In 1999, nearly 20 years ago, I conducted my first Web site usability test. Wow! I still vividly remember how it felt to conduct that type of research. That was back when no one understood how to design Web sites, let alone had any insights into what made a great digital experience. At that time, being able to conduct a usability test felt like a luxury that others had yet to experience. A large bank had commissioned that study. Of course! Only those with excess cash were running usability tests back then.
Those who have been in the field of User Experience since the ’90s know exactly what I mean. Fortunately, things have improved dramatically in the last few years. There’s much more user research being conducted and far more insights are available than ever before, which ultimately translates into better digital product experiences.
Given how critical User Experience has now become as a competitive advantage, the thirst for those insights is growing exponentially. Good UX design has become strategic. Now, it’s not just UX researchers and designers, but product managers and even C-level executives who are seeing the value of powerful UX insights in improving digital experiences.
How long is your typical project? Are you working in 6-week agile sprints? Running monthly usability tests? Trying an A/B test for a week? Updating a Twitter stream hourly? The demands of Internet time keep us focused on shorter and shorter time intervals, with experiences measured in days, minutes, or even the first 50 milliseconds of exposure to a Web page, according to a team of researchers at Carleton University in Toronto led by Gitte Lindgaard. 
What happens if you turn that around and think in terms of months, years, or lifetimes? Longitudinal studies look at long-term user experience. Usually, that means over a few months or possibly a few years. But recently, at the European Survey Research Association Conference, I learned about some much longer-term studies that offer some lessons about how to conduct our rather shorter investigations. Read More
Future London Academy’s UX and Digital Design Week 2017 took place August 14–18, in London. Throughout the week, we visited a variety of design studios and product companies and learned a lot about the way they work, including their projects, products, processes, management, culture, and all the things that shape them. The lineup for the program was great as always, featuring Moving Brands, Microsoft Lift, Territory, Deliveroo, Moo, Made by Many, NomNom, Monese, Analog Folk, Firedrop, and Andrea Picchi.
In this review, I’ll provide an overview of the conference, describing its