A person in their 80s using a web service on a smartphone during contextual user research.
A person in their 80s using a web service on a smartphone during contextual user research.
A person in their 80s using a web service on a smartphone during contextual user research.

As practitioners delivering user-centred design, we know that diversity in our methods, teams and research participants will help us achieve high-quality outcomes for our users and organisations. In particular, we work hard to avoid designs that make it hard for users to receive service and/or spend money via our digital products.

Yet, to paraphrase Gerry McGovern, it’s easy for our teams to be tribal and for the customer to be (or to become) a stranger. And when the customer is distant from our tribe we miss opportunities to innovate or to make more inclusive/effective design solutions.

This can be true…


What is the SUPR-Q?

The Standardised Usability Percentile Rank Questionnaire (SUPR-Q) is an attempt to produce a comprehensive, reliable and valid measure of the user experience (UX) of a product or service.

It has been developed by measuringU who have significant experience in developing approaches for reliably measuring and reporting the user experience.

Most interestingly, since it’s a standardised measure, it’s possible to rank a score against several hundred products, services or organisations across a wide range of industries.

Whilst the SUPR-Q produces a single score (from 0 to 100, with an average score of 50), it also generates sub-measures for…

  • usability,
  • appearance,
  • trust/credibility,


8 common patterns, behaviours and issues often seen during a contextual inquiry, with a focus on for enterprise software services and culture.

An enterprise call centre… a crucible of CX and UX!

What is a contextual inquiry?

Contextual inquiry, also known as site visits, or contextual interviewing, is a powerful method to ‘narrow the gap with reality’ when understanding, or making design decisions. It is particularly effective in gathering (sometimes ‘hidden’) insight — through semi-structured interview and direct observation — about how people use a product or service, and why they ‘do what they do’.

There is lots of information about how to set-up and run a contextual inquiry, but not so much on what to look for. That’s why I made a simple contextual inquiry crib-sheet [Google Doc] to help members of my team run a…


First published in UX Collective.

What is a contextual inquiry?

Contextual inquiry, also known as site visits, or contextual interviewing, is a powerful method to ‘narrow the gap with reality’ when understanding, or making design decisions. It is particularly effective in gathering (sometimes ‘hidden’) insight — through a semi-structured interview and direct observation — about how people use a product or service, and why they ‘do what they do’.

There is lots of information about how to set-up and run a contextual inquiry, but not so much on what to look for. That’s why I made a simple contextual inquiry crib-sheet [Google Doc] to help…


A elder-friendly guidelines/heuristics framework for use evaluating digital systems like websites, apps, web content and user interfaces.

Older People Digital Design Guidelines / Heuristics [Google Sheets]

Now also available as How to design websites for older people — a blog post for Alzheimer’s Society.

Why it’s important to us

Dementia currently affects 850,000 people who are diagnosed. However, a dementia diagnosis also directly affects about 700,000 informal primary/family carers.

The average age of a family carer in the UK is between 60 and 65 years old. …


A simple list of recruitment agencies for finding participants for UX research in the UK.

This list of UX research recruitment agencies is sorted alphabetically:

Acumen

“Expertise in all methods of qualitative and quantitative and healthcare research.”

  • Manchester.
  • 0161 234 9940
  • enquiries@acumenfieldwork.com

Rik’s take: appear to have a healthcare focus, both in the UK and overseas.

Angelfish

“We are an independent market research company specialising in qualitative recruitment.”

  • Cheltenham.
  • 01242 240 849

Rik’s take: experience recruiting participants with diverse accessibility needs for inclusive design.

Bunnyfield

“Bunnyfield is a department of Bunnyfoot UX consultancy. …


A simple, cheap and engaging game to build empathy for people with diverse needs, especially those with cognitive and/or dexterity issues.

Objective of Empathy Balloons

Most people, and especially those working in digital teams, understand that design for inclusion is important and desirable. However, this understanding is often limited to a focus on accessibility for people with sight loss. In particular, 0.5% of the UK population who are registered as blind or partially sighted.

An onus on sight loss can skew peoples understanding of accessibility by forgetting the more numerous needs of people with motor control, cognitive, hearing and literacy issues.

Consequently, empathy balloons…


Usability Lab Observers Note-taking Guide [Google Slides]

A quick and easy way to brief people attending usability testing sessions about how and what to observe/note. Posted here after a request for material on the UXPA (UK) Members Slack.

How I use it

I print a complete copy of the slide deck for the member of my team leading as Observation Room Facilitator. I then print the first slide (only) for each of the stakeholders who are observing the sessions. I occasionally refer the team back to the guide, as needed, between sessions.

Prioritising observations

I also print and use David Travis’s Red Route Usability Prioritisation Flowchart


Volunteering as an Adventure Project Manager with Raleigh International is an excellent way to develop yourself by developing others.

The delivery of 20 day / 300km youth leadership treks with teams of fifteen 17–24 year olds can teach you so much about managing diverse teams in challenging situations.

In particular the people skills that are necessary to collaborate with compassion on successful UX projects.

Lessons for collaborative UX projects

  1. Leadership: adapt positioning and style
  2. Gamestorming: the power of play to educate and align teams
  3. Iteration: ‘plan, do, review’, creative agility and abrasion
  4. Velocity: more haste, more speed
  5. Celebrate success

Leadership: adapt positioning and style

Rik Williams

User Experience Architect at Alzheimer’s Society. Focussed on user research, information architecture, content engineering and collaboration. rikwilliams.net.

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