Our Mission at UI UX Training

UI UX Training exists to help clients understand how users’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior intersect with user interface design. With rigorous UX research and training, we have achieved actionable results for our clients. Email eric@uiuxtraining.com to learn how we can help with your ux research and training needs.

Practical Training

UX research is the bedrock of compelling and delightful design. Building an effective research team involves more than musical chairs. It requires talented interaction designers to shift  from design advocacy to a neutral mindset based on patience and humility. At UI UX Training, we offer coaching for UX researchers at all levels who seek guidance with challenges such as:

  • Writing field and interview guides.
  • Framing questions during interviews.
  • When to pause and when to probe.
  • How to handle interruptions and noisy environments when in the field.
  • Recording artifacts.
  • Identifying gaps or problem’s in the user’s current workflow and overall work environment.
  • Identifying emotional barriers that hinder the user’s ability to learn, find information, or complete critical tasks.

Eric is a great all-around teacher and excels in the areas of UX research and facilitation. I highly recommend Eric to clients who need such training.

Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D.The Team W

How would I describe Eric Olive’s research services? Thorough, insightful, and actionable. Eric is one of my go-to resources for market and user experience research in the U.S. and Latin America.

Jeff Horvath, Ph.D.Balanced Experience

The Power of UX Research

Don’t ignore your customers. Join us for a fun, interactive workshop where you’ll learn:

  • How customers’ sub-conscious decisions influence their experience with your site, product, or service.
  • How ten seconds can save you ten hours.
  • How to move beyond standard interview questions to deft and well-timed probing when conducting in-depth interviews.

Cross-cultural Dynamics in UI UX Design

Based on our own case studies from research within and outside the U.S., you’ll learn how to adapt your designs to audiences outside the U.S. For example, while:

  • Americans frequently lament flashy ads and pop-ups, Mexican consumers often seek a deal and frequently comment on the absence of promotional offers.
  • Americans prefer a direct, “just-the-facts” approach, Brazilians are more likely to respond to passion pages built around a theme relevant to their specific interests.
  • Cybersecurity is a global concern, its importance to users around the globe varies widely. In Latin America, for example, users consistently rate online security as one of their top two concerns. In contrast, users in the U.S. believe security is important but are more likely to refer to security fatigue.

When working on a tough and extensive field research project, Eric's knowledge of Latin American culture was a critical asset to the research team.

Steve Fleming-ProtUX Consultant

UI UX Training Resources

The good news? Many organizations are committing to serious and long-term research UX research efforts.

The concern? The pressure to move quickly makes it’s all too easy to skimp on preparation or adopt bad habits even for those who have worked in ux research for many years.

The resources outlined below are listed from basic to more advanced discussions for highly experienced researchers.

Refer your junior UX research colleagues to these resources and take a peek yourself. These sites and books outline sound methods and best practices for UX research.

Customer Journey Maps: Walking a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Journey maps are a good way for newer UX researchers to learn how to uncover insights because the exercise reveals customer attitudes at various touchpoints with your organization.

The author concisely outlines the steps for creating a journey map. Many journey maps can be created in one day. The goal is to gain a shared understanding of the customer and offer UX researchers the chance to learn and contribute to an enhanced customer experience.

User Research: How To Use Personas, Scenarios, & Task Analyses To Design the Best Product

ui ux training task flow

Author and behavioral scientist Dr. Susan Weinschenk is a first-rate teacher who shows UX practitioners how to conduct research that will benefit your users and your organization.

Those new to UX research will emerge from this course with a thorough understanding of UX research. Senior UX researchers will benefit from lessons about how to practically apply research findings within the real-world constraints often encountered in business. Such topics include: “How to create personas that your team will actually use,” “How to decide whether to do a “blue-sky” analysis or one with constraints,” and “How to create enterprise-wide personas.”

Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal

There’s a reason Portigal’s book has become a standard reference for UX researchers. Those newer to UX research will benefit greatly from important reminders about the risks of too many interviewers and useful techniques such as the interviewer sidestep and turning interviewee’s questions back to them “is that important to you?”

ui ux training interview

Seasoned UX researchers will appreciate Portigal’s tips for handling tough interview situations such as what to do when the participant won’t stop talking.

Perhaps most useful are Portigal’s assessments of predictions. Seasoned interviewers will likely agree with Portigal’s statement that interviews are not useful for predicting future behavior because even when interviewees are discussing the future their reference point is their current mental model.

This does not mean, however, that considering the future is a waste of time. The key is to avoid focusing on accurate predictions in favor of what the interviewee’s predictions reveal, “These parts of the interview often produce phrases or ideas that the field team will continue to repeat and go back to as they distill complex issues into visionary notations.”

Portigal has written a fun, insightful, and eminently practical book about the art and science of interviewing.

Why Personas Fail by Kim Flaherty

Silos, failed communication, and no buy-in from leadership are among the challenges Kim Flaherty of Nielsen Norman Group cites as she explains why personas often remain literally and figuratively stuck to the wall.

The goal is not to create pretty handouts, writes Flaherty, “What you really want is to get personas off the paper and into the minds of your colleagues.” To make this happen UX researchers should:

  • Bring personas to meetings
  • Conduct lunch and learns
  • Visit teams, present personas and explain the basis for the personas
  • Teach others in the organization how to use personas as a basis for recruiting usability test participants
  • Show colleagues working on Agile projects how to influence discussion with personas as user-data references.

These techniques might seem like common sense until you pause to consider how few organizations create and truly integrate personas into the product and design process.

The effort to adopt a persona-based mindset is worth the effort as I witnessed recently when a large company in the financial space spent a year developing and socializing robust personas. The result? Developers and product managers asked for copies of the personas and often followed up with questions while executives referred to these same personas during company-wide planning sessions.

Read Flaherty’s article and follow her advice. Your team and your organization will benefit.

Creating a Cultural Fit by Peter Morville

Perhaps best known for his book, Ambient Findability, author and UX thought leader Peter Morville brings the human to human factors. In this excerpt from his book, Intertwingled, Morville writes, “Being exposed to diverse ways of knowing and doing is one of the best parts of my work. But my interest runs deeper than cultural tourism. Over the years, I’ve realized that understanding culture is central to what I do.”

First Morville strives to understand the user’s culture. When running a usability test, for example, evaluating the UI is only half of the job. The other half is uncovering the user’s beliefs, values, and behavior. Understanding the user’s behavior is not a new idea. What distinguishes Morville’s work is his effort to probe in order to understand the user’s worldview, sources they trust, and why they behave in certain ways.

Second, Morville aims to understand his client’s culture. This understanding includes but also extends beyond stakeholder interviews. Morville explains the importance of reading between the lines to avoid mistaking surface for substance. Think about it this way. As UX researchers, we don’t simply take users at their word; we examine their performance and behavior. I take Morville to mean that we should do precisely the same with stakeholders.

“In short, the right design is one that fits the company and its customers. A mismatch on either side results in fatal error. We must use ethnography with our users and stakeholders to search for a bi-cultural fit.”

In other words, as UX researchers we must investigate our client’s culture as well as the user’s needs and culture.

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

This book is not about UX, but it might as well be. Journalist Warren Berger shows corporate professionals how they can leverage his inquiry-driven profession to sharpen their research and interviewing skills.

Tight for time? Read Berger’s account of the amusing and insightful marshmallow story in Chapter 3 (no, not the famous Stanford marshmallow study about delayed gratification). Then turn to Chapter 4 where Berger asks how to create a culture of inquiry. Drawing on Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup, Berger shows how to shift our thinking from what we will build to what we will learn.

Reverse Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

This book is especially useful for UX Researchers who work in the cross-cultural space. In short, the authors argue that the future is far from home meaning that researchers, innovators, and business leaders have much to learn from their peers in emerging markets.

ui ux training cross culture

Of broader interest to all UX researchers are Chapters 5 and 6:

  • In “Chapter 5: Logitech and the Mouse that Roared” the authors explain how Logitech lost market share by ignoring the needs of Chinese customers in densely populated cities.
  • In “Chapter 6: Procter & Gamble, Innovating the Un-P&G Way: In emerging markets, unfamiliar customer needs trump leading-edge technology” the authors show why field observation and in-person interviews are essential to understanding customer needs, in this case the needs of Mexican women who buy feminine hygiene products.