Welcome to User Insight’s new blog! I am Kevin O’Connor, the president of User Insight, an international user experience research firm headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. I know that there are thousands of blogs out there, so why read this one, right? Give me three minutes to introduce ours to you, and I promise that then you’ll know if it’s a blog that’ll interest you or not. So please, read on!
Ten years ago, few people were familiar with the terms ‘usability’ or ‘user experience.’ My favorite illustration of this is an instance in 2002 when the CEO of a fast growing firm told me, “Usability? We don’t need usability, user experience or best practices! What we need is smarter users!” This company is now out of business and the company that replaced them invests in and values user feedback, for good reason.
Today, usability and user experience (UX) are on the minds of more and more business people and UX topics are gracing the pages of prominent business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Inc. and Fortune. User Insight does user experience research and strategy work with over 300 clients in 25 industries and we’ve seen a myriad of approaches to product development and UX. As a result, we have a unique opportunity to share what we’ve observed with you and open up the opportunity for discussion to the larger community so that we can share information with one another.
For business professionals and product managers, this blog will cover key topics related to incorporating UX into product development and we’ll ask for your input on what drives product decisions and what you do with research. For UXers, this blog will provide insight into the business decision-making process and will also give you the opportunity to share research best practices by providing feedback on the in-house research that we’ll showcase here.
In-house research, you say? Yes. User Insight is investing $500,000 of our own resources in 2011 to conduct an in-house research project that will provide a “behind the scenes” look at our work. The research will be spread out over the course of the year so that it does not impact any current projects. We’re making this investment to heighten awareness about the incorporation of UX into the product development lifecycle and to promote learning within the business and user experience communities.
Together, we will tackle the inevitable business questions that lead to research, explore best practices in conducting research and discuss the business decisions that could be derived from the findings once the deliverables are in hand. We’ll discuss how user experience research can directly impact businesses’ bottom lines, and we’ll do so in a fun, provocative and educational way.
Be sure to check out next week’s post for details on the in-house project and other engaging initiatives we’ve got up our sleeves! Sign-up for updates here!
In short, we’ve designed the User Insight blog to ensure:
- You are not bored when you’re here
- You feel that this blog offers something different from the other blogs in the UX industry
- You are challenged or inspired to respond with your own experiences and insights
- You feel compelled to share this content with others
- You learn something
Come back often, share your thoughts, here and on Twitter @UserInsight and help all of us learn something new!