Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category
There is an ongoing debate around whether quantitative and qualitative methods are better. Quantitative research is good for finding out ‘How many’ or ‘How often,’ as it measures the incidence of findings in a given sample size. The findings are quantifiable and help make informed decisions about the impact of future developments. However quantitative research does not allow us to probe and understand why. Qualitative research on the other hand, uses a wide range of methods to gain insight into underlying user needs and behaviour which is not available in quantitative research. This can provide a sound base for further decision making. However, the in-depth approach of qualitative research limits us to small sample sizes meaning results are not quantifiable.
> Read more
Following on from our tips on building prototypes for testing, here we share some of the challenges which can come up while testing a prototype and how best to work around them.
Conducting usability testing can be challenging, especially when testing prototypes. This is because prototypes are not fully functional websites or applications and the level of detail within prototypes can range from simple paper prototypes to high-fidelity pre-launch prototypes. This article will discuss the challenges we face when testing prototypes from the point of view of a UX researcher and it will provide some tips that can make prototype testing more successful.
> Read more
In our roles as user experience practitioners, we are regularly asked to test with prototypes, ranging from low fidelity paper prototypes through to hi fidelity pre-launch fully interactive prototypes. Clients often ask how their prototype compares with others, and how different aspects will work with or affect the testing. So, here’s our top 5 tips for building a prototype to get the best out of the research.
Content and design
Let’s start with the content and design of the prototype. Although the level of detail that’s included in the prototype varies depending on the fidelity, at all fidelities the content and design needs to support what you are trying to find out.
> Read more
Whether you have or haven’t booked a seat reservation on a train, finding a seat is a frustration for many passengers. As a daily train commuter to and from work, this is something I, and many others around me, struggle with every day.
There are broadly two types of train passengers; one who has bought their train ticket in advance, along with a seat reservation on a specific train and one who has not got a reserved seat, or has been automatically given one in the booking process, but isn’t bothered about finding that specific seat.
Finding a seat should be a straight forward process for both types of passengers, either finding their reserved seat or finding an unreserved seat on the train, but it is not. And one of the key problems is the way reservations are displayed on trains. It may seem a small problem but with millions of passengers travelling by train every day the impact is huge, so how could current display methods be developed to improve the user experience?
In the article below we review the two main current display methods, electronic and paper, and consider ways to improve them.
With electronic displays, the users’ seat reservation along with their seat number is shown above the seat, for example, Fig. 1, displaying ‘Reserved from Sheffield- Newcastle’.
In 2015, UK shoppers spent more than £3.3 billion over Black Friday weekend, a rise of 31% on the previous year and many big name websites including Tesco, Argos and John Lewis couldn’t cope with the online traffic. With the growth of online shopping and more retailers taking part in this year’s Black Friday promotions, analysts were predicting a further increase of 25% in 2017 but early figures suggest this didn’t materialise.
While the marketeers continue to review the economic factors, we reviewed the way some clothing websites promoted their Black Friday deals. From our experience of user behaviour when shopping online, we noticed a few things they could have done to improve engagement and potentially increase sales.
> Read more
Payment option overload? How card payments and a digital selection process affects the usability of vending machines.
Most of us use vending machines and like the simplicity of popping a bit of loose change into a machine to get that much needed bottle of Coke.
But, we have all experienced that level of frustration when you fall short of change or the machine doesn’t accept the only pound coin left in your purse. Contactless payments and Apple Pay are becoming more widely used, for example on car parking ticket machines.
More recently, vending machines are now also being redesigned complete with a card reader to bring them into the 21st century. So how could the inclusion of card payments and a digital selection process on vending machines improve the user experience?
> Read more
Six of the team at SimpleUsability attended #NUX5 on Friday 7th October at the Northern College of Music in Manchester, which featured seven inspirational speakers from around the world sharing a variety of different UX topics.
Instead of the usual note-taking, SimpleUsability decided to try a more creative approach to capture the key features of each talk: Sketchnoting. Sketchnoting involves taking notes in a visual form that helps bring the notes to life, and helps people to remember the talk afterwards. Sketchnotes are also fun to share. In this article we share our Sketchnotes that were taken at NUX5, with key summarised points to explain the take away message from each talk.
On Wednesday 28th September, UX Sheffield was hosted at The Electric Works, and featured pioneer of usability Rolf Molich. Rolf, who has worked in the field since 1984, came to discuss ‘Myths about usability testing’.
‘5 users will find 85% of usability problems’
Rolf began the talk by discussing the myth, made famous by Jakob Nielson, that ‘5 users will find 85% of usability problems’. Rolf went on to explain how it is impossible to say you have found ALL usability problems, as some usability problems will be specific to certain types of users, and therefore are unlikely to be spotted with a small sample of users. Rolf suggested instead, rather, that ‘5 users are enough to drive a useful iterative cycle’, where the key usability findings will be discovered, as they will be applicable to the majority of your users.
> Read more
The latest NUX Leeds event on Thursday 27th September, was hosted, as usual, at SimpleUsability. Rochelle Gold, a user researcher for NHS digital came to present and talk about ‘Witnessing health. Impactful research in the NHS’.
Rochelle began the talk touching upon the current pressure which that NHS is under to move towards a paperless system by 2020. She explained that patients would not be forced to use digital NHS but it would be an option for them.
‘What is digital health?’ was Rochelle’s next question. Suggestions from the audience were those such as access to medical records, use of wearable’s, being able to book appointments online through NHS Choices, ordering prescriptions online and the possibility of consultations via Skype. The wide scope of services that could be included in a digital NHS means there are many user needs to be incorporated.
> Read more