User Testing & Research

Can You Crowdsource Your User Experience Research?

Dec 9, 2014 |

In one sense, almost any type of user research is crowdsourced—you’re talking to people and using that information to improve your system. But in a true sense, crowdsourcing is more than just collecting information, it’s collaborating on it. We want to have real conversations, not one-time emailed suggestions without followups. So here’s a few tidbits Read »

Results: 2014 Federal User Experience Survey

Nov 21, 2014 |

The cream of the crop of the top of the mountain of ALL of the surveys I run has to be the Federal User Experience (UX) Survey. It’s the second time I’ve had the privilege of running it with Jean Fox, research psychologist extraordinaire from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When I start thinking about learning Read »

User Experience Impossible: The Line Between Accessibility and Usability

Nov 17, 2014 |

Bob goes to a popular federal government site, using his assistive technology, and starts reading a teaser for an article. Just below the teaser, there’s an embedded video on the page. He presses the tab key, trying to navigate to a link for the full article, but suddenly he’s trapped—he can’t tab past the video. Read »

World Usability Day 2014 theme: Engagement

Nov 13, 2014 |

There are many buzzwords thrown around in the digital government universe, but the most impactful ideas are rooted in one action: engagement. Whether it is a tweet, a mobile app, or a community of practitioners, every digital program or service requires interaction between an organization and its customer. Engagement is also the foundation of all Read »

4 Tips on Great Survey Design

Nov 10, 2014 |

Whether they pop up while perusing an e-commerce site or land in your inbox after your bumpy flight in from Chicago, surveys are used in many different industries to gauge customer satisfaction and glean insight into user motivations. They are a useful tool in the kit of a user experience designer or anyone Read »

Secrets to a Dynamite Public Sector Analytics Program

Oct 17, 2014 |

Uncovering meaningful analytics from months or years of Web metrics is daunting, at best. So how do you make great Web improvements using metrics? Whether you’re just getting started in Web analytics or you want to take your program to the next level, you should focus on Read »

User Acceptance Testing Versus Usability Testing…What’s the Dif?

Oct 6, 2014 |

Building off the great discussion started around Customer Experience, we’re looking at the difference between User Acceptance Testing and Usability Testing. Read »

Member Spotlight – Hannah Rubin, Library of Congress

Sep 26, 2014 |

Meet Hannah Rubin, who works in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress. She’s the focus of this month’s Member Spotlight. In addition to her “real” job, she’s also currently working as a “20%-er” with the Read »

Finding Participants for User Experience Studies

Sep 8, 2014 |

How do you find participants for your usability studies? I spoke recently with the User Experience Community of Practice about how we recruit participants for usability and cognitive studies at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Hopefully I can give you some new ideas about recruiting volunteers to fuel your user research. At BLS, we Read »

National Cancer Institute Launches New User Experience Lab

Sep 4, 2014 | ,

Why does a Cancer institute need a User Experience lab? Simply put: To learn about their customers—people living with cancer and those who care about them—and build the best possible products with them in mind. “Cancer has a journey and we wanted to create a Read »

System Usability Scale (SUS): Improving Products Since 1986

Aug 29, 2014 |

Trying to measure usability can be a head scratcher. How easy something is to use depends on where you are, who you are, and a number of other factors. Luckily in the world of usability, there exists a post-test survey known as the System Usability Scale, introduced in 1986 by an engineer named John Brooke, Read »

API Usability Case Study: openFDA

Aug 22, 2014 |

The API Usability Program brings together developers from agency APIs and the private sector to evaluate how the API can be improved to be more user friendly. Sean Herron of 18F, who was a key member of the openFDA developer team, shared with us some of the major insights gained from this latest API usability session. Read »

Redesigning with Customer Feedback: Child Support Enforcement Usability Case Study

Aug 19, 2014 |

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement at the Administration for Children and Families had a visually appealing website after an agency-wide redesign of program websites. The problem: Key stakeholders complained they could no longer easily find needed information. Their feedback prompted us to facilitate a UX-minded focus group to recommend improvements that met both users’ business needs and the redesign goals. Read »

How to Choose a User Experience Technique

Aug 18, 2014 |

The good news: Your boss is interested in User Experience! The news: She wants you to do something about it… NOW. Well, don’t be alarmed; you can start by figuring out two simple things: 1. Identify the Stage you’re in in the development cycle. Write it down. 2. Choose a User Read »

Photo Carousels on Mobile Websites: Use With Caution!

Aug 13, 2014 |

You might recognize them by the user controls, if provided, that allow you to move from one newsy item to the next. They go by various names, including: carousel, slider, slideshow, banner, and gallery. Many government homepages have them. In a recent email exchange on Read »

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