Here’s a round up of the user research we’ve come across recently.

Pilot Testing: Getting It Right (Before) the First Time (Nielsen Norman Group)

“Pilot testing (a session or two before the real test) helps fine-tune usability studies, leading to more reliable results. It provides an opportunity to validate the wording of the tasks, understand the time necessary for the session, and, if all goes well, may even supply an additional data point for your study.”

Link to article

Open policy making: Prototyping in government workshop (GOV.UK)

This post really highlights why should consider introducing prototyping exercises to your research and design workshops. In it, Andrea Siodmok, head of the Policy Lab, highlights three of the key principles of prototyping:

1. It’s about making ideas tangible.
2. It makes ideas shareable and discussable, so that they can then be improved upon.
3. It’s a collective activity that many people can contribute to.

Link to article

What fuels great design (and why most startups don’t do it) (Google Ventures)

“I’m glad that the startup community has been focusing on design lately. Design is a powerful and often overlooked way to solve problems. But without the right fuel, design is worthless. When designers don’t know which problems to solve, we spin our wheels. We make products prettier when we could be solving customer’s needs and generating real value. So any company that’s serious about design should get equally serious about listening to customers.”

Link to article

Got time for more?

Did you seriously just say: ‘We don’t have time to talk to our users.’? (Medium)

Putting Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes Doesn’t Work (HBR)

User research for government services: 8 strategies that worked for us (GDS)

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François Roshdy

François is director of user experience at Border Crossing UX. He specialises in helping clients continuously improve the experiences they deliver.