Guerrilla testing emerges as the solution to the common refrain of “We lack the time or resources for user testing.” This method offers a quick and cost-effective way to assess the usability of a website or app before its official launch. But what exactly is guerrilla testing, also known as guerrilla research?

In essence, guerrilla testing is an impromptu and rapid approach to usability testing. It involves collecting valuable user feedback by approaching individuals in non-traditional settings, often in public places, and presenting them with the website or app for evaluation. This allows for real-world insights without the constraints of formal testing processes.

Here are some effective tips to conduct guerrilla testing efficiently and in alignment with lean and agile methodologies:

1. Target Audience Selection: Identify and approach individuals who represent your target audience. These could be people at a coffee shop, a library, or a public park, depending on the demographics you are targeting.

2. Simplified Scenarios: Craft straightforward scenarios or tasks that users can complete within a few minutes. Keep it simple and aligned with the core functionalities of your website or app.

3. Focused Feedback: Encourage participants to provide immediate feedback on what worked well and what didn’t during their interaction. Focus on gathering insights about usability, navigation, and overall user experience.

4. Iterative Testing: Conduct multiple short sessions of testing, adjusting and refining your product based on the feedback obtained from each round. This iterative approach ensures continuous improvement.

5. Minimalistic Tools: Use simple tools like paper prototypes, clickable wireframes, or even the live version of your website or app. The emphasis is on speed and convenience.

6. Open-ended Questions: Frame open-ended questions that prompt users to share their thoughts and impressions freely. This can lead to unexpected insights that might otherwise go unnoticed.

7. Collaborative Analysis: Involve your team in the analysis process. Collaboratively review the feedback and distill it into actionable insights that can guide design and development decisions.

Guerrilla testing is about being resourceful and adaptive. By incorporating this lean and agile approach, you can quickly gather valuable insights, refine your design, and ensure a more user-friendly product as it moves toward launch.

Categories UX BASICS


In the ever-evolving world of technology, making assumptions can be a risky venture. As the saying goes, “assumptions are the mother of all mistakes.” This adage holds particularly true in the realm of user experience (UX) design. If you’re contemplating a career as a UX designer, it’s paramount to understand that assumptions have no place in this field. Instead, embrace the power of user testing, a cornerstone of effective UX design. In this article, we’ll share five invaluable tips to help you conduct user tests that truly make a difference.

1. Plan with Purpose:
Before diving into a user test, meticulously plan your objectives. What specific insights are you seeking to gain? Are you focusing on usability, navigation, or content engagement? Define your goals clearly to ensure your test serves a purpose and delivers actionable results.

2. Select Your Participants Wisely:
The success of your user test heavily relies on the participants you choose. Ensure they represent your target audience as closely as possible. Consider factors like demographics, familiarity with the product or website, and past experiences. A diverse group of participants can provide a more comprehensive perspective.

3. Craft Scenarios, Not Scripts:
While it’s essential to have a structured plan, avoid scripting the entire test. Instead, create scenarios that mirror real-world interactions. Encourage participants to use the product naturally, without being overly guided. This approach fosters genuine insights into how users interact with your design.

4. Observe and Listen Actively:
During the user test, act as a keen observer and listener. Resist the urge to intervene or explain; let the participants navigate independently. Take note of their actions, expressions, and verbal feedback. Subtle cues can reveal usability issues or areas for improvement that might otherwise go unnoticed.

5. Iterate and Implement:
User testing isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. After collecting feedback, analyze the results, identify pain points, and areas of success. Iterate on your design based on these findings, making incremental improvements. Remember that the goal is to enhance the user experience continually.

User testing is the bedrock of effective UX design, offering valuable insights into user behavior and preferences. By adhering to these five tips, you can conduct user tests that provide actionable feedback, ultimately leading to user-centered design solutions. In the dynamic field of UX design, the path to success is paved with data-driven decisions and a commitment to understanding your users’ needs. So, embrace user testing, and let it guide your journey toward becoming an exceptional UX designer.

Categories UX BASICS


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Categories NEWS


Higher education websites play a multifaceted role, catering to a diverse array of user types, each with unique objectives. However, the challenges of shrinking budgets, resource constraints, and intricate governance structures can pose significant hurdles, particularly in decentralized models of website creation and maintenance. These challenges are further exacerbated when relying solely on subject matter experts.

In this article, we will explore three practical and budget-friendly user experience (UX) techniques to enhance higher education websites and overcome these common obstacles.

1. Lean on User-Centered Design Principles:

To ensure your higher education website effectively meets the needs of its varied user base, adopting user-centered design principles is paramount. Here’s how to do it on a budget: – User Personas: Develop user personas to represent the different user types visiting your website. These personas should capture the goals, needs, and pain points of your audience. – User Journey Mapping: Create user journey maps to understand the paths users take as they navigate your website. This can be done through workshops or simple surveys. – Usability Testing: Conduct usability testing with real users to identify areas of improvement. Consider remote testing to save on costs. Implementing these user-centered design practices doesn’t require a hefty budget. It mainly demands time and dedication to understanding your users’ perspectives.

2. Leverage Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS):

Higher education institutions often grapple with expensive proprietary CMS solutions. By opting for open source CMS platforms, you can achieve cost savings without compromising on functionality or security. Some popular open source CMS options include: – WordPress: Known for its user-friendliness and extensive plugin ecosystem, WordPress can power a feature-rich higher education website. – Drupal: Ideal for more complex websites, Drupal offers robust content management capabilities and scalability. – Joomla: Joomla is another open source CMS that strikes a balance between ease of use and advanced features. These platforms are not only budget-friendly but also offer a vibrant community of developers and readily available templates tailored to higher education needs.

3. Collaborate Across Departments and Encourage User Feedback:

In decentralized models of website management, collaboration across departments is essential. Encourage various departments to contribute content and share insights into their target audiences. This can help ensure a more comprehensive and user-focused website. Furthermore, actively seek user feedback through surveys, feedback forms, or user-generated content. Users often provide valuable insights into their preferences and pain points, which can guide website improvements. User-generated content, such as reviews or testimonials, can also enhance the credibility of your institution.

Effective user experience on higher education websites need not come with a hefty price tag. By embracing user-centered design principles, leveraging open source CMS platforms, and fostering collaboration across departments while gathering user feedback, you can enhance the user experience on your website even on a limited budget.

Remember that a user-centric approach doesn’t only benefit the users but also contributes to the institution’s reputation and long-term success. In a world of constrained resources, these cost-effective strategies can make a substantial difference in creating a website that truly serves its diverse user base.

Categories MIND CANDY


Responsive design stands as a significant challenge in the ever-evolving landscape of modern user experience (UX). The question looms: how can we efficiently design for a multitude of devices and screen dimensions without repeatedly creating wireframes or diving into the complexities of HTML coding? To be candid, finding an effective solution has proven elusive thus far.

In this article, we embark on a journey to tackle the intricacies of responsive design by exploring the concepts of contextual product backlogs and user stories. These methodologies hold the promise of simplifying the responsive design process while maintaining a user-centric focus.

Understanding Responsive Design Challenges:

Responsive design entails crafting digital experiences that seamlessly adapt to various devices, screen sizes, and orientations. Achieving this without duplicating design efforts or resorting to labor-intensive coding has been a persistent struggle for UX professionals.

Enter Contextual Product Backlogs:

Contextual product backlogs introduce an innovative approach to responsive design. These backlogs are a dynamic collection of user stories and tasks grouped by context, helping UX designers align their efforts with user needs and device-specific requirements.

Benefits of Contextual Product Backlogs:

1. Efficiency: Contextual backlogs enable designers to address unique user experiences across different devices without redundancy, streamlining the design process.

2. User-Centric Focus: By organizing user stories by context, the design team remains attuned to the specific needs and expectations of users on various devices.

3. Collaboration: Cross-functional teams can collaborate more effectively, as contextual backlogs provide a clear roadmap for each device’s design requirements.

Harnessing User Stories:

User stories, an integral component of contextual product backlogs, describe user interactions with a product or feature from a user’s perspective. These stories capture the “who,” “what,” and “why” of user interactions, offering a deep understanding of user needs.

Creating Effective User Stories:

1. Persona and Context: Start with a clear understanding of the user persona and the context in which they will interact with the product. This contextual awareness informs the user story.

2. User Goal: Define the user’s objective or goal in this particular context. What does the user intend to achieve?

3. Action: Describe the specific action the user takes to fulfill their goal.

4. Outcome: Highlight the expected outcome or benefit the user derives from taking that action.

Illustrating Responsive Design with User Stories:

Let’s consider an example: designing a responsive e-commerce website. A user story for a mobile device might read:

“As a busy commuter (Persona), I want to quickly browse and purchase products (User Goal) by easily navigating through a mobile-friendly interface (Action) so that I can make efficient purchases on the go (Outcome).”

For a tablet user, the story could be:

“As a leisurely shopper (Persona), I want to explore product details at my own pace (User Goal) by having an intuitive and visually appealing tablet layout (Action) to make informed purchasing decisions (Outcome).”

By crafting user stories tailored to the context, you create a user-centered responsive design strategy that addresses diverse user needs while maintaining design coherence.


Responsive design challenges in the modern UX world demand innovative solutions. Contextual product backlogs and user stories offer a promising path forward by fostering efficiency, maintaining a user-centric focus, and enabling collaboration. As we navigate the complexities of responsive design, these methodologies empower UX professionals to design with agility and precision, ensuring exceptional user experiences across a multitude of devices and screen sizes.

Categories STRATEGY