As UX professionals, we have a great many analytical and descriptive tools available to us. In fact, there are so many that it can sometimes be difficult to decide which tool is most appropriate for a given task! Hierarchical task analysis (HTA) is an underused approach in user experience, but one you can easily apply when either modifying an existing design or creating a new design.
This technique has applications across a range of different problem domains, including time-and-motion studies, personnel selection, or training, and provides a broad and deep understanding of task performance. While there are core principles that guide a hierarchical task analysis, it’s possible to adapt the basic approach in a huge number of ways to support the needs of any domain under consideration. In this column, I’ll examine one approach to hierarchical task analysis that enables UX designers to quickly understand both what a system does and how its capabilities translate into the system’s user experience. You can also use this approach to support the UX development process. Read More
Until recently, I never saw the value in customer journey maps. In fact, throughout my career, I’ve even struggled with the value of personas and scenarios. Many times, stakeholders would just skim over them after our presentations or use them only to prove we were making progress on a project. Design teams, with the best intentions, made every effort to keep personas alive and breathing, only to succumb to other project pressures that demanded annotation, use cases, and itemized requirements.
So why have I written an article on the value of customer journey maps? How did I manage to reach the conclusion that customer journey maps are not only a worthy and effective tool, but also a crucial element on large, enterprise user experience (UX) projects? Because I saw them have a significant impact on a recent project with The Boeing Company, and I’m now a believer.
In this article, I’ll attempt to illustrate the virtues of customer journey maps, the necessary ingredients that make them an intelligent deliverable that encourages conversation and collaboration, and the role they can play in effecting real change in large organizations. Read More
Whether you’re a UX designer, product stakeholder, or some other kind of curious-minded product professional, you need to know what makes your users tick. My new column Discovery: Insights from UX research is about unearthing what is already there—just waiting for a UX researcher to discover it.
In Discovery, I’ll explore various approaches to gaining insights about your users by employing UX-research methods early in the product-development process. UX research can help you understand what would make your users’ lives easier.
When you’re asking questions during user-research interviews, the key to getting answers that are not tainted by bias depends on what the question is and how you ask it. Taking the time and thought to pose constructive, reflective questions, ensures that participants can provide the information you need to portray an accurate picture of the customer narrative. Encourage participants to take the time to reflect on your questions and ask you for clarification when necessary. Read More