Do you create products or organize events for UX professionals or manage a UX team that’s hiring? Sponsor UXmatters and see your ad or logo here! Learn moreLearn More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2013 Issue

By Janet M. Six

Published: July 22, 2013

Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from some of the top professionals in UX.

In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss balancing UX strategy with lean UX and agile development, describe roles in UX strategy, and compare user experience strategy with customer experience strategy.

Every month in Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts answers our readers’ questions about a variety of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to: ask.uxmatters@uxmatters.com. Read moreRead More>

By Nathaniel Davis

Published: July 22, 2013

“Information architecture, interaction design, and UX design are three major practices that have significantly evolved our approach to creating well-designed digital products and services.”

I consider myself to be an advocate for the development of a coherent information architecture (IA) practice. However, my words would fall on deaf ears without the groundwork that many other industry contributors have laid. In fact, many of you who are reading this column are probably contributors to IA practice at some level. I am also an active practitioner and researcher in UX design—and thus, am a contributor to the field of UX design as well, just as many of you are. Others reading this article may be contributors to the field of interaction design. As active contributors to our professional practices, we help to sustain the fields of information architecture, interaction design, and user experience.

Information architecture, interaction design, and UX design are three major practices that have significantly evolved our approach to creating well-designed digital products and services. This hasn’t happened by chance. Industry wide, our collective efforts have promoted the maturity of our respective fields, making this evolution possible. Read moreRead More>

By Catalina Naranjo-Bock

Published: July 22, 2013

“It is important to adapt and create research methods that accord with participants’ cognitive, language, and motor skills, as well as to have a general understanding of children’s different age groups….”

This column was inspired by a question that I constantly get asked: “What would you say are the most important things to keep in mind when doing user research with kids?” In the following paragraphs, I’ll provide a summary of some basic things that you’ll need to take into account when conducting user research with children between the ages of 3 to 15 years.

1. Choosing and Transforming User Research Methods Based on Age Group

As on any UX research project, the research methods that you use may vary, depending on the kinds of research questions you are trying to answer. When you’re working specifically with children, an additional factor that you must consider is their age. It is important to adapt and create research methods that accord with participants’ cognitive, language, and motor skills, as well as to have a general understanding of children’s different age groups before embarking on a research project. Read moreRead More>

By Marnie Andrews and April L. de Vries

Published: July 22, 2013

“The main purpose of your customer feedback sessions should be to confirm whether your designs would satisfy real user goals and needs and identify what you should work on next.”

Part 1 of our three-part series on continuous customer feedback programs covered how to set up a program like ours at IBM to obtain the qualitative data that your product team needs. Now, in Part 2, we’ll describe how to conduct customer feedback sessions, including

  • leading discussions to find the answers that you need
  • involving participants
  • involving product team members

Leading Discussions and Finding Answers

During a customer feedback session, it’s tempting to make a presentation, turning your session into a Show and Tell session. But, if you just show participants an exciting new feature, ask them whether they like it or would find it useful, then move on to the next feature, what would you learn? Not much.

Validate, don’t just review. The main purpose of your customer feedback sessions should be to confirm whether your designs would satisfy real user goals and needs and identify what you should work on next. Read moreRead More>

By Paul Bryan

Published: July 22, 2013

When: September 9–11, 2013
Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
For more information: Visit the UX STRAT 2013 Web site.

UX strategy is a rapidly growing practice within the larger field of user experience. We can see many signs that UX strategy is gaining mindshare within the UX community.

Significantly, the first international conference to be devoted entirely to UX strategy, UX STRAT 2013, will take place in September of this year, in Atlanta. At the conference, experienced UX strategy professionals will present their approaches to guiding UX projects, products, and programs. UX leaders, strategists, researchers, and senior practitioners who attend the conference will have an opportunity to hear about and discuss the latest methods and trends in strategic digital experience planning and design. Read moreRead More>

By Laura Keller

Published: July 8, 2013

“My experience with a local taxi company that leverages SMS messaging for most of its customer interactions has changed both my … viewpoint on human interactions and my expectations of taxi services.”

I’m a staunch supporter of the value of person-to-person interactions between a service provider and its customers. You’ll never hear me say, “Just make it all digital, and you can get rid of your call center.” Even customers who tend to prefer self-service or are very digitally savvy often say that they still want to know that they have access to and can interact with a human during a service experience.

If a service works and customers are satisfied, don’t change it. It may seem like I’m a service curmudgeon, but part of why I make this declaration is because, over time, a customer comes to have certain expectations of a service experience, so changing it without a good reason can lead to frustration. For example, when using a dry-cleaning service, a customer expects to know how much he will pay for the clothes he drops off, to be told when they will be ready to pick up, to receive a ticket for those clothes, and that the service experience will conclude with satisfactorily cleaned clothes. These expectations arise not from his interactions with an isolated dry-cleaning service, but rather from his many interactions with multiple dry cleaners over time. In general, we come to expect the same service journey in the same service genre. Read moreRead More>

By Riley Graham

Published: July 8, 2013

“One key factor unites the disciplines of User Experience and Quality Assurance (QA) at their core: usability.”

When writing about quality assurance and user experience, Jakob Nielsen put it perfectly:

“Quality assurance impacts the user experience: when things don’t work, users question their understanding and develop superstitions and inefficient workarounds.”

One key factor unites the disciplines of User Experience and Quality Assurance (QA) at their core: usability. Read moreRead More>

By Jim Ross

Published: July 8, 2013

“Video clips of participants facing problems and expressing their opinions are far more impactful and interesting than a researcher’s simply presenting findings.”

Sometimes, simply presenting UX research findings isn’t enough. Which do you think would be more interesting and impactful? A researcher’s saying:

  • “Most of the participants had difficulty finding the Check Out button.”
  • “Most of the participants had difficulty finding the Check Out button,” then playing a video showing five participants struggling to find the Check Out button and making sarcastic remarks about the Web site.

Video clips of participants facing problems and expressing their opinions are far more impactful and interesting than a researcher’s simply presenting findings. They help create empathy for users, make their problems more understandable, keep those problems in the forefront of stakeholders’ minds, and get them to take users’ problems more seriously. Read moreRead More>

By Rich Blackwell

Published: July 8, 2013

“No marketing strategy is complete if it doesn’t address the rapid rise of mobile devices and mobile apps, the increasing importance of user experience, and the power of Web analytics.”

No marketing strategy is complete if it doesn’t address the rapid rise of mobile devices and mobile apps, the increasing importance of user experience, and the power of Web analytics. All too often, though, marketers treat mobile, user experience, and Web analytics as disparate strategic areas—focusing on only one at a time and overlooking the ways in which they intersect and impact each other. Looking at these key areas together produces better results for marketers, analysts, and designers alike.

Designing for Mobile: More Devices, More Diversity

The rapid global adoption of mobile devices has changed the way we drive marketing innovations across industries and geographies. Global Android device activations are out-pacing the US birthrate, and there is no sign of the mobile adoption rate slowing any time soon. On the contrary, mobile devices continue to proliferate—and diversify—at an astounding rate. Read moreRead More>

By Sal Becerra

Published: July 8, 2013

“This year marked the third year of the User Experience Awards (UX Awards)—a milestone in the evolution and influence of user experience.”

This year marked the third year of the User Experience Awards (UX Awards)—a milestone in the evolution and influence of user experience. The UX Awards took place on May 21, 2013, in New York City, and garnered more submissions and attendees than ever, with approximately 350 people attending the event this year.

Consider the contributions that technology and user experience have made to our culture and the institutions that have arisen to recognize those achievements: The rapid evolution of technology and user experience brought digital media into more households through mainstream adoption of the Internet. So, to celebrate Internet excellence, the Webby Awards began in 1996. As the adoption of digital media has continued its rapid acceleration, digital devices have become ubiquitous in American households. Digital media—whether for art, communications, or practical utility—have transcended any one platform or device. The user experience on and across platforms and devices has received increasing attention, as has the holistic evaluation of the customer experience beyond its online components. In response to the greater attention that user experience has received, the UX Awards—the first awards whose specific purpose is to celebrate exceptional user experiences—held its inaugural event in 2011, in New York City. Read moreRead More>