2022 UXForum Day Three Recap

Internews continued the virtual UXForum today with community-led sessions targeting human rights defenders, digital security trainers, auditors, software developers, designers, and funders.

Day 03 highlights included:

  • A Fail Fest where participants bravely explored what can be learned from failure. 
  • An overview of the formal user testing process conducted during the redesign process of Tella and an introduction to Design Justice principles
  • A summary of findings from testing with users with disabilities in India, Mexico, and the Philippines and common accessibility mistakes tools make. 
  • A Design Clinic where design and user experience experts answered questions from participants and explored challenges facing designers in the Internet Freedom community.
  • A collaborative session where participants co-designed scenario personas which can be used to help product teams during the design and development phase. 
  • A role play exercise allowing participants to practice user testing. 
  • An open space to explore deceptive designs and reimagine a sustainable way to insert human-rights centered design into product making.
  • Two lightning talks covering Clean Insights (a privacy-preserving analytics tool) and Save by Open Archive (a mobile app designed to help users store, share, and amplify mobile media while protecting their identity). 

Key takeaways from the discussions included:

Though failure is experienced universally, the consequences of failure are often not equitable. Having the space to approach failure as a growth opportunity is a privilege. For some, failing can have severe consequences. 

Centering the voices of those who are directly impacted by the outcomes of the design process (Design Justice Principle 2) will result in stronger tools and resources for the broader community. 

When conducting user testing, building in time and space for flexibility can improve the outcomes of your study. Logistics or unexpected bugs can disrupt your timeline, so it’s important to be flexible and adjust as needed. It can also be useful to practice user testing internally with members of your team or through role playing exercises. 

Consider how users with disabilities will navigate your tool or resource. Are you missing labels or alternative text for images? Are the buttons too small for users with mobility disabilities to easily activate? Test your tools using screen readers or utilize online tools that will assess the contrast of colors. The accessibility improvements may take time, but they will ultimately make your tool stronger for all users.   

Avoid making assumptions about what a tool should look like or what features you should prioritize. Let the users inform the design. Find ways to creatively engage your team in the design process or allow them to hear directly from end users (live during a feedback session, via an audio message, a written quote, etc.). 

Scenario personas can help product teams (designers, developers, etc.) understand the context, needs, and desired behaviors of ‘specific individuals’ (i.e., Personas) within a specific situation (i.e., Internet shutdowns due to elections).

Check back here for a daily recap of UXForum learnings, and to learn more about Internews’ usability work, visit https://usable.tools/!