Thoughts on listening to users

How to avoid a UX Debt crisis

A pile of dirty dishes in a sink

We’ve all had this feeling: as dirty dishes pile up in the sink, you become more and more reluctant to deal with them. By the time you’ve run out of clean utensils, the sink has filled up with a formidable Jenga of oily, smelly dishes with crumbs from 2 weeks ago. The ‘Dirty Dishes Phenomenon’ exists in UX, too, except resolving it is not quite as easy as shoving everything into the dishwasher…

Crowdsourced usability in the wild: Testing UXCrowd with Serengetee

Herd of elephants milling around

Usability testing is important, but it can be hard to make time for poring over hours of video data. Can crowdsourcing usability analysis solve this dilemma? This is the question we set out to answer when we built UXCrowd, a voting-based platform for letting the users themselves identify the most critical issues of a website.

We ran a test with 30 users to see if the crowd’s analysis of an apparel website called Serengetee matched up with the site’s real usability issues.

Is your design drowning out your message?

In engineering, the signal-to-noise ratio refers to the relative strength of an electrical signal compared to the strength of the background noise. Too much noise, and the signal can become difficult or impossible to decipher. Signal-to-noise ratio is an important consideration in design, too.

Take me out to the ball game

Each year as spring arrives, the 30 teams of Major League Baseball head to Arizona and Florida to kick off spring training. Every day for a month and a half, the players train, drill, and play scrimmages in preparation for the regular season. This month and a half provides two valuable returns for the teams…

3 takeaways from bad UX on news sites

There is a problem I have with the UX on a number of news websites, and it’s become something of a pet peeve of mine. Here’s a pretty typical example from a few days ago… I was reading an article on Slate about the psychology of altruism, and as my eyes tracked down the page my hand reached over to the arrow keys. I use the up and down keys.. Read More

5 reasons you should say farewell to focus groups

Plane flying past pink sunset

A number of years ago, British Airways needed to find out what customers wanted. They were adding mini refrigerators to first class seating sections so passengers could help themselves to a snack during long overnight flights, and needed to find out exactly what kind of snacks their passengers would be interested in. So they put together a few focus groups…

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