After more than one year of engaging with users remotely, we want to reflect on the pitfalls of remote user research, share some of the lessons we learned and reflect on what’s going to be “the next normal” after Covid’s impact.
Tight timescales and budgets are no excuses to ditch user research altogether, specially when we all know it’s essential to make sure you deliver easy-to-use products. Quick and dirty research is a great way to get user insights fast and on a budget.
Imagine a website or an app with no words. If it wasn’t for the logo, would you be able tell what this page is about? Would you know which button to click? Where navigation would take you? What you’re supposed to write in the search bar? No matter how good-looking an interface is, without words users will simply not be able to accomplish any tasks in it.
Some might think user research is as simple as watching people perform a few tasks on a website or asking them a few questions, but user research is definitely not walk in the park. Let’s go through some of the mistakes that can arise when planning and conducting research.
Can the same illustration be used the same way on a desktop screen, on a tablet or on a smartphone? How is it possible to make them look great on every screen without losing quality or the idea the brand is trying to convey?
From 10 to 13 February attendees from 25 countries and 14 world-renowned UX experts joined online for 3 days of learning. The programme included 12 live masterclasses, 2 keynotes, 2 live podcasts, and more.
Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is a very popular framing technique with about 25 years which has been adopted by the UX area in recent years.
Jim Kalbach presents a technical approach adapted to the reality of UX professionals. It consists in understanding which are the users’ real needs and motivations. It defends a greater focus, not so much on the product or service, but on the users and on what they want to achieve by purchasing it.
Liftoff!Practical Design Leadership to Elevate Your Team, Your Organization, and YouBy Chris Avore & Russ Unger
Chris Avore & Russ Unger present a guide for design leaders with detailed and practical advice about how to run a design team, from hiring to integrating and nurturing.
Being leaders of design teams themselves, they present their perspective based on their long personal experience, but also the perspective of other design leaders and other industries.
Figure It Out Getting from Information to UnderstandingBy Stephen Anderson & Karl Fast
We often receive information we don’t understand and in a way that makes no sense to us, from privacy policies to medical explanations. From this idea, Stephen Anderson and Karl Fast try to answer the book’s central question - “how does understanding takes place?”
To answer the question, the authors talk about how we understand by associations, with external representations and through interactions and present tools and technologies for facilitating understanding.
Writing is DesigningWords and the User ExperienceBy Michael J. Metts & Andy Welfle
Without any content, websites and apps would be just a series of meaningless shapes and icons. The design of digital products depends on the words, whether in buttons, menus or error messages. Words that users interact with and that influence their experience.
That’s exactly why the authors focus on the importance of writing in the creation of interfaces and on how words shape design. Content must be created as the rest of the experience is developed, in an iterative process and validated with research, since its main goal is helping users complete all necessary tasks.
Design for Cognitive BiasBy David Dylan Thomas
We naturally let ourselves be guided by cognitive bias and irrational forces that shape our everyday decisions. The author tries to understand the logic powering those forces, the bias that affect users and how they make unconscious decisions, in order to help us make design and content choices that will help mitigate cognitive bias and use it for good.
A Civic Technologist’s Practice GuideFrom Cyd Harrell
Civic tech is a movement that brings together the strengths of the private sector tech world to public entities with the aim of making government more responsive, efficient, modern and just.
Based on her working experience, Cyd Harrel wrote this practical guide for technology people who work or want to work in the public sector. It includes practical advice on how to build alliances with public-sector partners, which skills are more useful, and how to work in spaces dedicated to stewardship rather than profit.
Design Beyond DevicesCreating Multimodal, Cross-Device ExperiencesBy Cheryl Platz
Cheryl starts by explaining the concept of multimodal experience - experiences that can engage multiple human senses, like speak or touch to make a selection.
She teaches different techniques to build fluid, adaptive experiences for multiple inputs, outputs and devices. She also talks about specific types of artificial intelligence driven input and output.
Topics like accessibility and inclusive design are also covered throughout different chapters of the book.
Banish Your Inner CriticSilence the Voice of Self-Doubt to Unleash Your Creativity and Do Your Best Work By Denise Jacobs
This book is a manual and a toolkit to help you express your most creative self. Based on neuroscience, mindfulness practices and self-comparison research, Denise shows how to identify and quiet the voice of self-sabotage in your head, master power practices to transform how you relate to yourself and your creativity, how to generate more ideas and much more.
How Design Makes The WorldBy Scott Berkun
Everything we use was designed by someone. Some got it right while others not so much. Scott Berkun teaches us what good design is and why it’s so important, how our lives are defined by designs made by others, and how to ask better questions of everything we buy, use and make.
Emotionally Intelligent DesignRethinking How We Create ProductsBy Pamela Pavliscak
With technology becoming deeply integrated into every aspect of our lives, we expect more emotionally intelligent interactions. Pamela explains how with a mix of design thinking, mixed methods research and emotion tech it’s possible to bend our current practices toward emotional intelligence. She also shows us how design can help promote emotional well-being.
Trustworthy How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap By Margot Bloomstein
Cynicism is undermining people’s trust in the media, government, public institutions and consumer brands. That’s why marketers, content strategists and designers need a new strategy to earn trust, act with transparency and help users make confident decisions. Margot examines the work of high-performing organisations and provides an actionable framework focused on voice, volume and vulnerability.
Better OnboardingBy Krystal Higgins
Krystal Higgins writes about designing better user onboarding experiences that guide people as they interact with a product, helping them follow their own path to success.
She provides practical strategies and techniques for designing effective guidance useful to use when redesigning a product, launching new features, rolling out service updates or welcoming back returning users.
Conversations with ThingsUX Design for Chat and VoiceBy Diana Deibel & Rebecca Evanhoe
We live in a world where is now possible to talk to digital things like voice assistants and chatbots. However, these interactions can often be unhelpful and frustrating. Diana and Rebecca teach us how to design useful, ethical and human-centred conversations.
Strategic Writing for UXBy Torrey Podmajersky
In this practical book, Torrey provides strategies for converting, engaging, supporting and re-attracting users. We can learn how to use a framework to align the UX content with product principles, how UX text patterns work with different voices, and how to produce purposeful, concise, conversational and clear text.
Surveys That WorkA Practical Guide for Designing and Running Better SurveysBy Caroline Jarrett
In this practical guide, Caroline explains a seven-step process for designing, running and reporting on a survey that gets accurate results. The book covers the different types of surveys, establishing goals for the survey, writing good questions and testing them, analysing and understanding people’s answers, and more.
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