Thoughts on listening to users

Compelled Shopping Test

At Bolt Peter’s User Research Friday conference today Jared Spool talked about a test I had never heard of before. He called it the Compelled Shopping Test. When I first heard the premise I must admit it made absolutely no sense to me! Here is how it works… You recruit test users for testing a shopping site who are carefully screened to really and truly be in need of buying particular item at.. Read More

Dana Chisnell at B|P User Research Friday – Research in a Social Context

Usability Testing in a Social Context Dana Chisnell gave a great talk today at Bolt Peters User Research Friday. Her observation was that almost all activities on the web occur in a social context that spills out far beyond the particular product being tested. Studies that don’t account for the social context are broken Dana put together a study for a financial company that was providing retirement planning for users. When she put.. Read More

Jared Spool Keynote at B|P User Research Friday

Jared Spool is acting as master of ceremonies this morning at Bolt Peter’s User Research Friday. Here is a summary of the talk… Four Stories about Five Studies Jared’s talk was in the form of 4 real stories of user research for customers. 1) Abandonment This case was about a company that had a problem at the last step of the purchase process. OBSERVATION: 65% abandonment after entering credit card data. Here are.. Read More

Great interview with Jeff Atwood of StackOverflow on building community.

I came across an old but very good interview by Scott Hanselman with Jeff Atwood of StackOverflow. StackOverflow is trying to replicate its tremendously successful curated Q&A model into topics other than programming. They raised venture funding and created StackExchange which is essentially a birthing ground for StackOverflows for various topics. Scott gave an example of his father who likes to make and hunt with hand made bows. He asked Jeff whether a.. Read More

More confusing UI from a very popular service

Quora is a very popular new service from the ex-CTO of Facebook.  Here’s an image of part of the main page: The top bar shows an entry box followed by what looks like a button with the text “Add Question”. One assumes the two are related because there’s they’re in the same black box, so the expected behavior is that you would enter a question in that top box and click the “Add.. Read More

UI fail from the UI gurus

Here’s a user interface failure courtesy of Apple: Note that the window cannot be expanded (why?). So how exactly are we supposed to know what the “Convert Selected Simplified C…” refers to? I’m not sure why any dialog windows are designed to be unexpandable – what’s the point of this constraint? I guess on the bright side, very very few people understand or use the Services menu anyway. But when it comes to.. Read More

What leads to Why

Earlier we wrote about the difference between quantitative usability measurements, which answer the question: What are users doing? and qualitative measurements (for example, as provided by TryMyUi), which answer Why are they doing what they are doing? In this article Jeff Sauro provides a good example. 00000

Providing a free test and asking for a credit card…

We provide a free test for new users. However, we do ask that the user have a valid credit card. Although we don’t charge the credit card (we simply make sure it’s valid), a couple of our prospective customers have been upset that we ask for a credit card at all. We agree that in the world of free, or even freemium services, it’s unusual to ask for a credit card. The problem.. Read More

3 facets defining the user experience

At TryMyUI we review a lot of user testing videos. In these narrated videos the tester verbalizes her thoughts as she performs the tasks in the usability test. In this free-form mode, we are actually getting information that points to 3 characteristics that affect the user experience.

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