Blogs

Methods evolve and adapt. The same is true of UX methods that have evolved from other methods, often from disparate fields and dating back decades. The usability profession itself can trace its roots to the industrial revolution. The think aloud protocol, one of the signature methods of usability testing, can trace its roots to psychoanalysis, with influence from Freud, Wundt, and Skinner dating back over

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UX has no shortage of models, methods, frameworks, or even catchy acronyms. SUS, TAM, ISO 9241, and SUPR-Q to name a few. A relatively new addition is the HEART framework, derived by a team of researchers at Google. And when Google does something, others often follow. HEART (Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success) is described by Rodden et al. in a 2010 CHI Paper [pdf],

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Smoking causes cancer. Warnings on cigarette labels and from health organizations all make the clear statement that smoking causes cancer. But how do we know? Smoking precedes cancer (mostly lung cancer). People who smoke cigarettes tend to get lung and other cancers more than those who don’t smoke. We say that smoking is correlated with cancer. Carefully rule out other causes and you have the ingredients

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Should you ask what people think? Are thoughts and feelings reliable indicators of future behavior? Asking about people’s attitudes—especially about their intentions (likelihood to use, recommend, or purchase)—gets a bad rap in UX research. There’s a sort of folk wisdom in User Experience research: People are poor predictors of their future behavior. And this distrust in what people think is rooted in some well-cited articles.

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You’ve probably heard of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment by Philip Zimbardo (especially if you took an intro psych class). The shocking results had similar implications to the notorious Milgram experiment and suggested our roles may be a major cause for past atrocities and injustices. You might have also heard about research from Cornell University that found, across multiple studies, that simply having larger serving plates make

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The Net Promoter Score introduced a new language of loyalty. At center stage are the promoters and detractors. These designations are given to respondents who answer the How Likely Are You to Recommend (LTR) question as shown below. But what is the justification for the designations? Were they just arbitrarily created? Do they just sound good for executives? How much faith should we put in

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Online dating websites are one of the primary ways people find dates and even future spouses. These sites represent the bulk of a 3 billion dollar dating services industry. In fact, around 30% of recent marriages started online, but it’s not like finding a date is as easy as filtering choices on Amazon and having them delivered via drone the next day (not yet at

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No one likes getting lost. In real life or digitally. One can get lost searching for a product to purchase, finding medical information, or clicking through a mobile app to post a social media status. Each link, button, and menu leads to decisions. And each decision can result in a mistake, leading to wasted time, frustration, and often the inability to accomplish tasks. But how

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A usable product is a better product. But even the most usable product isn’t adequate if it doesn’t do what it needs to. Products, software, websites, and apps need to be both usable and useful for people to “accept” them, both in their personal and professional lives. That’s the idea behind the influential Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Here are 10 things to know about the TAM.

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The hold music. The wait time. The menu that always seems to have just changed. Calling customer service is not usually what people want to do in their spare time. But it’s often necessary and represents an important touchpoint for companies that interact with their customers. Understanding why people call customer support is also a good place to start identifying problems in the user experience

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