#30 On Moderated UX Research as Linguistic Field Elicitation

First, some context. In linguistics, fieldwork is usually used by descriptive linguists to understand and document a language. One of the core techniques of linguistic fieldwork is elicitation. Elicitation is the process by which a researcher extracts knowledge (anything from concrete nouns to grammar to super abstract language) from an informant. There’s a lot of flavors of elicitation. The one most relevant to moderated UX Research is called “Stimulus-Driven Elicitation,” in which a researcher asks questions or assigns tasks in relation to an object or picture. In the case of UX, the stimulus might be an app on a phone, a website on a computer, a series of storyboards, sketches. 

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#29 On Designers Doing Their Own Research

When I first founded the UX practice where I currently work we were too small and new to support a dedicated researcher. So I stood in as the researcher and trained the designers in the basics of usability testing and RITE method. This is pretty common for small teams. As soon as the realities of the business allowed, I shifted this responsibility to a dedicated researcher. 

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Sluice Press – Mortgage Professional America

InMotion Software, a specialized digital research, design, and development agency, has officially launched Sluice, a workflow management platform that leverages blockchain technology to bring greater transparency and security to the residential appraisal industry.
Sluice’s distributed ledger database allows multiple users to work on the same valuation orders, while storing a comprehensive history of changes made during the appraisal timeline. The problem that InMotion was trying to solve was the difficulty in what Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder Brian Howard calls “the last mile of data collection”—the ability to send people out into the field with potentially unreliable internet connections, in order to collect the data and maintain a full custody of the changes that are occurring in that data. Blockchain seemed a natural solution to the problem.

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Sluice Press – Mortgage Bankers Association

InMotion Software, Austin, Texas, a specialized digital research, design, and development agency, launched Sluice, a workflow management platform that leverages blockchain technology to bring transparency and security to the residential appraisal industry.

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Sluice Press – Progress In Lending Association

InMotion Software, a specialized digital research, design, and development agency, has officially launched Sluice, a workflow management platform that leverages blockchain technology to bring greater transparency and security to the residential appraisal industry.

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#28 On Why I Hate Kanban

I use Kanban when I can’t make promises. For example, when I first spun up the design team at Company Y99, the headcount was 100% allocated to client product development and marketing had no resources on its own. But there were unpredictable short spans of downtime, depending on the vagaries of the clients’ opaque internal mechanisms. Kanban was fine for maintaining a prioritized backlog of collateral requests. The only thing I promised was that the top of the pile would be worked on next, whenever that was.

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#27 On Internal Experience Mapping

Any UX Researcher will tell you that there’s a world of difference between what people say they do and what they actually do. Or what they predict they will do and what happens. Usability Testing is often simply the process of discovering the delta between the say and do. One tool we use is experience mapping, where we map out the step by step process of a task. Each step may get a likert-scale (5-point) rating of its difficulty or the test subject’s emotional reaction in order to identify pain points and opportunities for enhancement. 

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#26 On Nuclear Secrets

Secrets are bad for you. There’s a growing body of research about the harmful consequences of keeping secrets. Secrecy is associated with anxiety, depression, fatigue, and decreased motivation and physical health. It’s not the existence of secrets that’s so harmful. It seems to be the act of keeping them. Think of Dostoevsky’s  Raskolnikov or Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. And it’s not all secrets. It’s specifically secrets that are kept solely for the purpose of avoiding the social cost of disclosure. Think trade secret vs. disclosing a personal trauma. 

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