Column: Envision the Future

UXmatters has published 12 editions of the column Envision the Future.

Top 3 Trending Envision the Future Columns

  1. The Perpetual Super-Novice

    Envision the Future

    The role UX professionals play

    A column by Paul J. Sherman
    December 3, 2007

    In this column, I want to further explore one of the issues I mentioned in my inaugural column. I call it the problem of the perpetual super-novice. What is this? Simply put, it’s the tendency of people to stop learning about a digital product—whether it’s an operating system, desktop application, Web site, or hardware device.

    After initially becoming somewhat familiar with a system, people often continue using the same inefficient, time-consuming styles of interaction they first learned. For example, they fail to discover shortcuts and accelerators in the applications they use. Other people learn only a small portion of a product’s capabilities and, as a result, don’t realize the full benefits the product offers. Why? What can operating systems, applications, Web sites, and devices do to better facilitate a person’s progression from novice to expert usage? Read More

  2. Aligning UX Issues’ Levels of Severity with Business Objectives

    Envision the Future

    The role UX professionals play

    A column by Paul J. Sherman
    October 4, 2010

    Many of us in the field people now generally refer to as user experience have long used levels of severity as a means of indicating the criticality of a product’s or service’s usability issues to clients.

    Over the past several years, I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with the vague and somewhat solipsistic nature of the gradations UX professionals typically use to describe the severity of usability issues. High, medium, and low don’t begin to sufficiently explain the potential brand and business impacts usability issues can have.

    After incrementally iterating on several existing classifications of severity, I finally decided in late 2008 to simply create some new ones, which I’ll present in this column. For lack of a better term, I call them business-aligned usability ratings. Read More

  3. Testing Your Own Designs: Bad Idea?

    Envision the Future

    The role UX professionals play

    A column by Paul J. Sherman
    September 21, 2009

    This column was spurred by a simple question I posted to Twitter in mid-August: Can designers effectively usability test their own designs?

    This isn’t just an academic question. With the current state of the economy and many UX teams downsizing, it’s entirely probable that your company will call upon you to both create a UX design and do usability testing to validate it. In the future, as the field of user experience progresses, agile UX becomes more common, and functional disciplines become more blended, I think this will occur more and more.

    People have often likened doing both design and usability testing on the same project to defendants serving as their own counsel in a court of law. How does that saying go? Something like this: A lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client. Is testing one’s own design a similarly bad idea? What are the pitfalls? Are there any advantages? And most important, if you must do it, what pitfalls should you beware of? Read More

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