NN/g latest articles and announcementshttps://www.nngroup.com/feed/rss/The latest articles and announcements from Nielsen Norman Groupen-usSun, 29 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000Quantitative Research: Study Guidehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/quantitative-research-study-guide/Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about quant research, quant usability testing, analytics, and analyzing data.Kate MoranSun, 29 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/quantitative-research-study-guide/?1630252800Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about quant research, quant usability testing, analytics, and analyzing data.</p><hr/><br/><p> The following tables contain links to some of our articles and videos related to quantitative user research. Within each section, the resources are in recommended reading order.</p><p> In UX, we often use qualitative research to gather insights or observations about users. This type of research is useful for discovering problems and determining design solutions. (We also have a study guide for <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/qual-usability-testing-study-guide/"> qualitative usability testing </a> .)</p><p> With <strong> quantitative research </strong> , our focus is different. We collect UX metrics — numerical representations of different aspects of the experience. Quantitative research is great for determining the scale or priority of design problems, benchmarking the experience, or comparing different design alternatives in an experimental way.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/quantitative-research-study-guide/">Read Full Article</a>Service Blueprints: How to Choose What Experience to Visualizehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/service-blueprints-choose-what-experience/Start with a small-to-medium experience, that is known to be problematic, comes with existing data, will be redesigned soon, and that you can control.Alita JoyceSun, 29 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/service-blueprints-choose-what-experience/?1630252800Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Start with a small-to-medium experience, that is known to be problematic, comes with existing data, will be redesigned soon, and that you can control.</p><hr/><br/><p> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/service-blueprinting-practice/"> Our research with practitioners </a> who use service blueprints suggests that choosing which experience to visualize is one of the most challenging aspects of getting started with service blueprinting.</p><p> In many cases, you will be tasked with creating a service blueprint to help your team evaluate a problematic experience and find ways to improve it. But another common scenario is that where a practitioner new to blueprinting is looking to learn and bring this powerful technique to their organization. In that situation, you will have some freedom to determine what and when you blueprint. This article will provide guidance on selecting the scope of your service blueprints when you have some flexibility to choose what experience to visualize.</p><p> A <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/service-blueprints-definition/"> service blueprint </a> is a diagram that visualizes the relationship between service components that are directly tied to touchpoints in a specific <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/journey-mapping-101/"> customer journey </a> . The scope of the blueprint refers to the experience (or specific customer journey) to be visualized. To define your service blueprint’s scope, first identify the level of scope you’ll need, then prioritize a specific experience you wish to evaluate.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/service-blueprints-choose-what-experience/">Read Full Article</a>Problem Statements in UX Discoveryhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/problem-statements/In the discovery phase of a UX project, a problem statement is used to identify and frame the problem to be explored and solved, as well as to communicate the discovery’s scope and focus.Maria RosalaSun, 22 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/problem-statements/?1629648000Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;In the discovery phase of a UX project, a problem statement is used to identify and frame the problem to be explored and solved, as well as to communicate the discovery’s scope and focus.</p><hr/><br/><p> Running <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/discovery-phase/"> discoveries </a> can be challenging. Many teams start discovery research with little direction as to what problem they want to solve. When this happens, discoveries meander and result in dwindling team and stakeholder morale. Worse still, some discoveries begin with investigating solutions, rather than the problems those solutions are intended to solve. (Remember: if you’re <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/videos/real-ux-discoveries/"> investigating only solutions in a discovery, you’re not doing a true discovery! </a> )</p><p> To avoid these issues, spend time upfront to <strong> identify and frame the problem </strong> . If you don’t know the problem, you’re not going to have much luck solving it! The better a problem is articulated, the easier and more effectively it can be solved. One device that help teams to frame a problem is a problem statement.</p><h2> What’s a Problem Statement?</h2><p> First of all, it’s important to not confuse problem statements with the <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/design-thinking/"> design-thinking </a> concept of a <em> point-of-view </em> statement or <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/user-need-statements/"> user-need statement </a> . (These are commonly produced in the discovery phase, but they are typically created only at a later stage of discovery, <em> after </em> user research has been completed.)</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/problem-statements/">Read Full Article</a>Design Thinking: Study Guidehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/design-thinking-study-guide/Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about design thinking.Kate MoranSun, 22 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/design-thinking-study-guide/?1629648000Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about design thinking.</p><hr/><br/><p> Here’s a list of NN/g’s most useful introductory articles and videos about design thinking and related topics. Within each section, the resources are in recommended reading order.</p><p> For hands-on training, check out <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/generating-big-ideas/"> our full-day course on design thinking </a> .</p><p> The <strong> design thinking </strong> framework is based on the philosophy that a hands-on, user-centric approach to problem solving promotes innovation; in turn, innovation can lead to differentiation and a competitive advantage. The design-thinking process is composed of 6 distinct phases:</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/design-thinking-study-guide/">Read Full Article</a>10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Complex Applicationshttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-heuristics-complex-applications/Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can be used to analyze the UX of applications that support domain-specific, complex workflows.Kate KaplanSun, 15 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/usability-heuristics-complex-applications/?1629043200Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can be used to analyze the UX of applications that support domain-specific, complex workflows.</p><hr/><br/><p> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/"> Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics for user-interface design </a> have been widely used as broad rules of thumb for guiding design decisions since their original introduction in 1994. These 10 heuristics provide sound guidance for practitioners working on complex, domain-specific applications, in the same way as they apply to most other forms of interactions, from <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-heuristics-applied-video-games/"> video games </a> to <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-heuristics-virtual-reality/"> VR apps </a> . (The reason being that the usability heuristics are very general, as implied by the very word “heuristic.”)</p><p> We’ve previously <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/complex-application-design-framework/"> defined a complex application </a> as any application supporting the broad, unstructured goals or nonlinear workflows of highly trained users in specialized domains. Enterprise applications, applications supporting complex data analysis and modeling, and systems supporting high-impact or high-value decision making fall into this category. In this article, we provide examples of how each heuristic applies to complex applications like these.</p><h2> #1: Visibility of System Status</h2><p> <em> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/visibility-system-status/"> The design should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within a reasonable amount of time. </a> </em></p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/usability-heuristics-complex-applications/">Read Full Article</a>UX-Maturity Stage 1: Absenthttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-maturity-stage-1/A company at this stage is either oblivious to UX or believes it doesn't apply to what it does.Sarah GibbonsSun, 15 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/ux-maturity-stage-1/?1629043200Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;A company at this stage is either oblivious to UX or believes it doesn't apply to what it does.</p><hr/><br/><p> <em> This article describes stage 1 in the six-stage NN/g </em> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-maturity-model/"> <em> UX-maturity model </em> </a> <em> . Get an idea of your organization’s UX maturity by taking a short </em> <a href="https://forms.nngroup.com/s3/Maturity-Quiz"> <em> quiz </em> </a> <em> </em> <em> (10 minutes or less). </em></p><p> In stage-1 organizations, <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/"> user experience (UX) </a> is completely absent. A company at this stage is either oblivious to user-centered thinking or believes it does not need it. UX work is not planned, let alone incorporated into the organization’s vision. The few people at the organization who think about users are ignored or dismissed.</p><p> When UX is absent, there may be complete ignorance about UX, apathy, or half-hearted intentions which favor the idea of UX but never follow through with action. In some cases, there may even be hostility towards adopting UX practices.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/ux-maturity-stage-1/">Read Full Article</a>Job Openings: UX Specialists (entry-level or experienced, remote)https://www.nngroup.com/news/item/job-openings/Nielsen Norman Group is hiring User Experience Specialists: deadline to apply is August 30, 2021. Openings for both entry-level and experienced applicants.Mon, 09 Aug 2021 22:30:00 +0000/news/item/job-openings/?1628548200Announcement<h1>Job Openings: UX Specialist (Entry-level or Experienced), Fully Remote</h1> <p><strong>Application deadline:</strong> Monday, August 30, 2021.</p> <p>Nielsen Norman Group is hiring user experience specialists (including both researchers and designers). We currently have job openings for two types of candidates:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Entry</strong>-level: 0-2 years&rsquo; experience, including fresh out of university, <em>with a relevant education</em></li> <li><strong>Experienced:</strong> 2-10 years&rsquo; experience <em>working professionally</em> as full-time user experience staff in a professionally managed team (degrees irrelevant)</li> </ul> <p>The 3 main requirements are:</p> <ol> <li>Super <strong>smart</strong>: able to figure anything out quickly, in the smartest 1-2% of the population.</li> <li>Compelling <strong>public speaking</strong>, charismatic on-stage performance, fearless in front of any size audience. An audience favorite whether by video or in person.</li> <li>Excellent and persuasive <strong>writer</strong> of anything from short articles to full client reports: can explain complicated topics so that average readers can easily understand them and will find the exposition captivating.</li> </ol> <p>We are less concerned with educational background or specific degrees, because if you meet the above 3 criteria, then anything you need to know we can teach you quickly. One of the greatest benefits of this job is that you will be closely mentored by the best experts in the business. You learn more in less time than you would in any other company, because of the diversity of assignments, the excellence of the team, and the power of using sound behavioral user research methods. However, the following describes the background of many candidates we&rsquo;ve hired in the past:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Education</strong>: Bachelor&#39;s or Master&#39;s degree in human-computer interaction (HCI), user experience, usability, visual design, information science, human factors, information architecture, interaction design, digital art or interactive media, technical writing, communications, instructional design or educational technology, digital marketing, psychology, or computer science with a user interface focus. At rare occasions we have also hired Ph.D.s, with skills in applied research, not academic research. (For entry-level candidates, we do require a relevant education. If you don&rsquo;t have a UX-related degree, first get a few years&rsquo; hands-on UX experience in your current company and then apply in our next hiring round, about two years from now.)</li> <li><strong>Experience</strong> working as full-time user experience staff in a professionally managed software development organization, professionally managed digital marketing group, or a large Internet property. If you&rsquo;re applying based on actual real-world work experience, education or degrees don&rsquo;t matter, but this experience does have to be a full-time, hands-on UX job as an actual staff member with full-time user experience work duties in a professional environment with skilled management and a well-defined interaction-design process.</li> </ul> <p>NN/g is a bureaucracy-free organization: your focus is on excellence in the UX profession, not on paperwork or office politics. Also, in our company the UX people are the most important part of the organization, not an oppressed minority.</p> <p>These are <strong>full-time</strong> positions (with benefits).</p> <h2>Location = Remote</h2> <p>We hire people based anywhere in the <strong>continental United States</strong>. These jobs are equally-suited for people who live in big cities and remote locations because we all work from home. (However, we prefer people who live outside the &ldquo;usual suspects&rdquo; of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington: we already have many group members in these areas and we want to diversify the places where we do research.)</p> <p>One of the greatest benefits of this job is that it allows you a Silicon Valley-style career at the top level of the discipline without having to live in California. Live in the place you love and still have the job you love.</p> <p>While you <strong>work from home</strong> most days, these jobs require <strong>some travel</strong>, both within the U.S. and internationally, often on the order of 4-5 domestic trips (lasting anything from a day to a week) and 1-2 overseas trips (typically lasting a week) per year.</p> <p>This estimated travel amount is only a conjecture, because we don&rsquo;t know how the world will operate after the Covid pandemic. However, we expect most of our conferences to be virtual (i.e., you present from home, through video), while a few will be in-person. The same is expected for client engagements.</p> <p>What we can say for sure is that we are fully committed to remote work, since we have operated as a fully-remote company ever since we were founded 23 years ago. (See <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/remote-ux-work-nng-case-study/">article from before the pandemic about how we all work from home</a>.) We have never had an office, and never will. (We have an official address because obsolete government regulations require this, but nobody works there.) In contrast, while other companies might currently <em>say</em> that they support remote work, you will be at the mercy of any new boss who feels like getting his or her staff back in the office.</p> <p>At NN/g, since we&rsquo;re 100% remote, there is no risk that in-office employees get preferential treatment, such as plum assignments or advancement, while remote employees fall behind. When everybody is remote, everybody gets treated the same. Also next year and next decade.</p> <h2>Skills</h2> <ul> <li>Extremely smart, ability to quickly grasp new situations, ability to synthesize large amounts of information</li> <li>High productivity, strong work ethics, commitment to meeting deadlines and to make steady progress on long-term projects without the need for &ldquo;fire drills&rdquo; or last-minute panic</li> <li>Highly self-motivating and able to work without supervision, since this is a work-from-home position</li> <li>Keen analytical ability, particularly for conceptualizing and abstracting insights into observed human behavior</li> <li>Excellent presentation skills in spoken English</li> <li>Excellent writer, superb written-English communications skills <ul> <li>Fluency in other languages a plus, but not required. We&rsquo;re particularly interested in candidates with fluency in Chinese (Mandarin/simplified characters), Japanese, Korean, French, German, or Spanish, but any language will be beneficial since we conduct substantial international research and have <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/about/about-client-list/">clients world-wide</a>.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Articulate UX findings and principles in compelling ways that make the user&rsquo;s voice heard</li> <li>Knowledge of the principles of interaction design, design thinking, the user-centered design process, ideation, user research, IA, customer journeys, visual design, and human-computer interaction as well as other user experience issues such as writing for the web, content strategy, omnichannel customer experience, analytics, and SEO <ul> <li>(If there is some specific process or method you don&rsquo;t currently master, let&rsquo;s say how to create personas for enterprise software projects, then don&rsquo;t worry since we&rsquo;ll teach you. We have a strong commitment to continuing staff development and a hefty training budget, and for many topics we already have <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/">the world&rsquo;s best courses</a> in-house at <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/ux-conference/">our own conference</a>.)</li> </ul> </li> <li>Passion for user experience and making things easy to use: technology should adapt to the way humans actually are, not the other way around</li> </ul> <h2>Job Duties</h2> <ul> <li>Public speaking: presenting full-day courses at conferences and at client sites <ul> <li>Presentations will be both virtual through Internet video and in-person on stage</li> </ul> </li> <li>Identifying, analyzing, and describing best-practice processes and methods to improve the interaction design process and embed design thinking within an organization</li> <li>Identifying, analyzing, and describing design patterns</li> <li>Analyzing user interfaces</li> <li>Writing articles and reports</li> <li>Recording video presentations for our website and YouTube channel (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/NNgroup/videos">https://www.youtube.com/user/NNgroup/videos</a>) and potentially other video channels and television appearances</li> <li>Conducting independent research to discover new usability guidelines</li> <li>User testing, mainly qualitative, but also some benchmark and measurement studies</li> <li>Conducting design reviews for consulting clients</li> <li>Designing wireframes, mockups, workflows, and page concepts</li> <li>Presenting findings to clients</li> <li>Running workshops for clients</li> <li>Working with clients in small and large teams to guide their UX direction</li> <li>Travel (domestic and international) to research sites, client locations, conference venues, etc. <ul> <li>Some work and travel on weekends required.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Mentoring entry-level and junior staff as you grow into the role of senior UX Specialist</li> </ul> <h2>Nice Job</h2> <ul> <li>The best <strong>learning opportunity</strong> in UX anywhere in the world: mentoring from the best senior UX pros, interact with a hugely diverse worldwide audience of fans (instead of a narrow set of problems inside a single project), do independent research.</li> <li>You&rsquo;ll <strong>achieve</strong> much more here than in normal companies: we give you all the tools you need for max productivity and don&rsquo;t slow you down with meetings or office politics. Spend time producing, not stuck on the freeway commuting to a nasty cubicle.</li> <li>No micro-management: get your assignments done the way you want to do them. Manage your own time during projects that often last half a year before deliverables are due. Even our youngest members are given huge individual responsibility almost immediately.</li> <li>Massive reach: your articles get millions of page views, you present to thousands of business professionals every year.</li> <li>Become a role model for young people who admire your achievements and polish when presenting.</li> <li><strong>Flexibility</strong>: set your own working schedule and hours, work from home (most days), see the world (a few days). Of course, there are some fixed obligations: Some presentations are on weekends and if you&rsquo;re on the program to speak in Singapore on a specific date, you have to travel out a few days before to ensure that you will perform well for your paid-up audience despite potential airline delays.</li> <li>A final huge advantage of this job is that you get to work in an office: your own home office. Never take a job without a private office. Open-plan workspaces reduce productivity immensely and thus damage both your long-term career prospects and your immediate job satisfaction, if you&rsquo;re the kind of person who takes satisfaction and pride in actual accomplishments and not just in going to meetings. (And those are the only people we want.)</li> </ul> <h2>About the Company</h2> <p><a href="https://www.nngroup.com/about/">Nielsen Norman Group</a>, founded in 1998 by Jakob Nielsen and Donald A. Norman, is the world&rsquo;s most prestigious user experience firm. NN/g provides evidence-based UX research, training, and consulting world-wide.</p> <h2>Covid Vaccination Required</h2> <p>All hires are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Even though this is mostly a work-from-home job, we will have some in-person conferences, client engagements, and internal group offsite meetings where all participants need to be vaccinated for everybody&rsquo;s safety and peace of mind.</p> <h1>How to Apply</h1> <p>Are you ready to join the elite? If so, please complete our application form and attach your <strong>resume</strong> with a <strong>writing sample</strong> (a document or article you have written yourself; a UX report or design critique if possible) and <strong>links</strong> to your LinkedIn and Twitter presence as well as any personal (but professional) website/portfolio/blog or other professional online presence.</p> <p><strong>Deadline</strong>: Monday, August 30, 2021 (but the sooner we get your application, the better).<br /> <strong>Application form</strong>: <a href="http://www.nngroup.com/jobs">www.nngroup.com/jobs</a></p> <p>Don&rsquo;t bother with techniques like keyword stuffing that are recommended when applying for jobs at bloated companies that use software to screen applications. We do you the courtesy of having a live human read your application (even better, these humans are UX specialists, not HR generalists).</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever wanted to belong to the world&rsquo;s leading UX group, now is your only chance for a long time to come, because we only recruit every two years. (We can&rsquo;t hire more often because we invest so much in training and growing each new team member.) Our next intake will be in approximately 2023.</p>Qualitative Usability Testing: Study Guidehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/qual-usability-testing-study-guide/Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about planning, conducting, and analyzing qualitative user testing.Kate MoranSun, 08 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/qual-usability-testing-study-guide/?1628438400Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Unsure where to start? Use this collection of links to our articles and videos to learn about planning, conducting, and analyzing qualitative user testing.</p><hr/><br/><p> In the following list, we group together some of our articles and videos on topics related to qualitative usability testing. Within each section, the resources are shown in recommended reading order.</p><h2> Qualitative Usability Testing: The Method</h2><p> In a usability <strong> - </strong> testing session, a researcher (called a “facilitator” or a “moderator”) asks a participant to perform tasks, usually using one or more specific user interfaces. While the participant completes each task, the researcher observes the participant’s behavior and listens for feedback.</p><p> If you’re totally new to usability testing, we recommend you explore the following resources in order. If you have some prior experience, feel free to pick a subtopic and start there.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/qual-usability-testing-study-guide/">Read Full Article</a>UX vs. Service Designhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-vs-service-design/User experience is focused on what the end user encounters, whereas service design is focused on how that user experience is internally created.Sarah GibbonsSun, 08 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/ux-vs-service-design/?1628438400Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;User experience is focused on what the end user encounters, whereas service design is focused on how that user experience is internally created.</p><hr/><br/><p> In our <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/service-design/"> service-blueprinting </a> course, we often are asked about the difference between UX (or CX) and service design. They are sides of the same coin.</p><p> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/"> User experience </a> (which, for the purposes of this article, will be equated with <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-vs-cx/"> customer experience </a> ) encompasses all aspects of users’ interaction with a company. It includes anything the end user comes across — for example, an app, kiosk, website, or a mailer. Think of user experience as the ‘ <strong> what </strong> ’ — what users encounter as they interact with a brand.</p><p> <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/service-design-101/"> Service design </a> refers to planning and organizing business resources (people, props, and processes) to deliver the customer experience. Think of service design as the ‘ <strong> how </strong> ’ — how the user experience gets created and how the internal parts of the organization align to deliver that experience.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/ux-vs-service-design/">Read Full Article</a>UX Conference November Announced (Oct 31 - Nov 5)https://www.nngroup.com/training/november/6 in-depth, full-day courses, teaching user experience best practices for successful design. Conference focused on long-lasting skills for UX professionals. October 31 - November 5, 2021.Fri, 06 Aug 2021 17:22:00 +0000/training/november/?1628270520Event<p>6 in-depth, full-day courses, teaching user experience best practices for successful design. Conference focused on long-lasting skills for UX professionals. October 31 - November 5, 2021.</p><br/><br/><a href="/training/november/">See Full Schedule and Pricing</a>Overlay Overload: Competing Popups Are an Increasing Menacehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/overlay-overload/Today’s users are overwhelmed by a plethora of site and browser-initiated popups with content unrelated to their current task.Kate MoranSun, 01 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/overlay-overload/?1627833600Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Today’s users are overwhelmed by a plethora of site and browser-initiated popups with content unrelated to their current task.</p><hr/><br/><h2> Popups: Hated Since the 90s</h2><p> Users have hated popups since the 1990s, and they still hate them today. In fact, <a href="http://nngroup.com/articles/most-hated-advertising-techniques/"> in a survey we conducted </a> with 452 adult American respondents, we found that popups were among the <strong> most hated advertisement techniques </strong> . (Just as they were in a <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/most-hated-advertising-techniques-2004/"> similar study from 2004 </a> . Nice to know that some things never change, even if it’s the negative emotions caused by popups.)</p><p> Over the years, we’ve have heard countless complaints from users about these aggressive advertising techniques.</p><p> “Oh, God. Everybody wants you to keep signing up for emails.”</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/overlay-overload/">Read Full Article</a>Data Is More than Numbers: Why Qualitative Data Isn’t Just Opinionshttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/qualitative-rigor/Systematically gathered qualitative data is a dependable method of understanding what users need, why problems occur, and how to solve them.Page LaubheimerSun, 01 Aug 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/qualitative-rigor/?1627833600Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Systematically gathered qualitative data is a dependable method of understanding what users need, why problems occur, and how to solve them.</p><hr/><br/><p> “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”</p><p> – (Attributed to) Albert Einstein</p><p> A fairly common objection to <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/quant-vs-qual/"> qualitative UX research </a> (especially from statistically literate audiences) is that <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/"> small sample sizes </a> result in anecdotal evidence or a few people’s subjective assessments, rather than <em> data </em> proper. Many UXers that work in domains such as healthcare, natural science, or even just “data-driven” organizations may find that it is difficult to build buy-in to conduct small- <em> n </em> research in the first place; even if they are able to do the testing, it’s often hard to build credibility about the recommendations that result from the findings.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/qualitative-rigor/">Read Full Article</a>How Many Participants for Quantitative Usability Studies: A Summary of Sample-Size Recommendationshttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/summary-quant-sample-sizes/40 participants is an appropriate number for most quantitative studies, but there are cases where you can recruit fewer users.Raluca Budiu, Kate MoranSun, 25 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/summary-quant-sample-sizes/?1627228800Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;40 participants is an appropriate number for most quantitative studies, but there are cases where you can recruit fewer users.</p><hr/><br/><p> The exact number of participants required for <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/quant-vs-qual/"> quantitative usability testing </a> can vary. Apparently contradictory recommendations (ranging from <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/quantitative-studies-how-many-users/"> 20 </a> to 30 to 40 or more) often confuse new quantitative UX researchers. (In fact, we’ve recommended different numbers over the years.)</p><p> Where do these recommendations come from and <strong> how many participants do you really need? </strong> This is an important question. If you test with <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/metrics-qualitative/"> too few </a> , your results may not be <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/videos/statistical-significance-ux/"> statistically reliable </a> . If you test with too many, you’re essentially throwing your money away. We want to strike the perfect balance — collecting enough data points to be confident in our results, but not so many that we’re wasting precious research funding.</p><p> In most cases, we recommend <strong> 40 participants </strong> for quantitative studies. If you don’t really care about the reasoning behind that number, you can stop reading here. Read on if you do want to know where that number comes from, when to use a different number, and why you may have seen different recommendations.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/summary-quant-sample-sizes/">Read Full Article</a>Four Factors in UX Maturityhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/factors-ux-maturity/Improving UX maturity requires growth and evolution across 4 high-level factors: strategy, culture, process, and outcomes.Sarah Gibbons, Kara Pernice, Kate Moran, Kathryn WhitentonSun, 25 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/factors-ux-maturity/?1627228800Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Improving UX maturity requires growth and evolution across 4 high-level factors: strategy, culture, process, and outcomes.</p><hr/><br/><p> Our <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-maturity-model/"> updated UX Maturity Model </a> incorporates new norms and adapts to the evolution of our industry. It outlines how UX maturity can be shaped and measured. There are six stages of UX maturity ( <em> Absent </em> , <em> Limited </em> , <em> Emergent </em> , <em> Structured </em> , <em> Integrated </em> , and <em> User </em> - <em> Driven </em> ). However, companies at the same stage might look different due to organization specifics such as size priorities, or politics.</p><p> We identified 4 high-level factors that contribute to the organization’s UX maturity:</p><p> Each of these 4 high-level factors influence the organization’s UX-maturity level.  These factors provide a framework to assess the organization’s commitment to UX and its ability to deliver user-centered products and services across all areas of the organization.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/factors-ux-maturity/">Read Full Article</a>Principle of Closure in Visual Designhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/principle-closure/People tend to fill in blanks to perceive a complete object.Alita JoyceSun, 18 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/principle-closure/?1626624000Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;People tend to fill in blanks to perceive a complete object.</p><hr/><br/><p> In the early 20th century, Gestalt psychologists developed a set of principles aimed at describing how people visually perceive and organize the world. These principles are commonly referred to as Gestalt laws or the Gestalt principles. Some of the most popular principles include <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/gestalt-proximity/"> proximity </a> , <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/gestalt-similarity/"> similarity </a> , <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/common-region/"> common regions </a> , and closure. As designers, we can apply these principles to create usable interfaces.</p><p> Definition: The <strong> principle of closure </strong> states that people will fill in blanks to perceive a complete object whenever an external stimulus partially matches that object.</p><p> Even when we’re missing information, we tend to make sense of our environment by filling in the gaps to see a complete object. This recognition happens automatically.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/principle-closure/">Read Full Article</a>The Practice of Customer-Journey Managementhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/customer-journey-management/User journeys should be managed like products — by people and teams with specialized, journey-dedicated roles who continually research, measure, optimize, and orchestrate the experience.Kim SalazarSun, 18 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/customer-journey-management/?1626624000Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;User journeys should be managed like products — by people and teams with specialized, journey-dedicated roles who continually research, measure, optimize, and orchestrate the experience.</p><hr/><br/><p> Journey management is the ongoing practice of <strong> researching, measuring, optimizing, and orchestrating </strong> a customer journey to improve the customer experience for users and achieve business goals.</p><p> I think of journey management as the natural progression beyond the conventional <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-vs-cx/"> interaction-level </a> UX work that has been widely established across organizations over the last few decades. As digital technology became a mainstay in modern business, UX practitioners have become more and more cognizant of the broader <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customer-journeys-omnichannel/"> journey-level customer experience </a> . However, although many UXers are aware of this larger scope of experience and have dabbled in related activities like <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/journey-mapping-101/"> journey mapping </a> and <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/service-blueprints-definition/"> service blueprinting </a> , most organizations do not dedicate resources to the design and management of customer journeys.</p><h2> Why Journey Management</h2><p> With smartphones and other technologies giving customers immediate and continued connection to brands, users are much more immersed in product and service experiences than ever before. The result is awareness of the broader experience among customers.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/customer-journey-management/">Read Full Article</a>10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Virtual Realityhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-heuristics-virtual-reality/Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can improve the user experience of VR applications.Alita JoyceSun, 11 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/usability-heuristics-virtual-reality/?1626019200Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can improve the user experience of VR applications.</p><hr/><br/><p> Occasionally, attendees in our seminar, <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/emerging-patterns-interface-design/"> <em> Emerging Patterns in Interface Design </em> </a> will ask <strong> about the best practices for designing virtual-reality applications </strong> . My answer always leads to Jakob Nielsen’s <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/"> 10 usability heuristics for interface design </a> . From websites and mobile apps to <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-heuristics-applied-video-games/"> video games </a> and yes, even virtual reality, these heuristics maintain relevance.</p><p> In what follows, we look at each of the 10 usability heuristics applied to virtual reality. Specifically, these examples are from the Oculus Quest headset.</p><p> <em> Note: these screenshots are from a 3D virtual environment, so you will notice curves and shadows unsuited for a 2D environment like this webpage. </em></p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/usability-heuristics-virtual-reality/">Read Full Article</a>Why 5 Participants Are Okay in a Qualitative Study, but Not in a Quantitative Onehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/5-test-users-qual-quant/Qualitative usability testing aims to identify issues in an interface, while quantitative usability testing is meant to provide metrics that capture the behavior of your whole user population.Raluca BudiuSun, 11 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/5-test-users-qual-quant/?1626019200Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Qualitative usability testing aims to identify issues in an interface, while quantitative usability testing is meant to provide metrics that capture the behavior of your whole user population.</p><hr/><br/><p> In our quantitative-usability classes ( <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/measuring-ux/"> Measuring UX and ROI </a> and <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/courses/ux-statistics/"> Statistics for UX </a> ) we often recommend a sizeable number of participants for quantitative studies — usually more than 30. We’ve said <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/true-score/"> again </a> and <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/preview/metrics-qualitative/"> again </a> that metrics collected in qualitative usability testing are often misleading and do not generalize to the general population. (There could be exceptions, but you always need to check by calculating <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/confidence-interval/"> confidence intervals </a> and <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/understanding-statistical-significance/"> statistical significance </a> ). And, almost inevitably, the retort comes back — <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/"> Didn’t Jakob Nielsen recommend 5 users for usability studies </a> ? If you need more users for statistical reasons, then it certainly means that the results obtained with 5 users aren’t valid, doesn’t it?</p><p> This question is so frequent, that we need to address the misunderstanding.</p><h2> Quantitative Usability Studies: More than 5 Participants</h2><p> Quantitative usability studies are usually <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/formative-vs-summative-evaluations/"> summative </a> in nature: their goal is <strong> to measure the usability of a system </strong> (site, application, or some other product), arriving at one or more numbers. These studies attempt to get a sense of how good an interface is for its users by looking at a variety of metrics: how many users from the general population can complete one or more top tasks, how long it takes them, how many errors they make, and how satisfied they are with their experience. They usually involve collecting values for each of the participant, aggregating those values in summary statistics such as averages or success rates, calculating confidence intervals for those aggregates, and reporting likely ranges for the true score for the whole population. The results of such a study may indicate that the success rate for a top task for the whole population is somewhere between 75% and 90%, with a 95% confidence level and that the task time is between 2.3 and 2.6 minutes. These ranges (in effect, confidence intervals) should be fairly narrow to convey any interesting information (knowing that a success rate is between 5% and 95% is not very helpful, is it?), and they usually are narrow only if you include a large number of participants (40 or more).  Hence, <strong> the recommendation to calculate confidence intervals for all metrics collected </strong> and not to rely on summary statistics when studies contain just a few users.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/5-test-users-qual-quant/">Read Full Article</a>Local Navigation Is a Valuable Orientation and Wayfinding Aidhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/local-navigation/Local navigation indicates to users where they are and what other content is nearby in an information hierarchy.Page LaubheimerSun, 04 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/local-navigation/?1625414400Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;Local navigation indicates to users where they are and what other content is nearby in an information hierarchy.</p><hr/><br/><p> If you ever explored an unfamiliar city on foot using a paper map, you probably are familiar with these two navigation strategies which I use all the time: To get to a specific attraction (like a museum), I try to figure out the overall part of the city it’s in and find the easiest path there. On the other hand, if I don’t have a specific place in mind, I’ll often take a look at what’s nearby, and go exploring a bit; perhaps find an intriguing coffee shop or park nearby.</p><p> Seeking a specific landmark and exploring a neighborhood require different levels of detail about the city. When I’m trying to get to a completely different part of the city, I’m looking at the overall geography of the city and paths between major areas. If I’m exploring a neighborhood, I’m interested in the options nearby.</p><p> These same behaviors of orientation and wayfinding exist for users of websites, and, like in the city-navigation example, the kinds of cues that help users will depend on their information-seeking needs. Most websites prominently feature global navigation (which is analogous to a zoomed-out map of city neighborhoods). Some sites with large numbers of pages also feature local navigation to help users orient and explore content within the current category.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/local-navigation/">Read Full Article</a>Feature Checklists Are Not Enough: How to Avoid Making Bad Softwarehttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/feature-checklists-are-not-enough/A good design relies on a thorough task analysis of the steps required to complete a task, as well as determining what information users need at each step.Kathryn WhitentonSun, 04 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000/articles/feature-checklists-are-not-enough/?1625414400Article<p><strong>Summary:</strong>&nbsp;A good design relies on a thorough task analysis of the steps required to complete a task, as well as determining what information users need at each step.</p><hr/><br/><p> I recently started using a new piece of software for tracking expenses. I was excited to try it and, at first glance, it looked like it could be a great solution. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that, although the visual design was fine, the experience of interacting with the system was painfully difficult.</p><p> It’s not because of bugs or immediately obvious usability issues, such as <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/category-names-suck/"> poorly labeled navigation menus </a> or <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/icon-usability/"> misuse of icons </a> . This piece of software is a great (terrible) example of how it’s possible to ‘check all the boxes’ and build all specified features, but still end up with a bad result that is frustrating to use.</p><h2> <em> When </em> Is Just as Important as <em> What </em></h2><p> For interactive software for complex tasks, including all the necessary information and features is not good enough; it’s also essential to pay attention to the <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/workflow-expectations/"> sequence of steps and organization of the available features </a> . Poorly organized systems force users to repeatedly stop what they are doing, and hunt around for the functions or data needed to complete a task. The resulting experience feels like a <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/disruptive-workflow-design/"> constant string of interruptions </a> , rather than progress towards a goal.</p><br/><br/><a href="/articles/feature-checklists-are-not-enough/">Read Full Article</a>