UPDATE July 7: WE MET OUR GOAL – THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED!!!
We need your help with buying a new projector screen!
If you’ve ever been to one of our meetups, you’ve likely noticed that our projector screen is a cold war relict, a heavy metal artifact of another, clunkier age. The screen is dented from years of being rolled up and unused. The thing weighs a TON. Kornacki lovingly but unkindly refers to it as THE ALBATROSS.
If the thing was an automobile, it’d qualify for a collector’s plate. But as a screen, well, it’s just an old piece of junk.
Time, dudes…it moves on.
This is where you can help.
mkeUX has always been and will always be FREE to attend. We run it without a budget (all event space is lovingly donated). As someone who has attended meetings, met new people, and learned new stuff, can you give back by helping us buy a new screen?
We’re looking to gather ~$150 for a screen like this one. (update: We met our goal!)
We’ll remove the link as soon as we’ve met our goal.
So what do you say…will you help project us into the modern age? We’ll love you forever.Categories: Uncategorized | 1 comment
The project teams at Centare have been producing software using Agile techniques for over 5 years. Developers, Quality Assurance, Product Owners, Scrum Masters and User Experience members work closely together to adhere to Agile principles while still remaining highly productive. Every sprint is seen as an opportunity to experiment and improve our techniques.
Several members from the Centare UX team will share their stories and experiences to describe how they have successfully incorporated Lean UX methods into an Agile practice to improve collaboration and the flow of information throughout the entire project’s lifecycle.Categories: meetings | Leave a comment
Midwest UX: a call for volunteers!
Midwest UX is calling out for a city to host the 2015 conference and we think Milwaukee is just that City!
So, why is mkeUX having a meeting about Midwest UX? We want to get some volunteers to help us put together a proposal for Milwaukee hosting the event in 2015.
What is Midwest UX you ask?
Midwest UX is a 3-day conference founded on inter-disciplinary talks and workshops built around supporting and inspiring the growing Midwest design community.
Michael Seidel and I want to Co-Chair this event and we think we could put one hell of a planning committee together (with your help) to make Milwaukee the shining jewel of the Midwest UX crown.
So who’s with us?!
Note: This isn’t a standard mkeUX meeting. We are looking to get volunteers together to help with this mission. Thanks!Categories: UX Conference | Tags: "UX Conference", midwestUX | 1 comment
User research: cheap, easy and agile
Presented by Kate Gomoll
Kate Gomoll, president and founder of Gomoll Research & Design, is well known for her field research expertise. She has managed and conducted user research for many companies like Apple, GE Healthcare, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson Controls, and Yahoo!
In her mkeUX presentation, Kate will share what she’s learned in her 20+ years of conducting field user research. She’ll also give ideas about how you can integrate field research into your organization’s UX practice.Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Angelina was kind enough to write a blog post about the club and what she hopes to accomplish with it. So, here it is…
Categories: UX Book Club | Tags: mkeux, ux book club mke, ux books | Leave a comment
Since September I’d been looking for a way to become more integrated into the Milwaukee UX community. A friend of mine tipped me off to the MKEUX group and after hearing Mike talk about bringing UX culture to an organization, I was energized.
I searched for a book club in MKE to shore up gaps in my knowledge as it dawned on me that UX was something I was extremely and innately passionate about. To my dismay, the one that was listed in MKE was defunct both online and on LinkedIn. I wrote out a few emails and posted on the wall asking for details on the next meeting and heard nothing for quite some time.
In that time I spoke with some other connections in the industry. While talking to one of them over Skype, she suggested I hold myself and the community accountable in knowledge-sharing and start a book club of my very own. After we hung up the call I considered the concept for a good 30 minutes.
The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t let go of the idea.
My own list of reading had grown over a foot tall so I rationalized that the best way to kick start that immense learning project was to seek a community to keep me accountable. In December, I started the book club on meetup.com.
My friend Jamie is starting to head up usability testing efforts in her company. As part of her learning process, she asked me a few questions about how I test. So I decided to publish the answers here.
One thing that I’ll say is that I’m increasingly wary of relying on usability testing to “validate” designs. I truly believe that to get a project right, you need to involve end users in feedback sessions, starting at the wireframe stage. Basically, talk to people every week. Involve everyone in your project team in the research by encouraging them attend sessions and ask questions. Or show them recordings of the feedback sessions.
Usability testing is still a must when it gets to that stage. But many problems can be avoided if you involve users constantly in the design process.
That said, here are my answers to Jamie’s questions!
Who from the project should be involved in the process of deciding what to test?
I usually sit down with a Product Manager, a Business Analyst, members of the User Experience Team, and any other critical stakeholder to discuss research goals, objectives, and timing. After that meeting, I create and circulate a one page research plan to summarize/formalize what we’ve agreed on.
How do you determine what to test?
It all comes out of this the discussion with PMs, BAs, UX, and stakeholders. In my world, I’d say everything should be usability tested! It should be an ongoing cycle.
Is there a typical duration for a test, or at least a good standard for software testing? And what’s a good number of tasks to have someone complete during a test?
I lumped these two questions together because they’re related. This is definitely an area where a researcher can’t be rigid. There’s no right answer to either of these. As a rule of thumb, however, I’d suggest no more tha 1½ hr & two scenarios. But I’ve done longer sessions with four scenarios and shorter lasting 15 minutes with a single scenario.
If the project team decides there is a TON to test, I’d say two things:
- You should have done research much earlier in the process
- Consider splitting things up into multiple testing initiatives. Make each session more focused rather than trying to do everything in a single effort.
Is it better to put a time constraint on a task to determine if the user “failed” the task, or is it better to just let them keep working, no matter how long it takes?
In planning for research, every element should be roughly timeboxed. Meaning if you have two scenarios, each should have a timeframe associate with it, and you should also know how long your introduction and follow-up questionnaires will take. Not to say you have to follow these timeframes exactly. But they should frame the overall discussion. This is how you ensure that you don’t waste the user’s time and end up keeping them longer than they anticipated.
That said, sometimes users just flounder. Even if that happens, you should have “back up” questions that fill time and still extract value from the session. Facilitating gets easier the more you do it. At first, struggling users can make a session super difficult. But as you get more experienced, you learn more and more how to draw users out of funks.
The best feedback usually comes when things go off-script. So just be patient and ask good questions! On the rare occasion that the session becomes painful, don’t feel bad about wrapping up early. Just tell them you got through everything you needed to get through and they can have the rest of their morning/afternoon back to him or herself!
Have any tips on intervention to help a user along with a task if they’re stuck on something?
This is related to the above. But specifically, keep asking open-ended questions. If after a few tries, they can’t come up with an answer, by all means “give the answer away.” Especially if it’s a critical step in completing a process and you need feedback on the next step. Just have a discussion centered around the right answer. Ask what you could do to have made it more obvious or if they have other ideas that could make it easier to interact with.
If you do put a fail time on a task, where do you get that number from? Is there a rule of thumb, like, the amount of time it takes me (the SME) to do it, times 5 or something?
I honestly haven’t done much time on task testing. But I’m not sure that there’s a magic equation (though I could be wrong…any quantitative researchers want to correct me?). Especially one based on how long it takes a SME to do something versus an actual end user. I’d say that it also comes down to how familiar a user is with a design – are you testing enhancements to an existing design? Or something brand new? If a user is interacting with a design for the first time, it’ll obviously take more time than it will after they learn how to use it.
Thanks for asking these questions, Jamie!Categories: usability | Leave a comment
When we launched this site waaaay back in 2010, we had one goal: Simplicity
We understood most people were visiting the site to find out about our meetups. So we designed it around communicating info about meetings.
It looked like this:
As time passed, we started writing micro-posts about the upcoming presentations, so we had to link people off from the main page to the main blog page. This started to break the simplicity and cohesiveness of the design.
Also, as we move deeper into the two thousand teens, responsiveness and all that become more and more of an imperative. Our site wasn’t responsive. Add lack of responsiveness to lack of simplicity and you get REDESIGN.
So what you’re looking at today is that REDESIGN.
We’ve done the following:
- Kept focus on upcoming meetings
- Made the site responsive
- Integrated the blog into the main page design
It’s nothing uber-fancy. But that’s what we’re going for: scaled back, cut and dry. As long as you can get info about meetings, we feel we’ve done our job.
We’d love to get your thoughts as a user of the site. Please leave feedback on this post and let us know how we did.Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Mapping UX Culture
Presented by Mike Kornacki
When: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 6:30pm
Where: Lighburn (325 East Chicago Street, SECOND FLOOR) Hey, here’s a map!
RSVP: Here (note: you are not required to RSVP to attend. Feel free to just show up!)
Did you ever feel like you are the only one in your organization who “get’s it”? You’re not alone. The UX field is still pretty young and was born out of necessity. But how do you get the rest of your organization to drink the yummy UX goodness?
Let Mike Kornacki show you how he did it at Johnson Controls.Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: meetings | Leave a comment
User experience is more than user flows and wireframes. It is an opportunity to become a design leader. Transform yourself from a technician into a problem solver, and transform your organization or team into a supportive environment that will help you engage your users. We’ll discuss a few topics that may help you with your transformation journey.
After the presentation, join us for a social hour drink at Burnhearts (2599 S Logan Ave) in Bay View.Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: meetings | Leave a comment