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understanding people, designing better services

Last Build Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 06:09:50 +0000


From insights to actions. Or, what should we do with this research?

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 06:09:50 +0000

So what should we do with this research? This is a question that researchers often hear at the end of a playback session. Especially one where we’re sharing findings or insights and not detailed recommendations of what to do next. Most of the time there are two questions that teams should ask themselves: Which of these problems/opportunities do we care about now? If you were going...

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Passwords that make you feel good

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 23:01:19 +0000

On my first day at Atlassian, when I was first got my macbook and was setting up my password I had one of my favourite ideas. Having a good secure password is important. You can (and should) use password managers so that you can have lots of different very strong passwords. But perhaps for one password you find yourself typing in very frequently you might...

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Five user research rules of thumb

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:33:33 +0000

Over years of experience you begin to collect ways of working and talking about how you work that accrete into rules of thumb. Here are some that I reference pretty often. I’d love to hear others. One hour / day of analysis for every hour / day of research.  (I’m pretty sure that back in the early days it used to be 2:1 ratio but...

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Collected UX research posts from my government days

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 06:14:11 +0000

I’ve taken some time over the new year to repost some of the blog posts I wrote while I was working in government. These were originally posted on government blogs, first in the UK and then in Australia. Can’t guarantee I still agree with everything I wrote back in 2013 but perhaps you’ll find something useful here. How we do user research in agile teams...

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If I could tell you 3 things – notes from a brief career in the public service

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:13:56 +0000

Recently a colleague asked me what 3 things I would say if I ever had an audience of Secretaries (very senior public servants) that would help them do things to help make public services better for end users. This is (roughly) what I said: Your organisation will benefit more from you being user centred than the users ever will.  It is a common misconception that...

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Why we say no to surveys and focus groups

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:07:14 +0000

Originally published on the DTA Blog. Surveys and focus groups aren’t used much in our user-centred design process. These are the reasons why. You can’t get authentic, actionable insights in a few clicks Think about the last time you filled in a survey. As you were filling in that survey, did you feel as though you were really, genuinely able to express to that organisation how...

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‘I want a pony!’ or the critical difference between user research and market research

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 05:03:36 +0000

Originally published on the DTA Blog. Research is not a new phenomenon in government. When you start a new project it is very possible that there is a wheelbarrow-full of previous, relevant research for you to review. Most policy, for example, is evidence based. Similarly when it comes to service delivery, there is often no shortage of research – often in the form of market...

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Ask first, judge later

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 20:59:39 +0000

Here’s a pattern I’ve observed in myself and others over the years. People tell you about something. It doesn’t match your world view or expectations (what you think is right or true) You judge quickly. Because of the mismatch you reject. If you’re a proper bore you may even layer on a little ridicule. This is a natural part of being human. It’s one of the...

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Triple testing your survey

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 02:52:48 +0000

Sending a survey is a convenient way to gather data quickly. But, it’s very easy to inadvertently gather misleading and inaccurate data. When was the last time you filled in a survey that let you actually express what your really thought about an organisation, experience or topic? Just because you have a reasonably large sample size and you can make graphs out if it doesn’t...

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Guerrilla empathy (or why we should probably stop banging on about users all the time)

Thu, 19 May 2016 01:24:55 +0000

If you work anywhere near digital design, someone has probably talked at you about empathy recently. Or you’ve talked at people about empathy. Empathy is a buzzword du jour. Now, you and i know empathy is important but – the reality is, most of the people we work with don’t really believe that. They don’t. They think they do real work and they think that...

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