Dr. Elizabeth Allen is a UX researcher, cognitive psychologist, and cat owner based in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder of Brazen, a UX research consultancy that helps companies identify and solve critical UX problems in digital and physical products. Over the course of her career, Elizabeth has conducted research for a wide variety of companies including Shopify, United Airlines, Mozilla, and Discover, and has helped shape the design of websites, apps, electronic hardware, signage, and conversational interfaces. Elizabeth also has a love of teaching that began when she was a lecturer at The University of Chicago while completing her PhD in Cognitive Psychology. She currently teaches two courses on UX research methods for O’Reilly Media and has lectured on similar topics at the University of Waterloo and the Pratt School of Information.
Usability Testing 101
“You are not the user” is a classic UX mantra for a reason. Too often, businesses don’t take the time to test their websites, apps, or products outside company walls because they assume that their users are just like them. But testing with real, representative users is essential to creating something that is truly easy and enjoyable to use. In this workshop, you’ll learn how plan and conduct usability testing efficiently and effectively so that you get high-quality, honest user insights in a short period of time.
Through a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, we’ll cover the entire usability testing process. By the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will have the knowledge and confidence to run your first usability testing study on your own.
- Participants in this workshop will learn how to:
Identify and challenge assumptions and hypotheses they have about how people use their product
- Understand when usability testing could be applied to uncover insights about how people use their product, and identify situations where other UX research methods would be a better fit
- Define high-level research questions and translate them into a discussion guide containing specific participant scenarios and follow-up questions
- Recruit potential participants and screen them to ensure that they exhibit any characteristics of interest and will give candid, honest feedback
- Get set up for test day, including structuring test sessions so that they flow easily, creating a plan for recording data, and troubleshooting any technical difficulties
- Create a warm, genuine rapport with participants (whether in-person or remote) to quickly make them comfortable speaking with you
- Apply strategies to dig deeper into participants’ thoughts, feelings, and reactions during the test session without biasing their behaviour
- Analyze data from test sessions efficiently to extract key insights, identify root causes of users’ problems, and generate potential solutions
- Participants in this workshop will learn how to:
Tom Creighton is the founder of Reactive Arts, an interactive design studio helping companies build human-centered products to solve real-world problems. He was formerly the Director of Design at Wealthsimple, Canada’s largest and fastest growing online investment platform. Previously, Tom worked with some other well-known Canadian startups and launched new customer-facing rebrands and initiatives for some of Canada’s largest companies.
Creative work is creating a relationship – between you, your teammates, and your customers. As product-makers, it’s easy to ignore the holistic human in favour of measurable data points. Small, crucial decisions make the difference between a product functioning as intended, and a product ‘feeling good’. Let’s dive into creating better products by creating more space to be human.
Theresa Stewart is a Designer and Cultural Consultant who has been crafting meaningful experience in a range of industries, including consumer electronics, retail, and healthcare. In addition to design, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has been a fierce advocate for creating spaces for designers of color in the industry. The focus of her company, colored, is to help design organizations create more inclusive environments for black and brown designers by identify gaps in their inclusion efforts and creating solutions, including policy, recruitment, and retention strategies. Additionally, she serves as the Design Ethics Chair for AIGA Chicago, a new position created based on her recommendation.
From dark patterns and data breaches to social media hatemongering and live-streamed terror, the digital experiences and interactions we help create as designers are increasingly hijacked and used in wicked ways we never intended—or could even imagine. But as designers, are we really absolved from responsibility? Are we truly innocent in these outcomes?Based on her work at the intersection of design and social good, Theresa Stewart will present evidence from today’s headlines (and history) as a case for establishing a new design dogma and greater demand for self-reflection, resolve and responsibility by designers.