Theory

The 5 stages of coping… with user research

It may sound old fashioned, but there are still plenty of companies out there that have never done usability testing. They aren’t all dinosaurs, either – there are plenty of new start-ups popping-up who know they need to “do UX” … Continue reading

The Swiss Cheese Model of System Accidents

James Reason’s Swiss Cheese Model of System Accidents is quite a useful way to to think about how failures can happen, even when you have multiple layers of “defence” in place. It’s been applied to things like aviation and medical … Continue reading

Test your critical thinking skills…

Quite a few people in the UX industry have been moaning – myself included – about the demise of critical thinking, and the fact that people don’t question what they read before accepting it as solid fact, particularly if it … Continue reading

What’s wrong with a little learning curve?

“The first business computer anyone can learn to use overnight.” (1984) Try to think back to the first time you used a brand-new, ground-breaking, disruptive piece of technology. For me, I’ll never forget sitting in my bedroom in the early … Continue reading

Local maxima and the perils of data-driven design

At UX Week 2010, Facebook Product Designer Adam Mosseri gave a presentation called Data Informed, Not Data Driven. It’s an excellent talk and Adam gave some really good examples demonstrating how data-driven design can take you into “local maximum”, which … Continue reading

Adding delays to increase perceived value: does it work?

A story on Hacker News yesterday kicked off a discussion about purposefully adding a delay to a service to increase perceived value. It started off with a link to Dan Ariely’s recent article on locksmiths: how they can open most … Continue reading

Will everyone please stop saying neuro!

Neuromarketing. Neurodesign. Neurocinema… The prefix “neuro” being treated like the new “2.0″ and it bothers me. “Neuro” is not a fashionable synonym for the unconscious mind or the brain. It does not refer to an assorted collection of interesting pop … Continue reading

Aaron Levenstein: “Statistics are like a bikini…”

I couldn’t help but repost this Aaron Levenstein quote from Brand Autopsy. I’ve been thinking about writing a post on the death of critical thinking for a while, but this pretty much sums it up. Statistics – and research in … Continue reading

David Ogilvy: “We Sell or Else”

Here’s a wonderfully dated video of David Ogilvy giving what looks like a keynote address to a Direct Response Advertising conference (by video, which must have been breathtakingly modern back in the 1960s). Ogilvy came from a background in research, … Continue reading

The Frankfurt Kitchen

In Episode 2 of the BBC’s excellent “Genius of Design” series, (available on Vimeo), there is an interesting section on the Frankfurt Kitchen. Designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, the Frankfurt Kitchen was a response to the need for cost-efficient housing in … Continue reading