Articles and resources tagged “iterative design”

The future of UX research is automated, and that's a problem

If you compare the UX research methods we use today with the methods we used 16 years ago, something interesting emerges. We see that UX research is becoming increasingly remote and increasingly unmoderated. In other words, we're moving to a world where UX research is becoming automated. We can learn a lot from automated research. But it comes at the price of understanding our users.

'And the award goes to…' How to avoid winning a Procrustes Award for bad UX

We're familiar with awarding prizes for excellence, from the Oscars to The International Design Awards. But what if we started giving prizes to shame bad examples of design? Enter the Procrustes Awards.

12 symptoms of a back-to-front design process

Everyday consumer products continue to frustrate people. The failure of companies to fully embrace UX is partly to blame, but there is also another reason — one that is seldom discussed. Consumer product companies pay too much heed to their retail customers and, in so doing, they prevent the development team from getting first-hand knowledge of end users.

Why you don't need a representative sample in your user research

Engaging a representative sample of participants in user research sounds like a good idea but it is flawed. It requires lots of participants, does not work in an agile development environment, stifles innovation and reduces your chances of finding problems in small sample usability tests. When combined with iterative design, theoretical sampling (where theory and data collection move hand in hand) provides a more practical alternative.

Is Usability a Science?

Recently, Todd Zazelenchuk, David Travis and I met up at our favourite watering hole in Staffordshire. As is often the case we stumbled into a discussion about usability, this time mulling over the question of whether usability is or is not a science. It turned out to be a slightly more challenging question than we had expected. Cut to the pub—

Why iterative design isn't enough to create innovative products

Iterative design is a proven approach for optimising the usability of a product or service. Teams create prototypes, test them with users, find problems and fix them. But iterative design does not guarantee innovation. To develop innovative designs, we need to question the way we have framed the problem and instead focus on our users' underlying needs.

Keeping Yourself out of the Story: Controlling Experimenter Effects

We take a look at some subtle yet pervasive experimenter effects, at ways they can bias the outcome of a design experiment, and at what we can do to control their influence.

What user researchers can bring to the Design Studio Methodology

The Design Studio is a wonderful methodology to encourage multidisciplinary design, but in practice teams often create design concepts that aren't grounded in user research. We can bake user research findings into every design concept that emerges by using the context of use (users, goals and environments) as a constraint. As an added bonus, this approach helps teams create many more solutions to a design problem.

How to Experiment

With the advent of Lean UX — a kind of science of design — the ability to design and conduct an experiment should now be an important part of every designer’s skill set. But what is a design experiment? How do you develop an experiment? And how can you trust the results?

"I want to speak to my users but they don't want to speak to me"

Making user experience happen within an organisation requires development teams to start involving users. This can be a difficult prospect for teams who have not engaged with users in the past. Here are 10 suggestions to help you make that first all-important contact with users.

Lean ways to test your new business idea

In ‘The Lean Startup’, Eric Ries describes a design process to help manage risk when developing new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This article describes three established user experience techniques we can use to support this design process: narrative storyboarding; paper prototyping; and the Wizard of Oz.

7 myths about paper prototyping

Paper prototyping is probably the best tool we have to design great user experiences. It allows you to involve users early in the design process, shows you how people will use your system before you've written any code, and supports iterative design. So why are some design teams still resistant to using it? Here are 7 objections I've heard to paper prototyping and why each one is mistaken.

The Fable of the User-Centred Designer

Follow a young man's journey as he discovers the three secrets of user-centred design. After reading this 40-page fable, you'll understand the framework of user-centred design and know how to apply it to your own design project. It's a small book that has big results.

Credit-Crunch Usability: 10 ways to maximise your usability budget

Being frugal during economic hard times is good business practice. So how can you squeeze your usability budget and still deliver great insights? These 10 suggestions for streamlining your usability efforts explode the myth that usability is expensive and time-consuming.

The A-Z of Usability

Rather than create yet another definition of usability, we decided to take a different approach and work through the alphabet, picking one word for each letter to capture the flavour of the field. So we proudly present the A-Z of usability — or usability in 26 words.

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