The Future of Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are the new kid on the block. The inception of the iPhone has given birth to a whole new market for applications that are relatively cheap and easy…

Variations in Gathering User Data

I had the great pleasure of witnessing two of my fellow researchers describe their research processes at last Tuesday's session of BayCHI. These researchers were Kate Rutter of Adaptive Path…

Insider View: Patients and Doctors

We are happy to bring you the first of a series of posts provided by people working within a unique field. These “Insider Views” are intended to provide an on-the-ground…

World’s Largest Laptop

I saw this huge laptop in SF last week and it got me thinking. We are always trying to build smaller devices, what about larger devices? Read More

Designing with People in Mind

I was out for walk during lunch in downtown SJ and I was happy to see families enjoying the water fountain area setup for their enjoyment on these hot afternoons.…

The Time and Place for Focus Groups

Focus groups have traditionally been given a bit of a bad rap, and deservedly so. Starting off as a form of market research, focus groups have been used extensively to…

Designing for Prevention

I was in San Francisco yesterday and I noticed some spike railing on a street level window sill.At first, I thought it was installed to prevent birds from landing on…

Safeway’s New Brand “The Market”

Safeway is tackling the urban grocery market with their new brand "The Market." With fresh produce, a broad wine selection, a butcher shop and all the other accoutrements one would…

Designing with Community in Mind

A few days ago Foster City (located in Silicon Valley) opened its new synthetic soccer field after six months of hard work. It's one of the most beautiful soccer fields…

Research Is Communication

When people ask us what we do for a living, it can be difficult to explain if they aren’t familiar with the user-centered design process. As user researchers, we’ve come…

The Do’s and Don’ts of Usability Testing

Usability testing is one of the least glamorous, but most important aspects of user experience research. Over the years, it has also been one of the forms of user research…

Dealing with Risky and Safe Assumptions

This article was first published on uxmatters.com One of the most important aspects of product development is the process of predicting the behavior of a product’s intended users. I’ve participated…

Navigation Usability Study – A Success Story

In the beginning of 2010, Metric Lab conducted a study on a new navigation feature for Microsoft’s Bing™ for mobile app. The study sought to understand how people interact with…

Creative Ways to Use Unmoderated User Research

Over the past year or two, unmoderated usability testing has become a popular option to help guide product design. It is especially popular for Web sites, providing startups the opportunity to…

Usability for Mobile Devices

The mobile space is the new Wild West of technology. Much like the Web during the 1990s, mobile is the new domain at the forefront of innovation. Users are discovering…

Inspiration Beyond the Lab

Over the last ten years, both of us have read countless articles about innovation, entrepreneurship, and socially responsible ventures that change the world. Read More

Barriers to Adoption and How to Uncover Them

Adoption is key to the success of products and services. When clients come to us to evaluate a concept, prototype, or completed product, the evaluation really boils down to one…

Getting the Most Out of the Freemium Model

Freemium business models seem to be gaining in popularity and rapidly becoming a dominant factor in the success of Web startups. Massively successful social-gaming companies like Zynga and Playdom Read…

The Future of User Interaction

We think it’s appropriate to kick off the new year with an examination of what the future holds for user experience and product development. Read More

The Dangers of Design by User

In last month’s column, we talked about ways to include users in the design process by employing Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs). While it is always advisable to understand the user perspective,…

How Zelda Paved the Way for Zynga

Many of us remember playing Atari and Nintendo games growing up. If you asked any thirty-something about what it was like to grow up as the video-game industry evolved, you…

This Is Not Just a Test—It’s Primetime

When engaging in any form of product usability test, there are certain very important guidelines to keep in mind. One guideline that user researchers commonly overlook is testing with a…

The Myth of the One-Way Mirror

Since the early 1970s, professions such as user experience, market research, advertising, and law enforcement have been using rooms that have one-way mirrors—like the one shown in Figure 1—to enable…

Do’s and Don’ts for Focus Groups

Focus groups have gotten a bad rap over the years as UX research has shifted away from this very traditional method of market research. Read More

The Challenge of Targeting Late Adopters

We’ve met with several startups recently that are targeting market segments in which there is a lot of room for growth. Some of these are representative of segments that are…

Research Drives Innovation

Apple has attained universal recognition as one of the most innovative companies in the technology industry. The products that they have introduced, from the Mac to iPhone to Apple TV,…