“Design thinking is a nonsensical phrase that deserves to die” – Don Norman

Don Norman at IIT Design Research Conference 2010: “You gotta be careful too, because there are a lot of these research methods, like the rapid prototyping, like the ideation, like the brainstorming methods, like the ethnography, and so on, there … Continue reading

Aaron Cheang on Disruptive Innovation & Google Wave

Aaron Cheang, Lead User Experience Researcher on Google Wave, had some interesting things to say about Disruptive Innovation at UPA 2010. In a podcast recorded yesterday, Aaron gave some insights about what it was like working on Wave within the Google … Continue reading

Overcoming egocentrism – where to next for the UX research industry?

Egocentrism is something that we largely grow out of in childhood. There’s a famous test in developmental psychology called Piaget’s 3 mountains task (shown below). When you give it to 2-6 year old children, most of them fail. As soon … Continue reading

Novel input mechanisms and user control

Instead of writing a silly post for April fools day, I’ve instead decided to highlight some fascinating academic research from MIT that looks at novel input mechanisms and issues of user control. This paper (pdf) was published at CHI a … Continue reading

The reconstructive nature of human memory (and what this means for research documentation)

Here’s a classic piece of psychology research that should get you thinking about the strangely malleable nature of human memory: Loftus & Palmer (1974) on the reconstructive nature of human memory (PDF). The research paper is pretty dry, so I’ll … Continue reading

‘A Brief Guide to Service Design’ by Paul Thurston & Nick Marsh

Back in January, Paul Thurston (@paulthurston) and Nick Marsh (@choosenick) gave a great talk on Service Design at UX Brighton. They make some really interesting points about the differences between UX & SD, and strategic (“thinking”) vs tactical (“doing”) work. … Continue reading

Paul Graham on Simplicity

I think we all “get” simplicity these days, but nevertheless this quote from Paul Graham really sums it up: It seems strange to have to emphasize simplicity. You’d think simple would be the default. Ornate is more work. But something … Continue reading

The Romeo & Juliet effect, and how it applies to design.

Romeo and Juliet by Frank Dicksee When a barrier is placed between a person and their desires, those desires become intensified. This is because the barrier prevents them from experiencing their desires in the flesh – warts and all – … Continue reading

“Just add an egg” – Usability, User Experience and Dramaturgy

I’ve always liked this story about Betty Crocker and how General Mills took such care in designing the experience of making a cake. They’d been espousing speed and ease in the kitchen since 1931 with products like Bisquick, but this … Continue reading

Why conversion rate uplift percentages can be confusing

Amendment: this post has been edited for typos: Thanks Carlo! Unless you’re a mathematically-minded person, it’s easy to get muddled up when people talk about conversion rates and conversion rate “uplift”. Here’s a quick explanation: If you had 1000 users … Continue reading