Getting into User Experience Research: 3 Senior Practitioners Share Their Stories

One thing I love about the field of User Experience is that it’s full of passionate, curious and talented people with a wide variety of professional backgrounds. In addition to the more traditional UX disciplines of human-computer interaction (HCI), human factors, information architecture (IA), psychology, web design and user-centered design (UCD), the social sciences, arts, … Continue reading Getting into User Experience Research: 3 Senior Practitioners Share Their Stories

User Experience Research at SpendWell – My First 3 Months

Three months ago, I started a new job as user experience researcher at SpendWell Health, a start-up here in Portland, OR. SpendWell is building an online marketplace where people can purchase routine health care services directly from providers with upfront prices. Individuals with access to SpendWell as a benefit of their insurance plan can search … Continue reading User Experience Research at SpendWell – My First 3 Months

Research and Design Deliverable: Story Maps

As a research and design deliverable, story maps are a useful tool for getting everyone on a project team on the same page, and having a common reference point for making design and development decisions for a product, service or idea.

storymapImage via Explore Everyday

Click on through to the original post at Explore Everyday to learn more about story mapping.

Explore Everyday

Rise from pixel-pusher to a product visionary with a new type of design document called a “story map.”

What is a story map?

A story map is a new type of design document that shows the big idea of your product experience at a glance.

A good story map is your golden ticket to unify your team, secure executive support, and help you find a way to ship.

Halfway between a storyboard and a treasure map, it bundles the value and functional flow of your product with the delight people might feel at each step in your product. It sketches the UX flow without locking it down, and it delivers the gist of an idea and the emotional gestalt without prematurely belaboring the details.

A good story map conveys what
your project can do at a glance.

A story map depicts how your product works and why it matters—

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Persuasive data: How UX researchers can pitch with integrity

“The goals in industry are not those of academia, and this means that corporate research needs different things to be successful. Yes, research should be trustworthy and accurate, but in industry this needs to be balanced with timeliness and actionability. An accurate result is worthless if no one knows how to use it, or if no one bothers to read it because they’re struggling to interpret your F-values.”

One of the biggest leaps when moving from academic research to industry research is understanding that the practice of doing research in both worlds is drastically different. They have different goals, values, media and cultural standards that researchers must be aware of if they want to be effective and valued. The following article from Llewyn Paine does a great job of distilling the key differences and makes suggestions for how to be an effective researcher in the business world without feeling like you’re violating the ethics and values of your disciplinary training.

Llewyn Paine | UX Strategy


A scenario:

Product team asks a question.  Researcher does a study and hands off a long-form academic-style report, but it’s hard to read and there are no clear arguments for what action to take.  The team ignores the report and goes with their gut, and the researcher is frustrated that the team isn’t addressing the top issues from the study.

Later, a colleague suggests that the researcher should change up his reporting style and try to “sell” the results more.  The researcher demurs, saying that researchers have a responsibility to adhere to certain standards for reporting data.  The cycle repeats.

Maybe you recognize this scenario.  Maybe you’ve been the team member with a report you couldn’t use.  Or maybe you’ve been the researcher, delivering meticulous reports that never seem to land right at your company.  If so, you’re not alone — this scenario crops up over and over again, especially for conscientious researchers who have recently made the transition…

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