Research

January 14, 2014

Five Second Tests: Avoiding the Non-Response when Using Online Tools

The main selling point of the five second test method, and of using online tools such as fivesecondtest.com, is that you can get specific feedback about a design quickly and fairly effortlessly. It is therefore very dispiriting to receive the results of a test and see multiple instances of empty or “I don’t know” responses. (Indeed, experience has shown that in crowdsourced tests, respondents are more than willing to communicate the “I don’t know” response in more creative ways.) Design and user experience research can be difficult to justify from a time and resource standpoint – results like this undercut the research effort and make the job that much more difficult. It is therefore critical that precautionary actions be taken to minimize the likelihood of “empty data,” so that the researcher has not wasted his/her time. – Read More –

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 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 –

September 23, 2013

A UX Design Process without Technology

One of the skills I’ve found to work well in the realm of user experience, is not using technology to help in the UX design process. It seems a little counter-intuitive, as at the heart of our trade is the use of technology. But if we reframe our design thinking without the constraints of our technology-based tools for design, we’ll end up focusing more on the real issues and pain points people have with the technology we end up making. I’ve distilled the essence of these thoughts below. – Read More –

September 4, 2009

Best of the Web Weekly Roundup: Aug 29 – Sept 4

Wireframing Resources An excellent collection of wireframing how-to’s, tips, advice and resources. A great read for both Information Architects and anyone who works with IA’s. Audi Conversations Visualization Click on the “Conversations” link at the bottom of the page.  Here you’ll experience a social media visualization and aggregation of Audi related YouTube videos, Flickr Photos, – Read More –

June 24, 2009

20 User Experience Books you should own

user experience books
These highly recommended user experience books cover everything from user research and interface design, to information architecture and UX strategy. If you’re really serious about your career as a user experience professional, these books should be the cornerstone of your personal library. – Read More –

June 11, 2009

Cure Depression by Embracing the Caveman within

caveman

He doesn’t care for the term “caveman therapy.” But Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, has turned to our hunter-gatherer ancestors for clues about how to best combat major depressive disorder.

Furthermore, Ilardi fingers our modern, industrialized lifestyle as the key culprit behind the burgeoning depression epidemic, which continues to worsen despite decades of sharp increases in pharmaceutical consumption. – Read More –

June 3, 2009

Google Earth reveals North Korean secrets

Started by Curtis Melvin – a PhD student at George Mason University – the “North Korea Uncovered” project set out to reveal North Korea’s secrets. While it started in April 4 2007, he has already amassed a wealth of information by leveraging a community of amateur spies. While risky, it turned out to be very – Read More –

February 18, 2009

Latest Research: Twitter is better than Facebook and LinkedIn for business

Abrams Research recently surveyed 200 social media leaders made up of founders, bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs and members of the Twitterati.  The questions were posed at Social Media Week on February 13, 2009. While the respondents don’t represent the best sample size/type, it’s still an interesting bit of research to discuss. The Key Findings: Businesses need to rush to Twitter – Read More –

February 15, 2009

Buying experiences lead to greater happiness

Can money make us happy if we spend it on the right purchases? A new psychology study suggests that buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness for both the consumer and those around them. The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased – Read More –