An Interview with UX Researcher, Judith Fellowes (UK)
So many usability problems are caused by unclear or over complex language
How did you get into the [UX] field?
I started off as a software developer. I got to the point where I felt I was doing everything right from a technical point of view but people were still struggling to use things. I learnt more about usability and started doing my own testing. When I saw the results of engaging end users I decided to specialise in the ‘Human’ side of technology and I did my Masters at Lancaster University in 2002/3 and I’ve not looked back since.
Any advice for people wanting to get into the [UX] field?
Start reading, when I started out I think the only books were Jakob Nielsen which were great but now there are new books coming out all the time.
What do you enjoy about working in the UX industry?
As a UX researcher work is always varied. I am always meeting different people when I run research so I don’t get bored.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
That’s a difficult one, I enjoy projects where I learn new things. I particularly enjoyed a project with the BBC a few years back to understand how people read on television. Working on shopping apps for Tesco and going shopping with people was great and very practical. I’ve also enjoyed developing training for the Home Office user researchers to skill them up to do research with people with different disabilities.
What is the most common usability issue you encounter during your testing?
I think this has to be language, copy. So many problems are caused by unclear or over complex language.
What is the one piece of advice you would offer brands to improve their UX?
Make your brand more accessible. For starters you can include one or two people with different access needs in each round of testing and you’ll very quickly learn what the blockers are for your brand.
What future UX trends do you envision?
I’d like to say the invisible interface but I think there is still a long way to go. I am interested in how biometrics may develop for security and also voice interfaces