User Research

20 seminars, 14 instructors, and you.

Without users, we fail to grow. Without research, we fail to proactively learn. Get expert-approved techniques for gathering objective data from users, helping your teams make data-driven decisions, and establishing UX research as a vital aspect of your process.

Headshot of Cyd Harrell
Cyd Harrell

Using Metaphors to Create Better Personas

You’ll learn to…

  • Metaphors and playful linguistic techniques you can use to better interpret data faster
  • What differentiates trivial information from substantive persona research data
  • How to write personas with brevity so they become memorable to your team
  • Versatile techniques that can replace weeks of tedious data analysis and cataloging
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Headshot of Dana Chisnell
Dana Chisnell

Recruiting for Usability Testing: Getting the Right People in the Room for User Research and Usability Tests 

You’ll learn to…

  • Understand where to source your participants and how to use selection criteria to screen them
  • Improve the show rate of participants, learn how to compensate them, and deal with no-shows
  • Do the recruiting yourself, but also know how you can work effectively with a recruiting agency
  • Do this process the right way, improve your results and get beneficial user research
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Search, Scent, and the Happiness of Pursuit

You’ll learn to…

  • Form a search implementation strategy around your customer's mission (and why that's the fastest way to success)
  • Find a hidden resource on your server that shows you exactly how to make search more effective
  • Understand why focusing on "searchers" is a design strategy that gets teams into trouble
  • Put together your own Search benchmark test, that will give you regular feedback on how well you're doing
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Headshot of Dana Chisnell
Dana Chisnell

The Quick, the Cheap, and the Insightful: Conducting Usability Tests in the Wild

It's not clear when "quick and dirty" became a dirty phrase in the usability world. There are those that believe that testing must be scientific, and that takes time and money — luxuries not often available to many development projects.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Useful insights can come just by having the chance to talk with and observe participants in the most informal of settings, such as cafés, trade shows, and the company cafeteria. You can get value from a quick test, even if you only have 2 days to pull it off, or don’t have a working design yet. Traditional by-the-book testing has its merits, but you can still get valid, useful results by cutting out the time-consuming and budget-busting expenses.

Usability testing expert Dana Chisnell knows what it means to work by-the-book – she co-wrote “the book” (The Handbook of Usability Testing) with Jeff Rubin. In this seminar, Dana will break down the process of collecting user research data, exploring the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the certainly-can-do-withouts. You'll learn how you can answer your essential design questions using methods that would make MacGyver proud.
This presentation is perfect if you have yet to conduct your first usability test. If you’re experienced with testing, Dana will show you some new ways to inject user research into those tight-on-resources projects that keep cropping up.

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Headshot of Larry Constantine
Larry Constantine

Don't Panic: Design and Usability Under Impossible Pressure

You’ll learn to…

  • Leverage Sample-of-One Testing to increase valuable information from just one user
  • Improve your time-boxed project management techniques to conduct design activities faster and push your design team to the limits of agility and ingenuity
  • Take advantage of the decision triage, identify your design's most important features and focus resources on those areas
  • Pare down your field research efforts while still learning everything you need to create a successful design
  • Use tactical modeling techniques to quickly capture insights about users and their needs
  • Identify key information about your users and learn not to waste time on unproductive design activities
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Headshot of Kate Gomoll
Kate Gomoll

Field Studies: The Ultimate Tool in Your Usability Toolbox

You’ll learn to…

  • Plan, set up, and run a field study, from getting buy-in to communicating results
  • Determine user groups to observe through collection of demographic information, customer lists, data from outside market research firms, surveys, and screeners
  • Efficiently observe and interview users to gather the most pertinent data
  • Collect and analyze solid user data to determine “what is” and “what could be”
  • Use process storyboards, user data posters, artifacts, photos, and workflow diagrams to create compelling, useful deliverables from the mountains of user data collected from field studies
  • Sell the field research process within your organization and convince key stakeholders of the importance of user research
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Headshot of Christine Perfetti
Christine Perfetti

Demystifying Usability Tests: Learning the Basics

You’ll learn to…

  • Set up your usability testing lab, including an overview of User Interface Engineering's typical test set-up
  • Recruit the right users to get the most accurate test results
  • Know how many users are really necessary for a usability test
  • The basics of task design, and different types of tasks
  • Become a better facilitator and communicate with users and test observers
  • Collect test results and evaluate what makes an effective report
  • Fundamentals of remote usability testing
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