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Archive for the ‘User experience’ Category

5126030385_e67759eb7f_zUnless you’ve been on another planet for the last year or so, you‘ll almost certainly have noticed that chatbots (and conversational agents in general) became quite popular during the course of 2016. It seems that every day a new start up or bot framework was launched, no doubt fuelled at least in part by a growth in the application of data science to language data, combined with a growing awareness in machine learning and AI techniques more generally. So it’s not surprising that we now see on a daily basis all manner of commentary on various aspects of chatbots, from marketing to design, development, commercialisation, etc.

But one topic that doesn’t seem to have received quite as much attention is that of evaluation. It seems that in our collective haste to join the chatbot party, we risk overlooking a key question: how do we know when the efforts we have invested in design and development have actually succeeded? What kind of metrics should be applied, and what constitutes success for a chatbot anyway?

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user-experience-diagramMost 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.

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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?

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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!

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In case you missed it last time (since it filled up pretty quickly), there’s another chance to catch my full-day designing search tutorial in London on October 12. I’ll be presenting a full day course called Search Usability: Filters and Facets, which focuses on faceted search and provides deeper coverage of the key topics along with a variety of new practicals and group exercises.

For further details and registration, see the UKeIG website. In the meantime, I’ve appended further details below.

Hope to see you there!

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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the keynote talk at the Supporting Discovery of Archival Collections: Challenges and Opportunities workshop, held at Wellcome Trust in London. The day was a thoroughly enjoyable mix of presentations and discussions and I learned a great deal. Many thanks to Paul Clough and his fellow organizers Paula Goodale (Sheffield University), Chris Hilton (Wellcome Trust), Sarah Higgins (Aberystwyth University) and Pauline Rafferty (Aberystwyth University). There are plans to produce a paper summarising the workshop findings which I very much look forward to seeing. In the meantime, the slides from my own talk are appended below, titled “Designing the Search Experience: The Language of Discovery”.

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In case you missed it last time (since it filled up pretty quickly), there’s another chance to catch my full-day designing search tutorial in London on May 25. I’ll be presenting a full day course called Search Usability: Filters and Facets, which focuses on faceted search and provides deeper coverage of the key topics along with a variety of new practicals and group exercises.

It’s also very competitively priced from just £180 per person – contrast that with a rate of ~£659 a day for this comparable offering!

For further details and registration, see the UKeIG website. In the meantime, I’ve appended further details below.

Hope to see you there!

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