6 April 2011

About unnatural user research and limits to usability

Be the first to share

UX Matters
Two new articles on UX Matters:

User research Is unnatural (but that’s okay), Part I
by Jim Ross
From the perspective of a participant, user research is not very natural. We ask participants to try to act naturally in the artificial environment of a lab, or we impose ourselves on their environment and hope our presence doesn’t affect their behavior. We often forget how unnatural user research can be and what effect it can have on participants.

Part II: Making user research more natural
To minimize the negative effects of these unnatural aspects of user research and get more realistic results, there are many things we can do to keep user research as natural as possible.

There should be limits to usability
by Peter Hornsby
People generally regard improving the usability of products or systems as a major part of our role as UX designers. While there are tradeoffs in all aspects of design, our assumption has generally been that products and systems that are easier to use are preferable to those that are harder to use. However, despite what seemed to be a common understanding, a number of articles have recently reported on research that suggests increased ease of use can be detrimental. This column examines the research underlying these conclusions and looks at some lessons UX designers can learn from them.

Be the first to share
4 May 2018
[Book] Automating Inequality
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor By Virginia Eubanks St. Martin's Press, January 2018 272 pages The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years—because a …
27 April 2018
The case for hiring a ‘Digital Anthropologist’
James Ingram, chief executive officer of visual content creation company Splashlight, explains why we need digital anthropologists to handle handle, interpret and apply cultural analysis to data and arrive at consumer insight. Making sense of copious …
25 April 2018
Two reports on people’s attitudes and understanding of digital technologies
Doteveryone, a UK think tank that champions responsible technology for the good of everyone in society [similar to Milan's newly founded Digital Culture Center], published two reports this year: the first one, The Digital Attitudes …
13 March 2018
Want to craft better policy? Hire an anthropologist
In the spring of 2017 the Danish Business Authority and MindLab, a Danish policy lab, developed a methodology to quickly identify costly regulations and how they could be improved, by combining the Standard Cost Model …
3 February 2018
Anthropology in Industry w/ Natalie Hanson
Design and anthropology have been seen together with increasing frequency over the last few years, but how do design and anthropology fit together in relation to industry? And, how does this pairing create insight? The …
15 December 2017
[Book] Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age
Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age by Matthew J. Salganik Princeton University Press 2017, 448 pages [Read online] An innovative and accessible guide to doing social research in the digital age In just the past several years, we …
26 November 2017
Developing human interactions with autonomous systems
Two excellent Medium articles by the people of Humanising Autonomy, a London based startup that works towards a vision of intuitive interactions between autonomous systems and people: Child-Friendly Autonomous Vehicles: Designing Autonomy with all road users …
22 November 2017
Human-centred design in global health: A scoping review of applications and contexts
Human-centred design in global health: A scoping review of applications and contexts By Alessandra N. Bazzano (1), Jane Martin (2), Elaine Hicks (3), Maille Faughnan (1), and Laura Murphy (1) PLoS ONE12(11): e0186744. Published: November 1, 2017 Health …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese

Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]

27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy

(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]

26 February 2018
Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Technology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many of which work in integration with each other, for example, wearables connected to IOT applications. Experientia’s report provide an overview of some […]

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

See all articles