Our tiny, mighty design team conducted a couple of usability tests for the first time this year — the first we ever did as a team. I want to share tips and ideas that could help those like us who are just starting out, and also to remind myself of what we can do better next time.

A design team of two — one is looking at a laptop and the other at a cellphone screen.
A design team of two — one is looking at a laptop and the other at a cellphone screen.
The UX Collective donates US$1 for each article published in our platform. This story contributed to Bay Area Black Designers: a professional development community for Black people who are digital designers and researchers in the San Francisco Bay Area. By joining together in community, members share inspiration, connection, peer mentorship, professional development, resources, feedback, support, and resilience. Silence against systemic racism is not an option. Build the design community you believe in. Illustration by Vijay Verma

It’s a team sport

While it’s probably not impossible to run a usability test by yourself, it would be exhausting to go through the entire process as a team of one. …

Created at XEROX PARC, this theory asserts that people look for information in the web the same way in which animals forage for food in the wild. For a bird of prey, for example, deciding where and what to hunt for depends on how easy it is to get to the prey and how much energy the prey will provide.

Similarly, when people land on a page, they’re usually “hungry” for an information need or a goal. They decide whether to stay on that page or leave it and go to a different one based on:

  • how promising the info…

My writing got published on SunStar Weekend last Sunday. It was amusing but also very embarrassing. Do you know how it is with actors who can’t stand watching themselves on screen? How looking at themselves through the eyes of an audience makes them cringe and squirm with discomfort? That is me, but with published work, most especially with very personal pieces that you never really think would go anywhere.

So why publish then? Why go through the ordeal of looking at all the ways your piece has gone wrong, or why this line isn’t working, and suddenly seeing ways to…

Favorite long reads that do not (cannot) make it to my yearly reading goal but sustain my need for good stories that punch you in the gut.

Augustus John’s The Blue Pool. 1911

Sometimes, I start writing only to find out one paragraph in that I have nothing to say. It is weirdly frustrating. I’ve been consuming a lot of very good writing recently yet the greatness barely rubs off. An old adage insists that good writing comes from good reading, so I read and read and read. …

This is a piece I read during Storyteller’s night on Oct 30, 2015.

Barrio Ungo

When you live in Naga, a town south of Cebu City, as I did during some of my most important years, ghosts and mythical beasts are present not just on Halloween but all year round. Naga, for some weird reason, has always been known to be the barrio ungo or lugar sa mga wakwak [supernatural town]. I don’t know how the legend started but it goes way, way back even before your mothers and mine were born.

Summertime by Happy Garaje

When you live in the city, it never happens the way you think it will happen. Take for example, the first time I was robbed.

Being robbed is pretty harrowing. It never is nor will it ever be a pleasant thing — whether it happens in your home, by the road, or during pay day when you see your monthly tax deductions. And while I get taxed on a regular basis, and still drive over flooded roads on the way to work, I never really thought I would get my tangible possessions stolen from me. Those are just stories that…


I love language, tech, and stories. Fighting the good UX fight!

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