By ©Jimi Wikman
Atomic UX Research. Sounds like something amazing, doesn't it? Something that will fit right into the modular design and development processes in Atomic Design. Unfortunately it is just a fancy name for having a proper documentation strategy for UX Research made up by UX Designers who work in poorly structured workplaces.
When I first read the article "Foundations of atomic research", I had no idea what the person was talking about. Was it a process, a content strategy or maybe even how to present the findings. I looked up the Atomic UX Research further and found the article "What is Atomic UX Research?" and it seemed like it was all about how to organize the documentation of the findings.
I watched the video (added blow) where Daniel Pidcock try to explain this new, revolutionary way to organize data, and I was both amazed and a bit disturbed over the fact that the audience actually seemed to agree with this nonsense. The reason I felt that way is that there is nothing in this new made up word that have anything to do with UX. It's just common sense on how to manage documentation. Any documentation.
Anyone working with research should know that you always connect current research with relevant research that it is related to. It is also standard practice for anyone working with research to add metadata to make the research findable in different situations. Anyone working in UX research, especially towards the web, should know that data get old very fast and loose relevance very fast.
That is not how you work with any form of documentation that is supposed to be alive. If you make UX research then that data is ever-changing as you continue to learn and experiment. This does not warrant a new way of working, you just need to start working the right way. Proper documentation is always a part of research, as is traceability so you can understand where the conclusions come from and how you used it to formulate new theories to be tested.
The Atomic UX Research suggests that you should divide the research into smaller bits and then tag each type with metadata. The idea is that by doing that you can discover other data that is related to your research. If you have hundreds of theories going at once in multiple teams, or you want to bring in similar research on other systems or services then maybe that would be useful.
Then again, if you have that many experiments going, then the volume of data would be immense and you would have no way of knowing what data would be relevant. You would spend a ton of time on matching old experiments that probably will be obsolete as the design have already been updated since it was conducted.
This is the image used to illustrate the four main parts of the Atomic UX Research. Note that the structure start with the Experiment. Now it may be implied, but an experiment should be tied to a theory. What are we trying to prove and why do we think this is worth exploring should be the starting point for all research. While I think this may be implied, for me this is where this theory fails.
By having the theory as the highest level, all experiments fall under that theory. All theories are built on previous learnings so while there is no problem having the information structure dividing the content beyond experiments I think that if you ensure you have your theories in order you would not see many insights related to multiple theories at the same time.
Even if you have an additional level of information for insights you would not have multiple conclusions. The conclusion would be tied to the theory we are working with based on the result of the experiments we run to test that theory. In the event that we make findings not related to the theory we are testing, this would be marked in the conclusions as separate theories to explore at a later date.
My take on the Atomic UX Research approach is that instead of inventing new names, you should start working with research properly. UX Research follow the same basic structure as every other research field. In order for any research to have the desired effect you need to formulate theories, conduct experiments to test that theory, analyze the result and finally take what you have learned and form new theories and of course activities to improve the service or product you are doing UX on.
The result is documented in a searchable tool with metadata and connection to previous theories that support the decision to make further testing of the current theory. You do not need a new methodology for it, just follow the standard research praxis that has worked for many, many years. Doing random exploratory testing is not research. It is exploratory testing/discovery.
Atomic UX Research = UX Research.
By ©Jimi Wikman
My assignment was to make a new design for the web based user area based on the graphical profile from one of ChessIT's clients. The design had to be light in terms of changes as the project had hard deadlines. I worked with the client and the developers to find a balance between the two that satisfied the requirements and respected the time constraints.
By ©Jimi Wikman
This mini-series of videos on experience and UX journey mapping has been in the books for over the year! it's time to bring it to live and quickly introduce and upskill those who have not to approach UX design with a discovery mindset (and methods). Journey mapping with adequate insights capture is paramount to deeply understanding, empathizing, and eventually improving real-life user and customer journeys.
In this first video, I'll recap one of the chapters from a course I used to run to introduce junior UX designers to mapping techniques, real experience map examples, UX workshop facilitation techniques, and more.
Experience mapping templates mentioned in the video: http://blog.vaexperience.com/ux-workshop-templates/
How to use them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybfasDTvbdw
By + Kathy Tavlariou
Digital expert with extensive experience in driving online sales for well-known global consumer goods companies.
What is driving me? Understanding online users behaviour and then turning these insights into increased online sales with high ROI. I am a strong supporter of data-driven mindset and staying always abreast of industry changes. Cross-cultural work environments that are not change-resistant intrigue me the most.
Specialties: Ecommerce, AdWords, Content management and SEO, Digital Strategy, UX, Conversion Optimisation, Digital Key Performance Indicators
By ©Jimi Wikman
The design for Stadium was done by a design agency, but I was asked to do the design for the Checkout and My Pages. Based on the overall design I created the design for these sections according to the best practices and personal experiences I had regarding design for conversion (CRO).
After the project I did a second round of optimizations based on findings since the first design. This was specially requested by Stadium and I did it on top of my normal work because of this.