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How To: User Research

Here are resources that provide tips and guidance, especially for those working on technical projects with a privacy component

Professional Knowledge and IoT

This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES ‘17) showcased numerous internet of things (IoT) devices but was found wanting when it came to security concerns. In his UX of IoT report from CES, Scott Jenson assesses that “companies really, really, REALLY want to make home automation systems,” but how can we... (Read more)

Safeguarding Research Participants With A Bill Of Rights

In this installment of our series on resources for field research, we discuss the participant's bill of rights. Additional resources include screeners and model releases for photography.Why Consent MattersField research such as interviews and observations are an important part of Human-Centered Design. As important as learning about first-person, lived experiences... (Read more)

Model Release: Respectfully Sharing Stories

This post is part of a series explaining our publicly available resources for user research. The previous installment covered how to write screeners to recruit participants. This week, we discuss how to get model releases to share photos from user studies.One approach among manyAt Simply Secure, we strive to balance... (Read more)

Selecting Research Participants for Privacy and Beyond

A screener is a questionnaire that helps researchers recruit the most appropriate participants for their user study research.Here is an example we used for our mobile messaging study in NYC. Blue Ridge Labs handled the recruiting. Most of this screener's questions are a standard part of how they work with... (Read more)

When User News Is Bad News: Tactical Advice On User Feedback

When you're putting your heart and soul into designing, building, or improving a piece of software, tuning in to feedback from users can sometimes get you down.Imagine waking up one morning and finding your project is being mentioned on Twitter in a slew of messages like these:Thanks Snapchat. Your app... (Read more)

Be a self-starter: UX educational resources

Are you part of the technical team? This list of resources will help you apply a design perspective to your development work.

Users are people too: our talk at Shmoocon

Last week Gus and I gave a talk at Shmoocon in DC. The focus was on helping technologists who don't have experience in human-centered design processes conduct basic research to improve their existing open-source tools. We covered four basic steps that we believe even small or volunteer teams can take:... (Read more)

Straight Talk: New Yorkers on Privacy

Our research on New Yorkers’ use of mobile messaging offers actionable insights into how to design secure communication tools for a mass audience.

Victims of Success

Rather than view feature requests as a set of highly-divergent signals, it can help to try and group requests based on the underlying need that they speak to.

Usability and Security: Not Binary Properties

People who think about computer security for a living sometimescringe when they read about the subject in the popular press.Security is a complex and nuanced topic, and it’s easy to makeassertions that don’t hold up to careful scrutiny. One basic-but-unintuitive principle is that security is not abinary property: in the... (Read more)