UXLx Masters 2021-My intakes on Day 1: Ux Strategy and Usability Testing

Rita G Silva
4 min readFeb 10, 2021
UXLx Masters Website

Today marks the start of UXLx Masters 2021. This is a brand new type of UXLx conference for which I’m very excited about as this is going to be all about masterclasses while keeping the amazing line of speakers that this conference already got us used to!

The first day is over and I’ve got so much notes to read and think through. Please note that these are my intakes based on what I learned during the masterclasses.

‘Tomorrow’s Architects’ by Peter Morville - Opening Keynote

It was an inspiring talk about emancipating the information architecture and it put a different perspective on how we can use it to change the world. I really enjoyed the emphasis regarding empathy and how we could all show more empathy in different themes, namely regarding gender identification. It gave me great food for thought and I definitely related to his insights on how everything, from a song to a legislation, can provoke a change.
We really “are all tomorrow’s architects”.

‘Ux Strategy For UX Leaders’ by Jared Spool

Jared manages to make us view intricate questions in a whole different way and this was what made me enjoy the most this masterclass!

“We have to fall in love with the problems not the solutions”

Price vs. Quality

Companies need to have competitive advantage from their competitors and we can mainly divide it into two types of categories: Price or quality.

Price
If your company decides to follow the Price path it will have to keep focused in reducing costs in order to have a product with a lower cost, to be able to sell the product just above cost. But you can only reduce a price so far and that makes this path a limited one

Quality
Quality on the other hand, is infinite as you can always add more quality to your product. By choosing the quality path, the company will have a more expensive product but it will compensate with the extra quality, so in the end it will be a more valuable product.

Make a cause for Quality
Jared provided the ultimate point of view to helps us with it:
How can we improve quality infinite times? The answer is: User Experience!

There is always room for improvement in the experience, thus there will always be room for improving the quality of a product.

If this doesn’t work you have the possibility to talk money to them: Show business the cost of poor user experience.
For that you can control and collect data from different places:

  • Increase of Support requests: which features do clients flag the most
  • Lost of Sales: where are sellers losing their customers in the process
  • and more…

Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership is a concept that I enjoyed getting to know. In essence don’t wait for others to come ask for you to help with their issues.

Be proactive and ask others if they need help.

By using your strengths to help others improve their “part” so that all of the product/ company can benefit with a better experience.

Measure quality in Ux

Jared went through 4 different types of metrics and where they can be collected during the process of reaching an Ux outcome (improvement to the product)

  • Ux success metrics:
    Measured the moment you achieve your ‘improvement’ (Ux outcome stage)
  • Ux progress metrics:
    Mid points during progress (solution stage)
  • Problem value metrics:
    Measure the problem that keep us from getting to success (problem stage)
  • Value discovery metrics: providing new things based on the collected data (eg. amazon recommended section)(solution stage)

These metrics appear in different stages of the process: from the beginning where you are defining the problem through the solution and the achievement of the Ux outcome.

‘You’re not doing usability testing? What are you, crazy?’ by Steve Krug

It was awesome to have a masterclass with Steve about usability testing. There is always something more to learn and tweak in the way you do the testings.

I loved how he simplifies what usability testing is:

“What is usability testing?
Watching people use our product while thinking out loud”

Steve mentioned that the biggest problem when creating a product is ‘You’.
Why? Because you are too familiar with your product! And the solution is simple: Usability testing.

“We are all users but we are not our users and need to appreciate the diversity.”

He provided us with a small live demo of how he conducts a usability testing, how he talks with the interviewee, how the questions are formulated and provide feedback to the person in order to be more at ease during the test.

He then moved on to giving us precious tips to improve our way of testing habits:

  • Do tests recurrently: Don’t wait for a cycle to finish. There is always something new to test. Define fixed dates to do it.
  • Fix the difficult problem first: It will guarantee that these will be fixed and not forgotten at the bottom of the list
  • Try to do the least: “Tweak don’t design”
  • Simplify recruiting: More simple = more tests

The final moments of the masterclass were dedicated to some attendees questions that revolved around unmoderated testing, recruiting and scripts.

Today’s masterclasses gave me a lot to think about, I’ll definitely will need time to absorve everything properly.

It’s always great learning from some of the best in the industry, thank you Peter Morville, Jared Spool and Steve Krug for the insightful day!

Excited to see what day 2 brings me tomorrow!

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Rita G Silva

Ux Designer based in Lisbon currently working at CTW