A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Hawley, Michael

8 found.

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Communities of Practice: Optimizing Internal Knowledge Sharing

The key to intranet success is to provide value to employees and give them a reason to visit the site repeatedly. One of the primary ways to achieve this is to connect employees with the people and groups with whom they need to collaborate. Workgroups, or communities of practice, provide the basis for a living, growing, vibrant space in which people can access the information they need, share best practices, and contribute to a shared knowledge base. This article discusses the role of communities of practice within organizations and provides a framework for planning research and design activities to maximize their effectiveness.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Knowledge Management>Intranets>Organizational Communication


Design Research Methods for Experience Design

There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Research>Methods


Differentiating Your Design: A Visual Approach to Competitive Reviews

A common activity at the outset of many design projects is a competitive review. As a designer, when you encounter a design problem, it’s a natural instinct to try to understand what others are doing to solve the same or similar problems. However, like other design-related activities, if you start a competitive review without a clear purpose and strategy for the activity, doing the review may not be productive.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2009). Design>Project Management>Collaboration>Assessment


Extending Card-Sorting Techniques to Inform the Design of Web Site Hierarchies

Card sorting offers a systematic and statistically significant process for answering questions about hierarchy design. However, those of us who have run card sorts know there is an art to conducting successful card sort studies, and there are many variables that can affect the usefulness of results. In this column, I’ll discuss the challenges and limitations of card sorting and review alternative and complementary techniques that designers can leverage when developing an information hierarchy for a large-scale Web site.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Card Sorting


Getting the Right Stakeholder Feedback at the Right Time

Efficient, effective collaboration between UX designers and stakeholders is an essential ingredient of a successful project. Stakeholders bring their unique perspectives to a project, and their feedback can help a designer understand the design problem space and develop solutions that align with business and technology objectives. But simply asking stakeholders for feedback can lead to misaligned expectations and communication problems. By being thoughtful in how you make your request for feedback and by providing simple questions and instructions, you can ensure that you identify potential risks early in the design process, minimize stress, meet your deadlines, and ultimately design a better solution.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Collaboration>User Experience>SMEs


Infusing Usability Testing with Reality

It’s clear that a moderator’s interrupting participants’ tasks with probing questions such as “What do you expect…?” during usability studies can make participants’ experience seem a bit unrealistic. However, from a UX designer’s perspective, this may be acceptable if the goal is to develop insights that inform the overall design approaches for a product.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Usability>Testing


Preparing for User Research Interviews: Seven Things to Remember

Interviewing is an artful skill that is at the core of a wide variety of research methods in user-centered design, including stakeholder interviews, contextual inquiry, usability testing, and focus groups. Consequently, a researcher’s skill in conducting interviews has a direct impact on the quality and accuracy of research findings and subsequent decisions about design. Skilled interviewers can conduct interviews that uncover the most important elements of a participant’s perspective on a task or a product in a manner that does not introduce interviewer bias. Companies hire user researchers and user-centered designers because they possess this very ability.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Interviewing>Usability>User Centered Design


Research Methods for Understanding Consumer Decisions in a Social World

In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review that focused on branding, David Edelman articulates how consumers’ engagement with brands is evolving through the proliferation of social media and other digital channels. In his article “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places,” he proposes a model for consumer and brand engagement titled the “Customer Decision Journey.” This model recognizes that customer experiences increasingly include online components, where their experience of considering and evaluating choices is constantly shifting and, after making purchases, their engagement with brands continues through social media channels. Edelman’s article goes on to discuss how marketing teams should shift their focus to researching and supporting the advocacy and bonding portion of the consumer engagement lifecycle. Although Edelman wrote his article with marketing professionals as the intended audience, I was struck by how similar the marketing perspective is to the goals of User Experience (UX) groups.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2011). Articles>User Experience>Research

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