Most of us who work on digital products are familiar with the concept of A/B or multivariate testing – the process of exposing users to multiple variations of a design concept and using their aggregate behaviour to identify the optimal design, based on a predefined set of metrics. By gathering data across thousands of individual user sessions, multivariate testing can provide a rigorous evidence base for principled decision making. In principle, such data-centric, quantitative research techniques can be highly complementary to the more qualitative, user-centric research techniques typically associated with the UX profession.
On Wednesday last week I had the honour of co-chairing the 11th Search Solutions conference at BCS London in Covent Garden. As always, the event included presentations, panels and keynote talks by influential industry leaders on novel and emerging applications in search and information retrieval. But this year’s event was memorable for a different reason: we were delighted to be able to reveal the outcome of the inaugural IRSG Search Industry Awards. In a ceremony held at the close of Search Solution 2016, it was my honour to announce the winners for the following three categories:
I am looking for a highly skilled, articulate researcher/developer for a short engagement to investigate the options in migrating an existing desktop software application to the cloud. I need someone who understands the complexities involved in making an application that was built in Java FX work seamlessly on the web.
The deliverable will be a technical report that outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with each option, along with a set of practical recommendations for next steps and the costs associated with each.
To succeed in this role you will need to be:
- highly educated, technically literate and open-minded
- able to rapidly understand the requirements embodied in an existing desktop application, and anticipate future requirements and scalability concerns
- willing to ask intelligent questions to make sure you understand the subtleties, trade-offs and complexities of the project and are doing the best possible job for your client
- skilled in researching different technical options and critically evaluating them
- able to form robust and defensible recommendations based on your research
- experienced in communicating those recommendations in the form of credible and detailed technical report
- prepared to sign an NDA governed by English law.
Lots more information available on request. Principals only please (no agencies). Can you recommend anyone?
Just in case you missed it, here are details of the latest issue of Informer, which came out on this week. As usual, lots of good stuff, with a mix of conference reviews, feature articles and the several obligatory mentions of the words ‘deep learning’. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!
Last month I announced the line-up for Search Solutions 2016, to be held at BCS London on November 30. This year we’re also offering a Tutorial Programme, which will run the day before. The programme consists of four half day-tutorials:
- 09:30-13:00 Designing Search (Dr. Tony Russell-Rose, UXLabs)
- 09:30-13:00 Query Log Mining for Inferring User Tasks and Needs , (Emine Yilmaz and Rishabh Mehrotra, UCL)
- 14:00-17:30 Text Analysis with GATE (Diana Maynard, University of Sheffield)
- 14:00-17:30 Enterprise search evaluation – good practice in action, (Paul Clough, University of Sheffield and Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd)
I’ve appended further details of my tutorial below. Full details of pricing and registration are available on the Search Solutions website. Note that the closing date for bookings is Friday 25th November 2016. Hope to see you there!
Here’s a quick preview of the final programme for Search Solutions 2016. Don’t forget that the deadline for early bird registration is October 31st. Hope to see you there!
Just a heads up that nominations for the inaugural IRSG Search Industry Awards close on November 1st. So if you’re thinking of applying, or nominating someone, now is the time to act. Further details below. Hope to see you at the awards ceremony!