Tania

User research methods: qualitative vs quantitative, opinion based vs behavioural

One thing the result of the recent Australian election result has shown us is that not all research methods are equal. None of the major opinion polls – Newspoll, Ipsos, Galaxy or Essential polls predicted a coalition win on a two-party preferred basis. People are now questioning what went wrong with the opinion polls as LNP returns to power in what looks like a majority government? Unless a significant number of voters changed their mind on the day (which is unlikely) questions are now being asked why the pre-election polls were so wrong. I have several theories all related to the research methods used and I think there are several lessons that apply to anyone conducting customer research.

Peak Usability is now PeakXD

I am excited to announce Peak Usability has now been renamed PeakXD (short for Peak eXperience Design). Why?

When I started Peak Usability 15 years ago I actually named it UX consulting but no one knew what UX meant (User eXperience for those of you who don’t work in the industry). Back then most people’s understanding of user centred design went as far as ‘usability’. And let’s face it, in 2003 there were a lot of really bad websites offering poor user experiences due largely to usability issues. User experience is so much more than usability and people understand that now.

Collaborative Design in Government – The importance of engaging stakeholders

Anyone working in or for government in the digital space should be aware of the wide range of standards, guidelines and methods such as Australia’s Digital Service Standard, UK’s Digital Service Standard and USA’s usability.gov and Web design standards. These standards and frameworks provide excellent resources for providing customer centric websites and systems. One of the common themes across these standards is the importance of having a multidisciplinary team including product managers, business analysts, user researchers, designers and technical roles. However, little is mentioned in these standards about how these multidisciplinary teams should actually work together. Having worked in or for government and many large organisations over 17 years I have learnt hard way about the importance of engaging stakeholders. In this article, I want to outline some of the methods we typically use to take stakeholders on the journey. This article is relevant for anyone working in large organisations as well as in or for government.

UX lessons from the 2016 Census

The main issues which had a dramatic effect on data quality and the user experience of the 2016 Australian census were largely related to the design of the delivery and distribution process, offline support and technical issues but we can still learn a lot from the #censusfail both in terms of process and UX design.

UX of university websites: User needs

Our university clients are starting to focus on understanding their users and their needs but, there’s still room for improvement. Find out what info current and prospective students want to see on university websites.

Mobile UX Part 2: Sticky headers

Sticky headers are persistent headers or menus that do not move when the user scrolls. There is some research to suggest that sticky menus are quicker for users to navigate a site and that most users prefer this type of menu. As research into the effectiveness of sticky headers on mobile sites is limited, we felt this was worthy of further investigation.

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