How can I ensure I get the best results when conducting a diary study as part of a UX research project?”
Let’s start with a quick overview: diary studies are a research method used to gain qualitative insight into participants’ behaviour (and the context) over a period of time. During the study period, participants are asked to enter information about their activities in a log, diary or journal (online or off) – this is then analysed by the researcher at the end of the observation period.
Steve Krug’s ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ is still one of the most respected books about web usability, nearly 20 years(!) after its original publication. Some might even argue it’s more relevant today than ever, especially given the number of sites and apps there are in the world.
Registering for a site or service is often, to put it frankly, a tedious and boring task. But although it’s not the ‘sexiest’ part of an interface, the registration process is a crucial element of any digital product, and can even be a determining factor in whether the user will actually continue to use the service… or not.
Get your registration forms right and you’ll increase sign-ups, conversion rates and user satisfaction – do them badly and it’s likely you’ll see bounce rates skyrocketing.
Today’s blog post is a classic tale of ‘toilet-lock usability and standards’.
Last week, on a commute back from London, I had cause to visit the carriage’s toilet. I stared blankly at the unfamiliar and (to my mind, unnecessarily) complex locking mechanism for a few moments before settling upon an arrangement of buttons and levers that I was confident would lock the door and ensure me a few minutes privacy. Congratulations to me.
Persuasive design has received a lot of media attention recently. At the end of 2017, before Facebook’s more recent data leak difficulties, a number of high profile Silicon Valley technologists spoke out against the platforms that they helped build. Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker criticised the development of functionality that “exploit[s] a vulnerability in human psychology” in order to “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible”. The next day Chamath Palihapitiya, Vice President for User Growth at Facebook until 2011 said he felt “tremendous guilt” for his role in developing interactions that play on “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops” to maximise engagement.
As human beings, there are few things we find as engaging and exciting as stories. Since our earliest origins, storytelling has been a way for us to communicate with one another – just look at cave paintings, for example.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meet-up in London run by the Service Design Network, where we discussed how we can improve the way we design for those who are vulnerable, as well as how to build trust through design.
Building trust is not an easy task – but if businesses aren’t able to achieve it, or lose it, the results can be fatal (you only need to look at the recent news about Facebook to grasp the impact that loss of confidence can have).
In a world with an ever-increasing number of UX designers (as well as ever-increasing confusion about what “UX” actually entails), how can you tell the good from the bad? What are the things you need to look out for, and the things to avoid? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here’s a list of key UX skills and some top tips for identifying them.