Karl Smith has over twenty years experience in user centred design based on academic studies in design and computing and experience of product design, process design, information architecture, usability and user experience. He has worked in creative agencies, consultancies and client side across most major sectors including Public, Tourism, FMCG, Defence, Education, Energy, Publishing, Retail and in recent years he has focused on Banking, Financial services and Wealth Management. Recent clients include Tesco Bank, RBS, Deutsche Bank, GE Money, Skandia and the Bank of Moscow working on diverse project streams including on boarding, self servicing, security, trading and research systems, back office risk and finance systems, executive and regulatory systems delivered in software, application and responsive web formats.
He is an active member of many communities of practice including the, ACM, UPA, Scrum Alliance, PMI and has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence and significant contribution to the fields of UCD and User Experience with a Fellowship.
The UX point of view is we have no point of view, that’s the point of UX (in fact it’s been created that way) any person who can offer a UX point of view (without actual user and business perspective) is not a UX practitioner.
I get really concerned when I'm asked for my opinion by people who say they understand user experience, my opinion is of no importance in regard of delivering my clients a system designed to engaged with their target audience. The target audiences and individual users expectations, experience, desires, tasks, objectives, capabilities are of the utmost importance, but to assume I know what they are, is just dumb.
Below is a simple guide to find out if you have users involved in your project.
- A person who is part (employed or service team) of a contracted consultancy.
- A person who is part (employed or service team) of a client company project team.
- A person who does not represent the primary targeted audience (based upon user screening protocols).
- A person who does not provide an independent non partisan (providing both positive and negative experiences) view.
If your user falls into any one of these groups of people they are not a user and your not doing user experience.
There are a number of other pointers to work out if your results have been skewed to fit a perspective or project politic.
'Everyone said the same thing about their experience'
This is statistically impossible, they could say a similar thing, the exact same thing is a fix to match a person or a perspective.
'We got very positive feedback'
This is impossible, feedback by it's very nature is both positive and negative, both are critical to get a balanced view.
'We passed usability testing at 95%'
This is impossible, usability testing is not a pass or a fail. Usability testing is designed to find faults and is conducted throughout the project not just at the end. If there was a success factor for usability testing it would be to find lots of faults in time for them to be corrected.
Watch out for these and others as you gain experience.
Unfortunately many people are missing the point of users.
As practitioners we are not interested in their opinion we are interested in their experiences, filtered through testing scenarios and biographical behavioural templates.
We don’t do market research (opinions) we conduct user research for pre-referenced psychological design (alignment).