Therese Fessenden

Therese Fessenden is a Senior User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group, host of the NN/g UX Podcast, and manager of the 1-Hour Talk program. Her research focuses on understanding human behaviors, attitudes, and expectations in order to better orchestrate system and service design strategies. 


Articles and Videos

  • Reciprocation: Why Login Walls Aren’t Always “Better"

    The reciprocity principle states that people, when given something upfront, tend to feel a sense of obligation to repay what has been provided. Login walls reverse this sequence and require users to disclose personal info before allowing access to content. People often resent this, and may not be as forthcoming or cooperative as a result.

  • Recruiting and Screening Candidates for User Research Projects

    Know the inherent biases in your recruiting process and avoid them in order to recruit study participants that are representative for your target audience.

  • 5 Facilitation Mistakes to Avoid During User Interviews

    Some common mistakes to avoid in UX interviews include poor rapport, multitasking, leading, insufficient probing, and poorly managed observers.

  • Design Systems 101

    A design system is a set of standards to manage design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across pages and channels.

  • Net Promoter Score in User Experience

    Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple satisfaction metric that's collected in a single question. While easy to understand, it's insufficiently nuanced to help with detailed UX design decisions.

  • First Diverge, Then Converge During UX Workshops

    A general technique that's helpful in many kinds of UX workshops and design ideation is to first have team members work independently to create diverging ideas and solutions. Then, as a separate step, everybody works together to converge on the final outcome.

  • Aesthetic and Minimalist Design (Usability Heuristic #8)

    Aesthetically pleasing designs can provide memorable experiences that differentiate a brand. However, interfaces should only include necessary elements, with high informational value. Clarity will always win over visual flourish.

  • Dot Voting in the UX Design Process

    In UX design, you always have to prioritize. Features, personas, usability problems, and the list goes on. Dot votes are a simple way to find the group sense of what's the most important.

  • When Remote Workshops Fail

    For a successful remote workshop, pick the tools with low entry cost, plan timing carefully, and create the expectation for active participation.

  • Privacy Policies and Terms of Use: 5 Common Mistakes

    Policy pages often fail to follow basic usability guidelines: they are not readable, lack high-level summaries and inside-policy navigation, have poor formatting, and are not available in expected places.