(Newsletter #21)

Figuring out what to explore in a problem-space study is difficult. For problem-space exploration, you ask participants about the larger intent or purpose; for user-research, you ask about your ideas or products. For example, in a problem-space study having to do with drive-through menu design at a fast food chain, we asked participants, “What went through your mind as you decided what to eat for a quick lunch over the past couple of weeks?” The purpose wasn’t to select from a menu, but to eat lunch. Read More

(Newsletter #17)

I’ve taught a few workshops on problem-space research, listening sessions, and developing & applying empathy lately. These workshops always have room for Q&A and discussion, and the brilliance and depth of the topics always impresses me. I thought I’d pass some of them along. Read More

(Newsletter #16)

I got involved in a Twitter discussion about how a writer defined “active listening” in a UX Booth article:

Tweet by Steve Portigal August 2016 calling Indi's attention to an article in UX Booth saying I define active listening as eavesdropping.

Tweet by Indi Young in August 2016 agreeing with Steve Portigal that active listening is not eavesdropping.
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(Newsletter #13)

When I help clients learn to conduct listening sessions, commonly people want an example of what it means to go deep. I will do a demo and several exercises. Sometimes this doesn’t quite illustrate what I mean, so I also do one-on-one coaching. Read More

In the spring of 2015, 210 women in Silicon Valley in senior technology positions participated in a survey. The results of the survey was published as Elephant in the Valley, with hope to raise awareness about issues facing women in the workplace. One of the survey results stated 60% of women in tech have experienced sexual harassment. Read More

True story: I was walking down to the bakery last Spring when I turned a corner and encountered a woman in a rust-colored down vest walking her little brown wiry-haired dog. The dog started barking when it saw me from about 30 feet away. I just kept walking. And about two seconds later, the dog ran straight at me still barking ferociously. From three feet away it launched itself at me and bit my hand. Read More

Because the business world shuns uncertainty, qualitative research gets twisted so that the conclusions sound like they were deduced, and their validity unimpeachable. Business research adheres to its cousin in the laboratory, where validity is determined by empirical evidence—which is a positivistic view. But, positivism is not embraced universally in the social sciences, and it is certainly not compatible with inductive reasoning. So why do businesses automatically turn to positivism when trying to understand human behavior and reasoning? Read More

In 2014, the organization UX for Good is focused on how to increase the impact of visiting a genocide memorial. The description of the year’s challenge is as follows: “The profound feelings genocide memorials elicit are a powerful fuel. What can we do to convert them into meaningful and sustainable action?” Perhaps better experience design can decrease the killing and abuses of human rights that still occur in the present day: Darfur, North Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria, etc. The perpetrators still get created. Humanity’s fear of these powerful villains is omnipresent. It permeates our stories: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. Even saying the villain’s name is tantamount to invoking him. Here’s how I explore the issue of genocide and remembrance, as it relates to my work in researching software product problem spaces. Read More

Why are your organization’s personas so hard to use? It might be because they are marketing personas, based on the way customers buy what you produce. And the marketing department is afraid you’ll want to change them. You don’t have to. The Squabble Over Personas was published in UXmas 2013. Reprinted below. Read More

To increase your skill as a listener, remember the last time you took a tour. This article for JohnnyHolland, Please Pay Attention to Your Tour Guide begins with this idea. Reprinted below.  Read More