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Off the top
Signal vs. Noise
In light of growing acceptance of user or customer research, it's worth considering the costs of poorly done research. For retailers, it seems especially important to make sure every contact with customers reinforces the values associated with a brand.
I just had a negative experience with customer research, that impacted my perception of the retailer and the associated brand. I spent some time thinking about it from my own viewpoint as a customer, and it seemed the most important cost to the retailer is in terms of closing a channel for business. In this case, the botched online survey I walked through makes me unwilling to engage with them on the web again.
I posted a quick writeup, with screenshots of the survey, here.
I know there's material on these costs from marketing perspectives, but I'm wondering if anyone's working on this from the point of view of IA and UX, when they're focused on better connecting the business with its customers and user?
Last week, an article in the NY Times named poor user experience as a barrier to engaging with several exhibits that are part of the Boston CyberArts Festival. The article focused more on how deeply frustrating the User Experiences were, rather than the quality of the artwork. I made a trip to see the exhibits this weekend; here's a summary of the article, photos of the exhibits, and a recap.
An Op-Ed column in the NY Times sheds light on the ways that qualitative research yields strategic insight.