The Ethical Issues of A/B testing in the Tech World

In recent years, ethics in usability research has increasingly become a concern among users. Large corporations track, monitor, and manipulate interfaces to evoke an intended reaction from a user. An example of this would be with A/B testing, which is a standard UX research method that can often yield some ethical issues.

A/B testing is a method in which different variations of a webpage or app exist and are shown to different users with the purpose of evaluating which one will perform better (Optipedia).… Continue Reading »

Ethics in Usability Research: Invasive Tracking

Shadowing, monitoring, and recording of users has become increasingly sophisticated. As these services become more robust, providing increasingly granular and specific information, they can raise the risk level for users. They tout many advantages for researchers but their activities are often non-consensual with respect to users. The user is unaware of their depth or just how much they are divulging while simply browsing.… Continue Reading »

Is Accessibility not equal to Usability?

There are ranges of evaluation methods that assist developers or designers to create usable and pleasant electronic products, services, or environments for the target audience, including older and disabled people. However, to build a product, service or environment for older and disabled people, the criteria of evaluation may be different because they may have specific needs and require different assistance.Continue Reading »

Visual Lies: Usability in Deceptive Data Visualizations

Designers can utilize usability principles to create products that may greatly enhance our everyday lives. From smart phone apps to non-Norman Doors, the application of usability principles has given us wonderful tools, games, and digital interfaces. But what about the dark, deceptive uses of these principles?

In a previous post, I explored ways in which online notices for terms and conditions are often designed in ways to be deceptive to internet users (that post can be found by clicking here).… Continue Reading »

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The UX of the Smart Car

Remember the television show of the 80s called Knight Rider? If yes, I’m sure you are picturing the uber-cool black colored Pontiac Firebird with the blinking red lights. The show was a hit, mostly thanks to the futuristic feature-packed beast of a car that assisted its undercover-cop owner in solving crimes. The car could self-drive, follow voice commands, make decisions and so much more.… Continue Reading »

As Without, So Within: UX in Library Design

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In today’s digital age, a lot of the focus in the field of User Experience (UX) is on human computer interaction; how users interface with digital tools such as websites, apps, devices, etc. However, UX is not limited to the digital side, and often times the physical environment needs to be considered as well. In 2015, The Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) buried themselves deep into UX projects that paid special focus on the physical aspects of their libraries and how to make improvements for their patrons.… Continue Reading »