Archive for 2008

When designing a new system (or redesigning an existing one), it’s important to keep the user’s real-world context in mind. A lot of thought and effort will hopefully go into making sure the product delivers the right set of features, has the right look and feel, and abides by standard UI conventions. But designs that… Read more

It’s always disappointing when a design decision‐‐or collection of decisions‐‐don’t turn out the way you imagined. You may “feel the pain” through your customer service center or when you try to add functionality to features that were awkwardly designed originally. In the ideal world, every design decision would be informed by user research or usability… Read more

You’re coming up for air after an intense usability study. Your usability consultant has delivered actionable findings and recommendations to your team that you know would really improve the user experience. Now what? Here are some tips we’ve learned from clients and from our own experiences working within companies to increase the likelihood that: 1)… Read more

The ingredients are simple: two people, a quiet place to sit and talk, and a video camera to record the session. Still, getting the most out of an interview requires careful planning and a thoughtful technique. Here I share some insights that guide my own approach to interviewing. Why interview? Interviewing is often preferred over… Read more

To determine what usability study participants look at and take in while viewing online media, we used to watch their mouse cursors, interactions with links and controls, and body language. We also listened carefully to their think-aloud narratives and comments. These traditional testing techniques, however, could never tell us definitively what users notice and what… Read more

Last year was a busy one for the Blink usability testing staff. It’s once again time to reflect and report some of our favorite themes based on studies we completed in 2007. 1. “This should be more like Google.” Several sites and applications we tested included home-grown yet sometimes very powerful search features. Google has… Read more