Happy holidays! Here’s UserZoom’s very best UX content of 2019
It’s time for the UserZoom content machine to set its out of office reply to, “sorry we’re unable to respond, we’ve found the secret supply of mince pies and sherry (UK) / pumpkin pies and eggnog (US)” and say a huge thank you for all your support in 2019.
We’re very grateful to all our readers, contributors, customers, partners and experts who made this the best ever year for UserZoom and our newly re-branded BetterUX Blog.
We’re signing off now until January 2020, but in the meantime, we’d like to highlight some of the most popular, useful and downright entertaining resources we published this year – and for added handiness, I’ve categorised them into these themes and trends…
- Integrating research into product development
- Benchmarking user experience
- Democratizing UX
- Participant recruitment
- Stakeholder buy-in
- UX design
- Running user research
- Product management
- Drinking our own Champagne
- UX Battles of the Week
- State of UX: the current landscape and beyond!
As is tradition, I’ve also interspersed proceedings with Christmas-themed Awkward Family Photos, because it gives me an airtight excuse for looking at that website during working hours.
Integrating research into product development
The number one challenge faced by UX teams in 2019 is figuring out how to make user research actually work within the product development lifecycle. With the following content, you can certainly meet that challenge head-on:
- We have detailed expert opinions from nine senior research leaders in our guide to ‘How to include user research in early product development‘ [blog post]
- Here’s a practical look at how you can understand customer problems at the earliest stages of product development: How to run an effective Design Sprint [blog post]
- And here’s our very own Senior Director of UX Research, Lee Duddell, on ‘Common mistakes rookies make when testing (and how to overcome them)’(video)
Benchmarking user experience
UX Benchmarking has seen a dramatic increase in adoption over the last 12 months, as more teams realise they can prove the value of research with metrics that appeal to the C-Suite. In 2018, 21% reported conducting benchmarking, while in 2019 this has jumped to 35%. Here’s some helpful content that should help you hit the ground running:
- A UX benchmarking easy-read: A comprehensive guide to UX Benchmarking: Longitudinal and Competitive [blog post]
- Everything you need to know about benchmarking in one comprehensive and entertaining guide: Benchmarking 101 [ebook]
- Our resident benchmarking expert Dana Bishop gives a detailed overview and answers your most pressing benchmarking questions: Proving Value & Quantifying the Impact of UX Research through Benchmarking [on-demand webinar]
Get UX insights faster, and at scale, by spreading UX education beyond the walls of you team and empowering other people in your organization to run their own user research. Here are a few resources to help you realise the dream:
- A hands-on practical guide to getting to grips with democratizing UX: How to spread user research education and insights throughout your organization [blog post]
- From UX LIVE 2019, here’s Lee Duddell’s recommendations on democratizing UX (video) and avoiding any common pitfalls
- And from our own BetterUX LIVE event earlier in the year, here’s Booking.com’s Soma Ray & Stephanie Agotborde on Making UX Research a Team Sport (video)
A perennial thorn-in-the-side of most user researchers; recruiting the ‘right’ participants is a complex challenge in planning, practice and execution. But, it doesn’t have to be this way:
- EVERYTHING you need to know about sourcing recruits for user research in one giant guide: Participant recruiting 101 [ebook]
- A quick and easy primer to various recruitment practices: Which participant recruitment method should I use for user research? [blog post]
- And here’s how you can truly ‘let the right ones in’: 11 tips for effectively screening test participants [blog post]
Put down the megaphone, file away the endless spreadsheets of data, and for goodness sake take 75% of those slides out of your presentation, because getting stakeholder buy-in for user research just got a whole lot easier:
- SO much practical advice from SO many brilliant and talented people all about stakeholder buy-in: How to get stakeholder buy-in for user research: 31 expert tips [blog post]
- Some cold hard data why good UX is super important: 12 fascinating UX and user research stats to help your business case [blog post]
- And again, put the down the megaphone, file the spreadsheets, blah blah blah… here are some truly Top tips for presenting user research results to stakeholders [blog post]
Here’s some of our best 2019 content about making cool stuff AND making sure the user is at the centre of everything you do.
- You aren’t Apple and why you don’t have to be: “Make it like Apple!” Why imitation is the sincerest form of failure [blog post]
- Here’s a guide to avoiding the most common gamification pitfalls (also lava pools, hidden floor spikes and exploding Bob-ombs): How to create an addictive experience without sacrificing usability [blog post]
- With 19% of users having some form of disability the web cannot favor the ‘traditional user’ anymore, here’s What UX designers need to know about accessibility [blog post]
- 22 million people managed their bank accounts via mobile in 2018, here’s how to keep them loyal: How online banks can improve their user experience [blog post]
- Preparing future adults to solve real UX problems: How to teach kids about UX design [blog post]
Running user research
Of course our annual parade of content wouldn’t be the same without our signature, practical, plain-speaking guides on running user research in all its forms:
- Everything you need to know about a flexible and versatile methodology that caters to various research needs: How to design a Remote Unmoderated Usability Test [blog post]
- We answer the ultimate UX question: What metrics and KPIs do the experts use to measure UX effectiveness? [blog post]
- We’ve discovered a user-friendly persona-building process that has been operating successfully for 45 years and comes pre-packaged with randomisation to avoid any bias: How to create personas using Dungeons and Dragons [blog post]
- Encourage users to share their point of view, without your influence or bias: How to ask ‘the right’ questions in user research [blog post]
- Our continuing effort to demystify the statistics in your user research studies: What are confidence intervals and why do we need them in usability studies? [blog post]
- And our free-to-access learning resource, the UserZoom Academy, offers various online courses for you to boost your education. For newbies, these Study Design courses are a great place to start.
What makes a successful working relationship between UX design and Product Management? The answers you seek are right here:
- What do UX designers and product managers actually do and why do they do it? Five reasons why UX Design and Product Management are a perfect match [blog post]
- A celebration: What are the differences and overlaps between UX designers and product managers? [blog post]
- We discuss a founding (and wonderfully frustrating) principle of user experience: The path of least resistance: why users won’t go where you tell them [blog post]
- Humans don’t care about products – we care about progress. So how can our products make us better? Progress over products: a Jobs-to-be-Done primer [blog post]
- When testing, the rule of thumb is the more complete the prototype, the better. So let’s get that prototype up to scratch: Six guidelines for successful prototype testing [blog post]
Drinking our own Champagne
This year we pulled back the curtain and revealed our own Product UX research process. In the following ‘meta’ pieces of content we introduce you to the team, reveal how we use our own platform to improve our own UX and highlight how we’re expanding in 2020.
- Part one of our journey in ‘Improving the UX of UserZoom’: How we set up our research process [blog post]
- What the future holds for UserZoom: Lean & Collaborative UX for Agile: Why We Acquired Validately [blog post]
- And our Co-CEO and Co-founder, Alfonso de la Nuez, interviews the Product UXR team: Improving the UX of UserZoom (video)
UX Battles of the Week
We put the biggest brands on the planet in head-to-head UX battles to see which one offers true usability and which one hits the mat with a dull thud.
Here are three of the mightiest grudge matches:
- TECHnical knock-out: Apple vs. Samsung
- Too close to CALL: Sprint vs. T-Mobile
- TOP FLIGHT competition: easyJet vs. British Airways
State of UX: the current landscape and beyond!
This year we proudly revealed our second annual State of UX in the Enterprise survey results, and with it a whole helpful wealth of content around the current and future landscape of UX and the role of user research in organizations:
- Here’s the full report, including all the stats and stellar insight: State of UX in the Enterprise in 2019 [survey report]
- Kuldeep Kelkar, UserZoom’s SVP of Global Professional Services, gets to grips with the survey data and provides his own analysis: State of UX in the Enterprise: The Industry’s Hottest Trends and Insights from 2019 [on-demand webinar]
- We provide practical guidance on how to overcome the biggest pain points for UX professionals: Four top challenges UX teams face in 2020 and how to solve them [blog post]
- A deep-dive into how we can prepare for the next frontier in UX: How can UX professionals plan for AI as it shapes the future of the industry? [blog post]
- What do you need to know and what can you safely ignore when it comes to design trends? 10 UX design trends to look out for in 2020 [blog post]
- And finally, some of UserZoom’s brightest minds reveal how they think the CX and UX landscapes will shape up in 2020 Six predictions for the UX and CX industries in 2020 [blog post]
We’ll see you in January for more insight, more expert opinions, more practical guidance, and best of all, more heartwarming moments of family joy. Happy holidays 🙂
Images from Awkward Family Photos.
Christopher is the Content Marketing Manager, which basically means the skipper of the good ship ‘UserZoom blog’. So far his requests for changing its name to the ‘USS-erzoom Blog’ have been rightfully denied. In his spare time, Christopher is a filmmaker and the editor of wayward pop culture site Methods Unsound. He used to be the deputy editor of Econsultancy, editor of Search Engine Watch, staff writer for ClickZ and features editor of CMO.com.