FREE Webinar - Remote Usability Testing: plan & setup

UX Webinar on Remote Usability Testing

UX webinar over hangout by UXness

Join the UX Webinar on 'Remote Usability Testing: Plan & Setup' using Maze Usability Tool. Process of setting up tasks in Usability Testing tool will be showcased as key agenda. 

Abhishek Jain (Design Lead UX Research | Co-founder of UXness) 

Date & Time 
08th Apr 2020,  08:00-08:30PM (IST) 

Online (Google Hangout)


Hangout link will be shared before the scheduled webinar via email communication to respective participants. 

Note: Limited seats are available on the basis of "First come" basis. 

Please contact for any clarifications: or

UX for Contexts of Care | Medical Usability

Wearable in medical
Image Sources

Individuals are increasingly using technologies for personal health. These practices are largely driven by products that monitor the body’s activities, identify symptoms, and suggest wellness strategies. From wearables to websites, the options seem endless; the challenge is designing usable products for this growing market.

Contexts of Care
The solution involves understanding the context of care, or where individuals use these technologies.  Location affects how people use products.  The better product developers understand such dynamics, the more effectively they can create usable designs for these settings.

Collecting Data
Understanding contexts of care means identifying where individuals perform health-related activities.  These locations shape the mental models that guide how we use devices.  Researching these context involves asking five questions in the order listed here.  The answers can provide insights on the models influencing usability expectations in these contexts.  (Note: The “X” represents the health activity you are researching.)

Question 1: Where do you do X? (e.g., check your blood pressure)
This question prompts users to access the mental model that guides their actions.  Accessing this model is essential to answering the later questions in this sequence.

Question 2: When do you do X?
Location is important; so is timing.  Checking your blood pressure in your kitchen in the early morning when everyone is asleep is one thing.  Doing so at the end of the day while also preparing dinner and watching children is another.  Each scenario requires a different design to make products usable in that context.

Medical clinic
Image Sources

Question 3: Who is in that setting when you do X and what are they doing?
By focusing first on place and time, users can better visualize who might be in that setting.  They can also note if those persons help with or distract from a process – factors affecting the uses of a technology and related design needs.

Question 4: How do you do X?  Describe the process for me.
Users can now draw on a fully visualized mental model to describe how they and others in their environment perform care-related processes.  This fully visualized model is essential to understanding usability expectations and design needs.

Question 5: What do you use to do X?  Describe these items for me?
Mental models bring assumptions of what individuals expect to use and what those items should look like.  This information is essential to designing products users can recognize and use in a context of care.  After all, if users cannot recognize a tool, feature, or function, they can’t use it.

Final Thoughts
Mental models drive product use.  The better you understand them, the more effectively you can design products to meet user expectations.  The questions listed here can provide valuable data on models affecting contexts of care.  The answers can help develop products that meet user expectations associated with personal health activities. 

About Author

Author bio image

Kirk St. Amant 
He directs the Center for Health Communication (CHC) at Louisiana Tech University (USA) and is an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick (Ireland). 

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Most of the designers and professionals are working from home in this Coronavirus outbreak, UXness recommends you all to utilize this time in enhancing your UX skills and become a better UX designer by taking online courses and e-lerning. 

Compatibility of Internet of Things (IoT) and User Experience (UX)

Internet of Things (IoT) and User Experience (UX)

Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest-growing fields which is driving new ways for interacting with appliances, tools, and devices in entirely new and unexpected ways. IoT is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives — from our gym and walks to travel planning, home security, and countless other uses. As IoT devices become more common the user experience of using such devices becomes increasingly important. Being a new technology and on the other hand addressing the fact that users have a very low tolerance for the inconvenience of learning something new or doing something differently. That’s why user experience is very vital for IoT products.

Initially, IoT solutions focused primarily on technical capabilities. But with more than one-third of these new objects and services are abandoned by their users after only 6 months of use, it became a primary result of the fact that IoT significantly depends on the UX design for the connected objects. The UX community being new to IoT projects, there is still a lot to be done to develop new best practices specifically for IoT projects.

UX for IoT is different and complex because there are two sequences of interaction ie from user to the virtual system and from the virtual system to the physical system. Also, each physical system has its own set of interactions and moreover there are different users to use the application. Hence the designers have to face new challenges while working on IoT projects.

Therefore, as UX experts we need to know some of the challenges of IoT and find out if we can address them to provide good user experience for our users.

1. Connectivity issues
Internet of Things as its name suggests is primarily based on network connection as the internet is needed to transfer data between the app and physical devices. Most of the IoT devices require a good WiFi network.
We are used to occasional connectivity problems on our smartphones and computers like poor connection during a video call, slow websites, etc. Whereas we don't expect such problems with our physical devices like toasters, room lighting, and opening or closing doors. The user experience expectation of everyday physical things is different from that of the web. When we turn on room light, we expect an immediate response or else we assume that there is some defect with light. But when the internet connection is poor it may take a couple of minutes for the lights to turn on. The users might not be ready for such delays in response from physical products and might lead to frustration, worry or abandoning of IoT system. The first generation users certainly have to go through such problems.
Connectivity issues are going to have a significant impact on the IoT experience and there is little we can do about it since it is a technical problem.

2. Multiple apps for different devices
One of the main problems with IoT devices functioning is that there are plenty of connected devices. Individually these devices might be smart and useful, but as a team, they might not work in sync. Users need different apps for different devices and this becomes overwhelming and a plenty of mental overloads. In the current scenario, users cannot control the whole collection of IoT devices from a single app and make them sync the data. So for instance, if you have a smart car, a smart gym, and a smart toaster, and you have different apps to control them. You won’t be able to apply the rule to adjust the temperature in the room according to your workout data and start your toaster after 30 mins of workout and start your smart car as soon as you lock the door from outside. This does not give a unanimous user experience of all IoT products. This kind of broken UX can make the tasks more complicated whereas the purpose of smart devices is to make the user’s life easier. Another example can be lots of smart home apps don’t work together for example, a user might control the sound system with one app and lights with another. Even in some cases, lighting from different manufacturers may require different apps to control, which leads to bad user experience.

3. Synchronising Data
Another IoT design challenge is to separate the useful and irrelevant data while a lot of data is flowing from various sources and devices. Synchronising data flow between different smart devices is the key to UX design in the IoT platform and is also a difficult task.

4. Third-party integrations
UX designers rely on the supplies from many third-party vendors to develop an IoT device. Different components (sensors, processors, controllers) from different vendors can be difficult to integrate and lead to disoriented user experience. Supplies such as application processors, sensors, controllers, and platforms may not all come from one supplier. Expecting different pieces to work together to produce a seamless UX might be impossible. IoT devices require repairs and updates after a certain interval. Third-party integrations are not always seamless.

5. Impact of hardware
Hardware is a big part of the solution in IoT products and, depending on its type and quality it has a large effect on the user experience. Hardware selection is generally based on the technical specifications, compatibility of running software and cost to the user. The combination of hardware impacts user experience to a large extent. In case the user chooses a lower-cost system, some functionality might not be applicable which compromises the user’s experience. Therefore it is important to select appropriate hardware components.

The key to creating great IoT user experiences lies in understanding the fluid nature of IoT and designing interaction for it. A good user-research is a must to understand the user’s expectations from IoT devices. The fundamentals always remain the same, just that the designer needs to spend more time understanding how IoT works.
In the IoT domain, a user task flow may span different devices, different interaction paradigms, and different contexts of use. This increases complexity by orders of magnitude for the designer. Conversely, user expectations are also increased because users expect the experience of using these disparate connected devices in concert to be more than the sum of their individual experiences.

About Author
Author profile picture Neha Srivastava

Neha Srivastava
Manager | User Experience | HCL Technologies, Noida 
Email   |  LinkedIn 


How not to get UX work impacted due to coronavirus

Remote work from home due to coronavirus

In this epidemic condition due to coronavirus spread across world, many such great measures and precautions are taken by people. Many countries has also provided the guidance related to work, travel and personal safety, alongside many IT companies have also released advisory for working remotely, taking hygiene at work and avoiding travel unless really necessary. When it comes to the work of UX, designers, researchers and other UX professionals there are some ways where personal safety and health measures can be taken without having great impact on work. Today, I would like to share some tips which can be helpful for UX professionals in this condition. 

  1. Conducting UX activities remotelyIt is better time to utilise and maximise the remote research activities such as remote Usability Testing, remote user interviews. Team can also focus on usability inspection reviews, expert reviews, Behaviour analysis using analytics tools and web log. There are some great tools available for remote UX research such as Maze, UserCrowd, Usabilla, UserTesting, Hotjar, Mouseflow, Clicktale etc.

  2. Taking job interviews over video
    Job interviews for designers/ researchers can also take place over video calls. Some great resources such as Bluejeans, WebEx, GoToMeeting etc for video calls and interviews.
  3. Collaborating with teams remotely
    Team collaboration is indeed needed for effective work execution, which can also be taken with team collaboration platforms such as Microsoft teams, Slack, Jira (activity tracking and planning), Workplace by Facebook etc.
  4. Utilise time for learning via e-learningIndividuals can also utilise this time in enhancing their skills with being safe using online learning portals. Explore UXness UX course catalog, courses identified from Interaction Design Foundation, Udemy, Coursera etc.

  5. Proper use of freelancers
    For companies or individuals who need support from designers can also use freelance portals and get the work done remotely. Some useful platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Total etc.

Be safe and let’s fight with coronavirus. 
Also, feel free to share your views and more guidance. 

About Author

Abhishek Jain
Design Lead UX Researcher
Co-founder of UXness
LinkedIn | Email

POSTPONED - FREE Practical Workshop on UX Research - Register now

Please Note

This event is postponed due to outbreak of coronavirus (COVID 19). Keeping public health on priority, the organisers and administration team of event has decided to postpone this event. New date will be communicated soon. 

Free UX Research workshop

UX-UI Tranining
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