Category

Research

Embrace failure: inform research using a Pre-Mortem

A pipette fills multiple test tubes ahead of experiements

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison One of the most effective ways to kick off a new initiative is to identify how it might go wrong. Similarly, when planning research goals and methodologies, awareness of potential weaknesses can help to establish immediate learning goals. The Pre-Mortem is a well-established facilitation tool for...

The facts don’t always speak for themselves.

One of the odd little things that reminds me of my Dad currently sits in a small, unkempt frame on my desk. It’s an obscure quote that I’ve traced to a U.S. congressional hearing on air safety, of all things. However it made its way in front of Dad, it was clearly something that resonated with him enough to frame it, and is nicely evocative of the man. It reads: “Facts are stronger than...

Usability lab hack in Yosemite & iOS8

If your work involves usability testing, chances are you are constantly trying to refine and optimise your testing set up. A recent usability study had us working in a DMZ, requiring the usability tests to take place in a specific location. No big deal there. It was however the first study we had run using iOS8 in this environment; and, as we learned on the morning of the...

Practise like an expert, don’t communicate like one.

Peer networking in the design community is thankfully not the rarity it used to be. Where there were onceinfrequent events based around an occasional high-brow lecture or overly self-conscious ‘networking opportunity’ (ugh), thanks to any number of driven and enthusiastic individuals we now have conferences, unconventions, informal meet-ups and increasingly relevant and compelling talks. Industry...

Truth and Reconciliation

Research can so often be construed as an inherently noble pursuit. Activity intended to increase understanding, clarity, depth of knowledge? It can only be worthy, surely. Of course, research is subjective. When governments (as an example) commission research activity, many harbour a suspicion that the findings will – conveniently – either directly support, or be spun in such a way as...

About

In My Experience is the personal blog of Rick Monro, a designer & researcher in Belfast, N. Ireland

@monro on Twitter