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UX Challenges based in the real world (uxtools.co)
102 points by jrdnbwmn 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

Somewhat unrelated: Why are so many people are using Zoom for user testing? WTF?! What is the point of things like live collaboration if people are just going to screen share.

Are people having problems with sharing their projects with clients or something?


More on topic/ (original comment):

I'll say something since one of the worst things is putting a ton of work into something and getting crickets.

There's clearly a lot of effort put into this. Really like things like clearly outlining a scenario, and external links. Not enough people remember that the web is supposed to be interconnected and build on other resources. I especially like that it's not just one site, but a variety of sources like videos as well as articles.

But I don't understand why this is presented as a series of "challenges". It works much better as a reference that I can use to stay up-to-date with the industry. I am not actually going to sit down and do "exercises" to make mock survey questions. That kind of stuff is useless without context of a real job with real parameters, real requirements, real people you can ask to clarify their goals.

The website as a whole is an excellent resource for ui/ux. Definitely bookmarking. And I hope you continue to push out good content like this because it'll make a central authority in a pretty big field.

Also, I am really curious what the other countries were in your survey. Because that was the largest group of people. Is it mostly from asia or something?

Why is screen sharing a problem? All you want is to observe the user using your application or web site while trying to achieve a task. When there are critical incidents, you want to notice that. So it's important to see the screen and to record it. Screen sharing achieves that.

Before covid you could sit yourself next to the user. Now that's impossible, so we use remote tools and screen share. Either the user using the app on his device. Or, I think you describe the scenario where the user controls the testers device via shared controls while screen sharing? That's clever, that way you can have a testing environment set up without the user having to download anything but the screen sharing software.

What's your concern there?

Hey Jordan here, one of the creators. Thanks for the feedback and questions!

On using Zoom for user testing, I think that's down to having to do remote research. I actually just did some tests over Zoom last week: had a call, had the user run through certain tasks while they screen shared, and chatted with them. It worked decently well for not being able to be there in person with them.

Totally agree that the web should be an interconnected place that builds off of itself!

These can definitely be used as a reference, but our aim is to also make them useful (for mostly younger designers) as a way to practice skills/methods. Project-based learning is very effective and this gives people a way to do that. It's not as good as learning on a real job with real data/requirements/etc, but the idea is that you can at least get some exposure to practicing some crucial skills.

There are LOTS of other countries represented in the survey, I'd suggest downloading the raw data to check it out (it's free).

> Also, I am really curious what the other countries were in your survey. Because that was the largest group of people. Is it mostly from asia or something?

Good question—it's low numbers spread across like 100+ countries that we grouped into an "Other" category (but maybe that's not clear). You can see those countries in the raw data here: https://gumroad.com/l/2020-design-tools-survey

One of the makers here. Front page with no comments? Come say hi :)

I wish this had existed long before now to help the designers I’ve mentored who are trying to grow their portfolio. While case studies are the primary format for UX portfolios, there’s nothing stopping someone from showcasing other skills with engaging exercises like these.

Maybe you’re at a job where you’re can’t frequently be in touch with customers. Maybe you’re stuck in a role but trying to make the switch the UX. Maybe you’re studying UX but would like to gain a competitive edge. Maybe you’re a team lead trying to help your team learn new skills. UX Challenges are an invaluable tool in any of these situations.

Jordan and I put a ton of time into this—hope you find it valuable!

Really helpful projects! Thank you for sharing. The set of skills you've highlighted resonate with my UX experience. I could see this becoming part of a course in the school system where I do UX/UI work and software development.

I'm getting annoying flashes on the website every time I switch to a new page with the error message

> "Layout was forced before the page was fully loaded. If stylesheets are not yet loaded this may cause a flash of unstyled content. content.js:84:32"

Seems like a weird thing to happen on a static website. Happens on Firefox 87.0, not on Chrome.

Asking from an engineer perspective, how do we define meaningful metrics for designers?

This seems like an important question but I admit I'm not sure what you mean—are you asking how to measure a designer's performance?

Thank you for the reply. Ya I'm relating to performance. When setting goals to designers, I find it difficult to measure their performance. I am interested in measuring, for example, design consistency, iteration throughput, collaboration efficiency with engineer, adoption, amongst others. Basically I want the process be more objective and rely less on intuition. Would love to learn how others do it

The sorting arrows for ascending/descending on the table are backwards...

Unless you want to be in the minority (aka wrong in the UX world).




Very relevant and well laid out! Ideally, in-person, human interaction is best for user testing although would be awesome to see these projects become immediately accessible for UX-interested users to practice with, via e.g. an artificial intelligence bot set up to respond to UX-related questions. Or even better, users get paired up with another UX-interested site visitor over video chat and they are each given a different, e.g., card sorting scenario to take the other person through.

Looks like a great resource!

Would love to subscribe to the newsletter but I get redirected to app.convertkit...... which asks me to make an account which shouldn't be necessary for a newsletter?

That's strange... I don't get that when I test it out (and this is the first we've heard of it). Could you email team@uxtools.co with more info?

Will do!

Edit: It seems like uBlockOrigin prevented the subscription flow from working.

There is (at least ;) ) one really good challenge listed: The usability test. First, it's surprisingly fun. And second you usually get great results. A while back I studied HCI and did a usability test of a web project of mine. Testing it with an user test was just a small part of the project, but it was a great practice. I learned that a lot of the things I considered to be easy weren't easy, and the other way around, stuff I thought complicated actually worked fine. All while already being aware of a lot of design principles, usability knowledge and heuristics. But really testing it still uncovered a lot.

Example: That site used browserid as a login. Back when I tested that initially it was completely easy. But in the meantime it had become persona, and each and every of my testers failed to log in with their email address because they did not get directed towards my site, but towards the persona account management.

Definitely fun and worth the time investment!

The challenge site for that is listing conflicting views on how to do a usability test though. That's not surprising, because it's such a broad field with many conflicting views. And it shouldn't be surprising that an UX site is not that clear about usability (it's not close to the same thing after all). But maybe it could be a bit clearer? The site should convey:

1. The target of an usability test is to collect critical incidents, blockers that occur while the user is using an app/site.

2. For those to occur the user has to have a task to finish. Usability is about effectiveness and efficiency in a given context while achieving a given task. So the user has to have a clear task. Don't let him just browse.

3. Contrary to what some of the linked resources claim, do not ask questions like "what would you prefer." That's participiatory design or part of user requirement research. Do that in the design phase, however yours looks like, not while evaluating usability. Instead, observe the critical incidents, ask what he thinks when he is blocked/confused, and guide him through subtasks if he can't continue on its own. All while keeping notes on what happens.

The end result of an usability test is a list of criticial incidents: The description of what went wrong ("The user is confused; He wants to do X, but the button is not recognised as a button, making the task X impossible"), which dialog principle was not followed, and optionally a suggestion on how to fix the problem ("do not use flat design for buttons").

Would be great if the site would link to exactly one resource that correctly describes this. The nielsen article might be the best option there, but it's a bit broad and theoretical.

Great notes on usability testing. Also one my favorite research methods (second to just open interviews, I love broad open discussions).

We're always open to new resources if you have any to recommend (but we read through a lot and picked a few we thought were most useful). We'll take a look at some of the issues you mentioned.

Hi :D

Hey there!

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