. – Read More –