Dealing with Long Field Names | Analyzing Users’ Tasks

By Janet M. Six Published: May 19, 2014 Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from some of the top professionals in UX. In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss how to deal with very long field names in forms and some ways to analyze users’ tasks. Each month in Ask UXmatters, our UX experts provide answers to our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to:...

3 UX Organization Personas

By Ronnie Battista Published: May 19, 2014 “How should we define UX strategy today? Where is it going? As UX professionals, how can we better develop ourselves and those who have yet to find their home in this field?” Welcome to Strategy Matters, my new column on UXmatters, which will focus on answering these essential questions: How should we define UX strategy today? Where is it going? As UX professionals, how can we better develop ourselves and those who have yet to find their home in this field? Building on that premise, I’d like to put out a few disclaimers as I kick off this column: I think I’m a UX Strategist… This is how I have chosen to define myself and what I can offer to the field of User Experience. I share this self-affixed title with many others, but there’s really no saying who is or who isn’t a UX Strategist, because there’s no accepted definition or criteria for the role. How anyone can claim to be a UX Strategist without feeling some degree of Imposter Syndrome escapes me. But if I look at my peers who I feel most closely affiliated with—and the things that interest us and the types of work that we seek and do for clients—I’m an Experience Strategist. (I’ll take the U out for now and explain that in an upcoming column.) However, like many or even most others with this title, there are deficiencies in my skillset and experience that some could argue disqualify me from making this assertion. And that’s...

The Role of User Experience in the Product Development Process

By Steven Hoober Published: May 5, 2014 “We all have to work with others to get our products built. Good collaboration is a critical feature of ensuring that your UX design solutions add value and are successful.” Hardly any of us toil away in a mountain cabin or lonely basement. We all have to work with others to get our products built. Good collaboration is a critical feature of ensuring that your UX design solutions add value and are successful. Working collaboratively is more efficient, but most importantly, it helps to ensure that your designs meet the needs of both users and your clients. As someone who has worked in the field of user experience for decades, received training on half a dozen development methodologies, and completed over 150 agile projects, one thing that I am quite confused about these days is the term waterfall. In pre-agile times, I never worked in any organization that claimed they were doing waterfall development. If I did hear terms like “toss it over the wall”—and they were as derisive back then as they are now. Product development—at least for products that anyone expects to be successful—has always been iterative, incremental, and...

Designing Solutions for Unpleasant Tasks

By Jim Ross Published: May 5, 2014 “TurboTax takes some of the sting out of doing your taxes by proactively offering suggestions to help you avoid owing money next year. So you end up feeling that you’ve learned something and are in control of the situation.” We all have to do things that we don’t like doing. For me, there’s one day of the month that I dread far more than any other: the day that I have to update our family finances in Quicken and pay bills. This involves downloading checking and credit-card transactions and matching up receipts to make sure that everything is accurate before I pay the bills. Besides the physical drudgery of entering receipts, paying bills brings up almost every kind of negative emotion—regret, irritation, anger, resentment, anxiety, fear, and depression. Unless it’s a particularly good month, I usually end up worrying about questions like these: Why did I spend money on that? Why did my wife spend money on that? Did we really need that? Are we saving enough for retirement? How are we going to pay for the kids’ college? Am I going to end up living in a refrigerator box in an alley? While Quicken has some design and usability problems, its user interface isn’t really the problem. The task itself is extremely unpleasant, regardless of the technology I’m using to do it or even doing it manually. No matter what improvements Intuit makes to Quicken, paying bills will never be a pleasant experience. But the design of Quicken could at least make the task a little more...

Why Is It So Hard to Find Good UX People?

By Janet M. Six Published: March 25, 2014 Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from our experts—some of the top professionals in UX. In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss why companies have so much difficulty finding good—let alone great—UX people; what makes a UX professional good or great; and what it takes for a company to deserve a good UX professional. In my monthly column Ask UXmatters, our UX experts provide answers our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to:...