One of the questions I get most when chatting with people who want to break into the UX field is: how did you get here? Over the years of telling my own career story and listening to many others, I realized most of us found this field rather serendipitously. Some happened to be a participant in a usability study, others went to grad school for one career and discovered another. In this brief keynote, I’ll chat about my own & others’ serendipitous moments and how we as practitioners can and should help others have their own.
For as long as I’ve been doing usability testing, it’s been generally assumed that displaying video of the participant to the observers--usually in a small picture-in-picture window--is a good thing. This participant picture-in-picture (PPIP) video theoretically increases observer empathy and helps convince even the most stubborn executive that their product makes users miserable. And as generating PPIP became easier--thanks to ubiquitous webcams and slick screen sharing software--it’s become more or less standard practice.
As we collectively advance the field of UX research, 3 UX researchers present research techniques they have been tinkering with. Heather Wright Karlson is interested in the reactions of users at the conclusion of evaluation sessions when they reveal their feelings about their overall experience. Heather will share her emoji method to collect information about users’ emotions and engagement. Melanie St.James found inspiration in Journey Maps, typically used to summarize research. Turning the artifact on its head, Melanie used a journey map structure to conduct foundational research. Erin Freeburger shares an alternative to a “shop along” where users interact with the FocusVision app “Revelation”, allowing the remote moderator to direct and respond as necessary.