Category Archives: Uncategorized

Warning against overgeneralizing in UX

I enjoyed this article by Matt Gallivan, Experience Research Manager at AirBnB, about the tendency of experts to overgeneralize their knowledge. I try to watch out for it in my own life: When you’re an expert at one thing, it’s so easy to think you know more than you do about other areas.

Excerpt:

Because if you’re a UX researcher, you do yourself and your field no favors when you claim to have all of the answers. In the current digital product landscape, UX research’s real value is in helping to reduce uncertainty. And while that’s not as sexy as knowing everything about everything, there’s great value in it. In fact, it’s critical. It also has the added bonus of being honest.

Somewhat related, here is a fun page analyzing where and why AirBnB succeeds at usability.

Assistant Professor Position at Texas Tech

They are specifically looking for someone in Human Factors/Applied Experimental psychology.

MULTIPLE TENURE-TRACK FACULTY POSITIONS AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University announces multiple openings for tenure-track positions at the Assistant Professor level. We seek applications in the areas of clinical (req. #4627BR), human factors/applied experimental (req. #4628BR), and counseling (req. #4626BR) psychology. We are particularly interested in applicants whose program of research, broadly defined, contributes to the department’s emphases on neuroscience, and health and safety. For candidates with an interest in neuroscience, the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute houses a research dedicated 3-T Siemen’s Skyra with simultaneous 128-channel EEG, and there are opportunities to collaborate with existing neuroimaging researchers in psychology and across campus.

Candidates are expected to conduct productive and programmatic research, compete for extramural research funding, teach undergraduate and graduate psychology courses, mentor graduate students, and provide service to the department, college, university, and profession. Candidates for our human factors position should have a strong psychology background and a commitment to integrating basic and applied research. Candidates for our clinical and counseling psychology positions must receive their Ph.D. from an APA-accredited program by August 2016 and should be able to supervise graduate students in practicum. The anticipated starting date for all positions is August 19, 2016.

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/psy/) has doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, cognitive, human factors, and social psychology. The clinical and counseling programs are accredited by APA and the human factors program is accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. We currently have 28 full-time tenure-track faculty, 120 doctoral students, over 1,000 undergraduate majors, our own building with labs and classroom space, and a Psychology Clinic. Our research programs encompass departmental, campus, community, and national/international collaborations. We have effective working relationships with the TTU Health Sciences Center, several large area hospitals, numerous clinics and psychological-service agencies, and other multidisciplinary groups in the region. Texas Tech University is classified as a doctoral “research-extensive university” by the Carnegie Foundation and as a “national research university” by the State of Texas. With a population of approximately 240,000 people, Lubbock is an ethnically-diverse community, with a low cost of living, temperate climate, modern airport and infrastructure, and good school districts.

To apply for a faculty position, candidates must submit a cover letter, vita, statement of research interests, statement of teaching philosophy, sample reprints, 3 or more letters of
recommendation, and any other materials that candidates think will be helpful, to our online application web site, at: http://jobs.texastech.edu, under the above requisition number corresponding to each specialty area. We will begin reviewing applications on October 1, 2015, and will continue to review applications until the positions are filled. Please direct questions about these positions to: Dr. Robert Morgan, Search Committee Chair, robert.morgan@ttu.edu, 806-834-7117. Texas Tech University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and TTU has a sustained commitment to enhancing diversity. We strongly encourage applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and other under-represented groups. We have a successful track record of accommodating the needs of dual-career couples.

When poor usability costs you your job?

You may have heard that an employee who managed “social media” for Chrysler accidentally posted on Chrysler’s twitter account about *ahem* poor driving in Chrysler’s home city of Detroit. Click here for the original story.

The guy who sent the tweet blames the program he used for multiple twitter accounts. The article calls it a “glitch,” which would not necessarily be usability, but it seems more likely to be a problem with understanding what account a tweet will come from when multiple accounts are accessible.

From the article on WXYZ:

Scott is convinced a software glitch on a program called Tweetdeck led to the tweet being sent out on the wrong account. He says he deleted the Chrysler account from the program, but somehow it still went out.

His attorney, Michael Dezsi, says Scott has a case.

“A simple web search shows a number of other users have encountered the same issues,” Dezsi said.

Action News made contact with a Tweetdeck spokesman via email about the claim.

“We are not familiar with the error you describe–tweets sent from a deleted account–but we normally would try to replicate it to make sure there is no problem on our end (although it sounds very unlikely that this is a TweetDeck issue). If you know the type of hardware, platform and TweetDeck version we could check further,” said Sam Mandel, Tweetdeck executive vice president of business operations.

People like Tweetdeck, though they admit the interface is complex.

This looks like another case where people feel more justified when the problem is a software bug or engineering glitch than when a usability problem caused the error.