Making the Case for User Research

Clients, at the end of the day, just want to maximize the return on their investment in experience design. Sadly logic, reason, and a good execution plan might not always be enough to get a client to sign the check for user research. Personally, I feel that the best way to demonstrate the value of a practice like user research on ROI is to calculate the risk associated with not doing any research at all.

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When Content Becomes The Interface

The interface is disappearing. With advancements in hardware, software, and interaction design, content is rising to the top and replacing the interface. This offers designers greater opportunities to design experiences that are more enriching, educational, and self-empowering. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, designers need to understand the content that their sites or apps are trying to communicate: we need to know the content so that we can enable the user to concentrate on that content.

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The Experience Score: A Tool for Evaluating Digital Experiences

I decided to create a tool that anyone can use to evaluate web pages in the same way that I do. It’s called The Experience Score. The Experience Score for a particular web page is based on 5 dimensions of a digital experience: Clarity, Flow, Relevance, Utility, and Trustworthiness. A page is graded on a scale from 0 to 5 for each of the 5 dimensions and those scores are averaged. The result is The Experience Score for that page.

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The Quest For The Perfect Steak: An Argument For Experimentation And Analysis

We operate in an ever-changing landscape. New tactics and ideas are being introduced seemingly weekly. To compound this rapid change, user behavior is evolving as well. In a landscape this dynamic, remaining static is choosing to dissolve into irrelevance. It’s important to ask questions. It’s important to pay attention. It’s important to pursue deliberate, strategy-driven evolution. Here’s the part where I make my case for experimentation and analysis.

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The Effect Of Brand Affinity On Content Consumption Behavior

My wife and I are both customers of the symphony. We are also very different. We are two personas of their target audience, with two different motivations, two different buying journeys. We will both spend money on their product, but we must be converted in different ways.

This is an important lesson for any company to learn. In order to effectively attract, convert and retain customers, you have to know how to reach them – and that doesn’t just mean putting your content in front of them. It has to be the right type of content. It’s easy enough to say each person is different. Many sales professionals do a good job of putting this statement into action by treating customers like they’re unique.

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The Future of User Experience, Part Two: The Evaporation of Technology

As new advancements in technology emerge, it is our responsibility as experience designers to understand them better and faster than our peers. Our goals and principles will remain atomically sound, but our knowledge and understanding of the ways people interact with information will change. If you want to be the best experience designer you can be, you must understand and implement this concept perpetually. It is this fact that separates user experience design from other professions.

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The Future of User Experience, Part One: The Past of User Experience

Simply put, user experience design is about creating the best experience for users. Which can only be done by developing a sincere and complete understanding of the challenges users face. It’s been that way since the ideas of Fred, Vlad, Paul and the Scandinavians started to materialize into a legitimate design discipline about 50 years ago. No matter where technology takes us in the future, it is these basic principles that will continue to thrive.

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I’m Breaking Up with UX

UX, I’m breaking up with you. I still love you; I just need some space. I need to try out being independent for a while and see where things go. Honestly, I think I’m outgrowing our relationship, and you’re holding me back.

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Why You Shouldn’t Separate Strategy From Execution

When you think of strategy and/or execution, do you think of them as two sides of a yin-yang or two things you need in that order (strategy, then execution) to meet a goal? And do you believe that strategy is the magic brilliance that comes from the hilltop and execution is the tactical busy work to make strategy’s brilliance shinier? Of course you don’t—but this thinking is a little more common than you may believe.

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The Power of Art in User Experience

I believe that experience designers should use the power of art to make digital experiences more compelling. You might think, “well, that’s great but I’m not an artist. I can’t draw or perform music or dance or act. How am I supposed to use art in my designs?” To be completely honest, I don’t know exactly, because everyone is different. Everyone will have a different process — or perhaps no process at all — for creating a sense of artistic expression in digital content, whether it be through visual, auditory, interactive or narrative devices. What I have come up with, though, are three points to help you discover your own approach.

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