Usability testing is a critical part of the user-centered design process, and comes in many forms. From casual cafeteria studies, to formal lab testing, remote online task-based studies and more. Whether you’re new to this part of UX research, or just need a refresher, Cindy McCracken walks us through the essentials of effective usability tests.
It’s common for newcomers to UX to experience a moment of absolute panic when they discover they need a portfolio. “But how can I build a portfolio when I have no experience?” they ask. The usual online advice is to help a local small business, find a friend with a startup, volunteer for a non-profit, or create a hypothetical project. But the details are often lacking. Lynne Davies bridges the gap by sharing her experience of how she built up her portfolio, and what she learnt along the way.
As designers, we know that our decisions have a real impact on how people use products. On the downside, poor design decisions have the potential to cause annoyance, cost users a bit of cash, or even have disastrous results. But what about the intent behind designs? Ben Tollady shares how we can recognise (and avoid) deceitful design practices.
Finding and scheduling research participants is one of the biggest logistical challenges of UX research. Not to mention then getting those participants to fully engage in research activities. But what about the motivations behind why people take part. How does this affect research results? And what can you do about it?
You can learn a lot from your competition. One way to learn how your product fares against its competitors is through competitive testing. Want to learn how? Cindy McCracken shows how she proved the need for a dramatic redesign of email campaign tool iContact by testing it against its competitors.
Wireframing is an essential skill for UX designers, and can have a huge impact on the outcome of the final product. From ideation to validation, Balsamiq’s Leon Barnard shows how to get your wireframing off to the right start.
From eye tracking to card sorting, surveys to usability tests, UX designers have a huge set of research methods to understand user behaviour and attitudes. The research method you select depends first and foremost on the type of input you need to answer your research questions. But how do you choose the right tools for the job?
UX research has borrowed a lot from the fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropology. From analysing behaviour to documenting how people perform certain tasks, you clearly see these fields bleeding into UX. How can you make sure you’re recording the right information to glean powerful insights?
One of the best ways to guarantee quality results from your user experience research is to recruit the right kind of people for your studies. But finding the right participants? That can be a frustrating logistical challenge. Participant screeners are a vital step in UX research design so you can filter through potential recruits and find your target users.
Amanda Stockwell shares her best tips to write screeners so you only recruit users who will provide valuable insights for your product.
When you’re starting out in your UX career, it’s hard to know where to begin. Specialist or generalist? Design or research? Or maybe you want to try a bit of everything. We collected some of the most inspiring advice from the UX Mastery community to help guide you through the confusion.