The benefits to collecting metrics while user testing, even with a few users

A hand holding a bunched up tape measure together. The 14 Foot marker is visible in the foreground, with several bunches of previous measurements behind it.

Our team almost had to consider throwing out a portion of our quantitative user test because some of our users canceled on us.

We needed to look at Time-on-Task to answer one of our research questions. This meant we needed to have enough users to provide statistically significant comparisons.


How tagging your data results in an organized and insightful dataset

A zoom-in of a black dog’s collar, which has a number of identifiers attached to the collar to identify him.

Learning to use metadata has made my research analysis process much more organized, insightful, and easier to do. It’s a small extra step you can do during user testing that can impact organizing and categorizing your research spreadsheets. …

How to validate your value proposition with your users

Several people sitting at a coffee shop. One guy in the center is gesturing with his hand, perhaps as a facilitator. The two people on the left are taking notes through journals or computers, and the woman on the right may be explaining something as a participant.

One of the most important lessons I learned about user research was rejection by an experienced IBM job interviewer.

He asked me a simple question: “How would you go about doing user research in a hospital setting if they rejected your plan for user testing?” …

Or: How to best use your time if your project isn’t being funded

4 photographs that are stuck in photo frames that capture the sunset and different memories. Hand written notes and annotations about the process are along the frame outside of the picture.

Right now is when many UX practitioners, especially those in academia or government, are feeling lost.

The next fiscal year is around the corner, and sometimes that comes with the news that your project won’t be funded for the following year.

Sometimes it’s sudden; sometimes, you have weeks to process…

The problems that arise from most people not understanding statistics

A person gesturing with his hands sitting as part of a conference table. A macbook is on the table as well as a paper notebook open and a phone. Other laptops and things are on the table, and other people at the table are listening to the person gesturing.

You might be mistakenly talking about your user research findings like it’s a quantitative study, and you may not even realize it.

It’s not a mistake that you’re making out of malice, and it’s not even entirely your fault. …

How to signal that there’s more to the data than you can show

The same graph as before regarding the SUS question averages across all participants. However, there’s now an additional column that says “Team Decisions needed” between the question label (Q1, Q2, etc.) and the bars. There are two red dots there, suggesting that Q4 and Q10 require some sort of team decision. This suggests further exploration (or explanation) of the data is needed.

There’s an elegant solution to a visualization question I’ve had for a while, and it looks like a little red dot. Sometimes, due to space constraints, you might not show the entire story behind the data. This is when you consider using progressive disclosure through filtering actions.

Last week, I…

When is it worth spending time and effort on a complex visualization?

A businessman holding a tablet pen to a tablet and clicking on analytics like bar and line charts.

I probably formed a bias against interactive visualizations because I worked on a tough one when I started. One of my first projects as a Healthcare UX Designer was to re-design a dashboard. …

The alternative to bar charts that works well with complex data

A spoon filled with dots on in the foreground with a pink background

Bar charts are used for nearly every situation, which means sometimes you’re struck by monstrosities like this:

How to visualize your observations during testing for easy summary, tracking, and prioritization

A pair of hands holding a drone controller. The top screen shows a number of tracking details, wireless connectivity, and other metrics. The bottom shows a video feed of what’s happening in real-time with additional feedback and metrics.

Few things are more depressing as a designer than creating something that people will not read or use. This is why, after a long day of user testing and debriefing, it can be a little disheartening to jump into compiling your usability findings.

Part of the reason for this is…

Understanding the difference between 3 types of notetakers

A paper template with post-it notes stuck to it. There are also colored markers and a box of Post-its right next to it, along with other sheets of paper.

I had a rude awakening the first time I moderated a UX debrief.

I had been a notetaker several times for user interviews, and each debrief afterward had run smoothly. But my first moderated debrief resulted in one person dominating the conversation and running out of time to talk about…

Kai Wong

6xTop writer in UX Design. UX, Data Viz and Data Science. Author of Persuading with Data: Substack:

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