NN/g UX Podcast
NN/g UX Podcast
About NN/g UX Podcast
The Nielsen Norman Group (NNg) UX Podcast is a podcast on user experience research, design, strategy, and professions, hosted by Senior User Experience Specialist Therese Fessenden. Join us every month as she interviews industry experts, covering common questions, hot takes on pressing UX topics, and tips for building truly great user experiences. For free UX resources, references, and information on UX Certification opportunities, go to: www.nngroup.com
The UX industry has recently seen what some call "unprecedented" shifts with layoffs and generative artificial intelligence rapidly changing how UX work is done. However, there have been similarly turbulent periods in tech, decades before. Dr. Jakob Nielsen reflects on the changes that have taken place over the near 25 years Nielsen Norman Group has been around, and discusses whether or not generative AI is just a phase or truly the next chapter of UX work. Learn more about Dr. Jakob Nielsen Past keynote speeches by Dr. Jakob Nielsen Topics Covered: 1:45 - Dr. Jakob Nielsen's "origin story" 3:46 - What UX was like during the "dot-com boom" 6:30 - How the UX profession has changed since the "dot-com boom" 8:21 - Generative AI - a phase or the next chapter of UX work? 13:26 - How AI will shift the labor of UX away from pixel-pushing and toward orchestration/editorializing 16:58 - The future of UX: what keeps Dr. Jakob Nielsen inspired 19:34 - Balancing the pressure to build new features vs. fixing existing infrastructures (UX debt) 23:00 - Foundational UX ideologies: who is responsible for a good experience; matching how people actually behave 25:17 - Advice for people new to UX 27:40 - Advice for experienced UX professionals in preparing for a future with AI
With the recent surge in tech layoffs, a downsizing of UX labor means UX research is harder to do, meaning: research needs to be prioritized in really intentional ways. Discount inspection methods like expert reviews and heuristic evaluations can help identify high-priority design issues that need further research and design effort. In this episode, Evan Sunwall offers some insight into how to facilitate and communicate the results of these inspection methods. Connect with Evan Sunwall on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/esunwall/ Evan's Recommended Further Reading on NN/g: Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics (article) The classic heuristics for effective interaction design used by many UX professionals to evaluate digital experiences. Heuristic Evaluation of User Interface (video) How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation (article) How to Conduct an Expert Review (article) Other Books: Don't Make Me Think (book) - a very short and easy-to-read primer on usability and its role in creating successful products.
The term artificial intelligence, AI, is having a bit of a boom, with the explosion in popularity of tools like ChatGPT, Lensa, DALL•E 2, and many others. The praises of AI have been equally met with skepticism and criticism, with cautionary tales about AI information quality, plagiarism, and other risks. Susan Farrell, the Principal UX Researcher at mmhmm, shares a bit about her experiences in researching chatbots and AI driven tools, and defines what AI is, what it isn’t, and what teams should consider when implementing AI systems. Susan Farrell's social media: LinkedIn; Mastodon What Susan is working on: mmhmm.app NN/g courses referenced in this episode: Design Tradeoffs & UX Decision Making (full-day and 2-day course) Emerging Patterns in Interface Design (full-day and 2-day course) Recommended Reading to deep dive into artificial intelligence & machine learning: Age of Invisible Machines - Robb Wilson The Promise and Terror of Artificial Intelligence - Os Keyes Becoming a chatbot: my life as a real estate AI’s human backup The Invisible Workforce that Makes AI Possible For Humans Learning Machine Learning What are large language models (LLMs), why have they become controversial? On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? Interested in working for us? Check out our job posting and apply by Jan. 30, 2023.
Building exceptional experiences usable by all is no easy feat. Focusing on what can be influenced and accepting what cannot be changed are two critical steps to crafting better products... and careers. We spoke with Ryan Hudson-Peralta, a principal experience designer at Rocket Homes, who often introduces himself as a "father, husband, international speaker, and designer... who just happens to be born without hands." Ryan shares a bit about his journey into the UX field, and how his mindset of curiosity and positivity allows him to create meaningful experiences with his designs and with his career. Learn more about Ryan Hudson-Peralta: lookmomnohands.com If you would like to learn about UX design, we have thousands of articles and videos at our website www.nngroup.com. Full-Day Design Courses (also available in 2 half-day formats) UX Basic Training Web Page UX Design Application Design Mobile User Experience Designing Complex Apps for Specialized Domains
How has the UX field changed over the years? What does the future of UX work look like if scope is wildly expanding? Will we be automated out of a job? What should teams do to ensure they’re not misinterpreting data? Kenya Oduor shares her thoughts on these questions and more, offering suggestions for UX professionals wishing to set themselves up for success in a future of coexistence with artificial intelligence systems and automation. (Surprisingly, these tips are quite helpful for planning and analyzing quantitative user research as well.) Learn more about Kenya Oduor, Ph.D. and Lean Geeks: Bio, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, LeanGeeks.net Related NN/g Articles & Videos: The Relationship Between Artificial Intelligence and User Experience (4 min video) AI & Machine Learning Will Change UX Research & Design (11 min video) 10 Usability Heuristics in Interface Design (article) Visibility of System Status (Usability Heuristic #1) (article) Hierarchy of Trust: The 5 Experiential Levels of Commitment (article) Related NN/g Course: Emerging Patterns in Interface Design (UXC course - full day or 2 half-days)
Visual design takes a lot more work than just making things look pretty, and is a fundamental part of many user's experiences. Our digital design lead, Kelley Gordon, shares some practical tips for both designers and "non-designers" alike to strengthen visual designs and improve working relationships. Read more about Kelley Gordon here Follow us on Instagram @nngux Full-day courses and 1-Hour Talks referenced in this episode: Design Critiques: What, How, and When (1-Hour Talk) Web Page UX Design (UXC Course) Visual Design Fundamentals (UXC Course)
What does it take to be successful in the field of user experience? There isn't a single, clear-cut answer, but there are a number of different skills, traits, and perspectives that foster better workplace relationships and strengthen creative problem-solving. Anna Kaley and other fellow NN/g UX Specialists offer their insights on the commonalities that highly effective UX professionals seem to share, and how they can enable more human-centered outcomes. In this episode... Anna Kaley proposes "6 C's" list of characteristics that enable UX practitioners to succeed in the workplace. Maria Rosala shares some findings from our UX careers research, which prove have some timeless advice, despite frequent changes in the industry. Tanner Kohler highlights the importance of human-centered research versus feature-focused research in creating human-centered designs. Rachel Krause offers recommendations on how to evolve from being a designer in isolation into a designer with influence. Kim Salazar discusses the necessity to see ambiguity not as something to be feared, but as something to be explored. Finally, a featured clip from UX Certified community member, Katherine Joyce which celebrates habits and mindsets to which we all can aspire.
Have you thought about your career lately? Chances are, you have - given the buzz around the record high voluntary resignation rates during this “Great Resignation.” In this episode, Sarah Doody, UX Researcher, Experience Designer, and Founder of the Career Strategy Lab, shares her thoughts on how UX professionals can design their ideal careers, whether they’re in the market for a new role or not. Read more about Sarah Doody: Website (sarahdoody.com) Twitter (@sarahdoody) LinkedIn (/in/sarahdoody) Instagram (@sarahdoodyux) NN/g Resources on UX Careers: Jakob Nielsen: How to Start A New Career in UX (2-min video) UX Careers (free 90-page report) Growing in your UX Career: A Study Guide (article) Portfolios for UX Researchers (article) Interested in working with us? Apply to this posting by April 4th
UX professionals often find themselves saddled with the burden of convincing others to value UX work. David Glazier, Sr. Staff UX Lead of Digital Experience at Illumina tells his story about how effective communication helped him get buy-in with stakeholders and key decision-makers. Read more about David Glazier on LinkedIn Courses & Talks mentioned in this episode: Storytelling to Present UX Work (live, full-day UX Certification course) VR & User Research (1-hour recorded talk by David Glazier) Presenting to Stakeholders (1-hour recorded talk, related More articles, videos, and upcoming training can be found at www.nngroup.com
There is no question that user research has changed over the last two years, but how significant are those changes? The answer is complex, but User Interviews' Erin May (VP Growth & Marketing) and JH Forster (VP Product) demystify these trends and share their observations and hopes for the years to come. Check out the Awkward Silences podcast by User Interviews Erin May: Twitter (@erinhmay), LinkedIn John-Henry (JH) Forster: Twitter (@jhforster), LinkedIn User Interviews: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Related NN/g Articles & Videos: Recruiting and Screening Candidate for User Research Studies (article) Qualitative Research Study Guide (article) Quantitative Research Study Guide (article) Related 1-Hour Talks: Remote Research Trends (1-Hour Talk) How Inclusive Design Expands Business Value (1-Hour Talk) Upcoming Training Events: Virtual UX Conference January 8-21 (2 half-day format) Qualitative Research Series April 4-8 (5-day training event) User Interviews Links: The State of User Research 2021 Report User Research Field Guides Recruit 3 research participants for free on UserInterviews.com
As design teams mature in size and scope, the importance of intentionally designing and systematizing processes, approaches, and tools becomes increasingly difficult to ignore. Kate Kaplan shares insights from her research studying design teams and offers tips for those seeking to initiate and lead DesignOps efforts as a way to make design more impactful at their organizations. Learn more about Kate Kaplan on LinkedIn and nngroup.com NN/g Resources Mentioned: DesignOps 101 (free article) DesignOps Maturity (free article) 6 Levels of UX Maturity (free article) UX Maturity Stage 3: Emergent (free article) DesignOps: DesignOps: Scaling UX Design and User Research (UXC course) Other Links Mentioned: Rosenfeld Media’s DesignOps Summit: https://rosenfeldmedia.com/designopssummit2021/ A note on companies to follow, from Kate: "There are so many teams at different organizations publicly sharing and publishing their DesignOps journeys and experiments, and I think that willingness to share is amazing and points to the greater community being built around DesignOps. Some that come top of mind to follow are Salesforce, Cisco, IBM, AirBnB, Pinterest, Athena Health, Atlassian. Most of these companies have internal design blogs or medium channels where they share their approaches."
A two-part podcast episode discussing the implications of decentralized computing and mixed reality on the future of UX work. Geoff's Website: geoffrobertson.me 1-Hour Talks discussed in the episode: Blockchain 101 Blockchain & UX Related courses: Emerging Patterns in Interface Design (UX Certification eligible course) Upcoming online events: Intranet and Employee Experience Symposium: Nov 9-10 Qualitative Research Series (5-Days): Nov 15-19
Product visions can align a team and inspire a better future state. When visions stem from real user needs, the ideas that follow have the greatest potential for success. NN/g UX Specialist Anna Kaley discusses keeping users at the center of product development, and shares insights from next weeks' UX Vision and Strategy Series, presented alongside Chief Designer, Sarah Gibbons. Read more about Anna Kaley (NN/g bio) Referenced courses and training series: UX Vision and Strategy Series (Oct 18-22, 2021) with Anna Kaley and Sarah Gibbons Product and UX: Building Partnerships for Better Outcomes Being a UX Leader: Essential Skills for Any UX Practitioner Lean UX and Agile Related (free) videos & articles: UX Vision (3-min video by Anna Kaley) Create an aspirational view of the experience users will have with your product, service, or organization in the future. This isn't fluff, but will guide a unified design strategy. Here are 5 steps to creating a UX vision. UX Roadmaps: Definition and Components (article by Sarah Gibbons)
To kick off Season 2, we're releasing a special edition episode, inspired by a tweet posted by @AllisonGrayce in Feb 2021, where she asks followers, "what's a #ux hill you regularly die on?" Host Therese Fessenden asks both NN/g team members and members of the UXC and UXMC community what issues, topics, and principles they fiercely stand by, and shares their answers. Guests and submissions featured in the episode (in order): Chris Callaghan (UXMC) - UX and Optimisation Director (Manchester, UK) Twitter: @CallaghanDesign Kara Pernice - Sr. VP at Nielsen Norman Group Bio: nngroup.com/people/kara-pernice Mary Formanek (UXMC) - Senior User Experience + Product Lead Engineer (Arizona, US) Mary's Article: "Label Your Icons: No, we can’t read your mind. Please label your icons." Tiktok: @UXwithMary Ben Shih - UX Consultant and Product Designer (Stockholm, Sweden) Portfolio: benshih.design Rachel Krause - UX Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group Bio: nngroup.com/people/rachel-krause/ Anna Kaley - UX Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group Bio: nngroup.com/people/anna-kaley You can find also information about the upcoming UX Vision and Strategy Series with Anna Kaley and Sarah Gibbons here.
One might think user research gets easier when there are more people available to do it; but managing research initiatives at scale can be a difficult task in itself. In this episode, Kara Pernice, Senior VP at NN/g shares her experience and insights about managing UX research operations. Kara Pernice's Articles and Videos (NN/g bio) NN/g courses and articles referenced in this episode: ResearchOps (UX certification course) ResearchOps (article) Research Repositories for Tracking UX Research and Growing Your ResearchOps (article) Design Systems 101 (article) DesignOps (UX certification course) Research repository tools mentioned: Dovetail Consider.ly Airtable Other ResearchOps pioneers and communities: Kate Towsey's Work (articles on Medium) Leveling up your Ops and Research — a strategic look at scaling research and Ops (by Brigette Metzler) ResearchOps Community (and Slack channel) ...and if you were curious what research papers launched Kara into her UX career, here are two of them: Nielsen, J. (1990). Big paybacks from 'discount' usability engineering. IEEE Software 7, 3 (May), 107-108. Nielsen, J. (1992). Finding usability problems through heuristic evaluation. Proc. ACM CHI'92 (Monterey, CA, 3-7 May), 373-380.
Advocating for UX work is hard. It's even harder when you're the only UX professional on your team. That said, there is still hope for one-person UX teams, and Garrett Goldfield shares his recommendations on how to make the most out of limited time and resources, and how to lead the charge in shifting corporate culture toward a more human-centered future. Read more about Garrett Goldfield (NN/g bio) Resources & courses cited in this episode: Episode 1. What is UX, anyway? (feat. Dr. Jakob Nielsen, the usability guru) (previous NN/g UX Podcast episode) The One-Person UX Team (UX Certification course) The Human Mind and Usability (UX Certification course)
To celebrate our first podcast milestone, we flipped the script. NN/g UX Specialist Rachel Krause guest-hosts this episode, and interviews host Therese Fessenden about the concept of "delight" in user experience: what it is, why the pursuit of delight can often be a short-sighted and misunderstood endeavor, and how a more holistic approach to interpreting and anticipating user needs can more reliably lead to an experience that delights beyond a single interaction. Read more about the hosts: Therese Fessenden's Articles & Videos (NN/g bio) Rachel Krause's Articles & Videos (NN/g bio) Free resources cited in this episode: A Theory of User Delight: Why Usability Is the Foundation for Delightful Experiences (free article) Design for Emotion (by Daniel Ruston, UX Lead at Google Design) Principles of Emotional Design (Intuit case study by Garron Engstrom) How Delightful! 4 Principles for Designing Experience-Centric Products (Autodesk MLP case study by Maria Giudice) Research: Perspective-Taking Doesn’t Help You Understand What Others Want (HBR article by Tal Eyal, Mary Steffel, Nicholas Epley) Harvard Psychiatrist Identifies 7 Skills to Help You Get Along With Anybody (Inc. article by Carmine Gallo about Helen Riess' work) Other resources cited in this episode: Emerging Patterns in Interface Design (UX Certification course) Persuasive and Emotional Design (UX Certification course) DesignOps: Scaling UX Design and User Research (UX Certification course) Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter (book)
Does having more experience in the UX industry enable you to make better design decisions by intuition? Does user research ever become a waste of time if some research already exists in academic papers? The answer, it seems, is not that simple. In this episode, UX Specialists Alita Joyce and Therese Fessenden discuss why, after all these years doing independent user research, you should still test your interfaces and research with your own customers. Read more: Alita Joyce's Articles & Videos (NN/g bio) Free resources cited in this episode: Viral video (by @tired_actor) "The Square Hole" (TikTok video) The False-Consensus Effect (free article) The “False Consensus Effect”: An Egocentric Bias in Social Perception and Attribution Processes (PDF of full study by Ross, Greene, and House) 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design (free article) How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation (free article) 10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Video Games (free article) Don Norman - Changing Role of the Designer Part 2: Community Based Design (4 min video) Adam Grant - The "I’m Not Biased" Bias (Tweet about NBC Sunday Spotlight feature) Other resources cited in this episode: The Human Mind and Usability (UX Certification course) Persuasive and Emotional Design (UX Certification course) Democratizing Innovation by Eric Von Hippel (book) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (book)
What does it take to create a great customer experience? As it turns out: a lot more than just a series of great interactions. Kim Salazar, Sr. UX Specialist, shares her expertise on what omnichannel experiences are, why they matter for CX, and how having a mature CX means fundamentally changing how we view and handle UX work. Resources cited in this episode Ep. 1 - What is UX, anyway? (feat. Dr. Jakob Nielsen, the usability guru) (our inaugural podcast episode) Operationalizing CX: Organizational Strategies for Delivering Superior Omnichannel Experiences (142-page report) CX Transformation (full-day course) Journey Mapping to Understand Customer Needs (full-day course) Kim's Articles & Videos (NN/g bio) Other related articles & videos What is Omnichannel UX? (2-min video) User Experience vs. Customer Experience: What’s The Difference? (free article + 4 min video) Good Customer Experience Demands Organizational Fluidity (free article)
"Keep it simple," is one of many great UX mantras... but how exactly does someone "keep it simple" when working with complex applications? In this episode, Page Laubheimer, Senior UX Specialist with NN/g, shares his expertise in information architecture (IA) and complex app design, recommends a few ideas to "lessen digital misery" on business-to-business (B2B) and enterprise applications, and offers advice for when you have to redesign a legacy application that is part of a user's everyday life. Resources cited in this episode: Designing Complex Apps for Specialized Domains (full-day course) Data Visualizations for Dashboards (4-min video) Dashboards: Making Charts and Graphs Easier to Understand (NN/g article) Why I Now Use “Four-Threshold” Flags On Dashboards (Nick Desbarats' article) Tesler's Law (Wikipedia article) Page's NN/g Articles and Videos (bio page)
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