Although we can’t always spend as much time and money as we’d like to conduct user research and there are times when we need to take shortcuts, there’s a fine line between discount user research and half-assed user research. UX professionals have always had to fight to get user research included on projects. Because of time and money pressures, we may have felt justified in cutting corners to fit in whatever user research we could. After all, even a little user research is better than none at all. Isn’t it?
Yes, taking clever shortcuts can reduce the time and cost of doing user research—and, sometimes, conducting at least some user research is better than doing none at all. However, if you sacrifice in the wrong areas, you can end up gathering incorrect or incomplete information that can lead to poor design decisions and, ultimately, waste far more time and money than the time and money you originally saved by conducting discount user research. Read More
A year has passed since COVID-19 turned our personal and professional lives upside down. There are almost infinite ways in which to reflect on this milestone: how different countries handled the spread of the virus, how families coped with remote learning, how many memorable moments we missed because we didn’t travel or attend graduations or weddings, and how many memories we created simply by staying at home. But one way to reflect on this past year is how companies and employees have changed their expectations for where and how people work.
Very suddenly in March 2020, COVID-19 forced most employees to work remotely—at least at companies whose operations allowed it. Companies had to figure out quickly how to enable employees to work from home—especially organizations who had not previously established a remote-working policy. Different employees likely had very disparate reactions to working from home, depending on whether they had previously been accustomed to it, had elders or children who required care or home schooling, and so on. Most companies likely assumed that this was temporary—only to realize by late spring that it wasn’t. As the initial, triage phase of remote working plateaued and operations within companies stabilized, many companies realized that they should use this situation as an opportunity to rethink the future of work for all their employees. Read More
“I like the idea of working remotely, but I’m worried that I won’t produce great work if I’m cut off from the team.” Does this statement ring true for you? It did for me six months ago, as I struggled through a remote contract. I hadn’t worked remotely before. As I feared, I did not produce great work, and I felt lost as to how to improve the situation.
People had often asked me why I couldn’t work from anywhere like developers do. But, usually, I just shook my head. I couldn’t explain exactly why not. Was it because I couldn’t talk with users? Not really. I’ve worked on many projects on which I couldn’t speak with users. I realized that it was something to do with communication. But why should doing UX design remotely be any different from remote visual design? Read More