Ashley Karr

Ashley is a UX instructor with GA and runs a UX consulting firm,

Posts By Ashley Karr

Designing functional design teams

Posted: Tue, January 19, 2016 - 3:10:30

My Top Three Takeaways from Years of Researching and Designing Functional Teams: Dysfunction in a design is a direct reflection of dysfunction in a team and or organization. People should come before protocol, because when protocol comes before people, dysfunction occurs. When people have control and power over their workplace and how they work, functional teams have space to grow…

User experience without the user is not user experience

Posted: Mon, November 24, 2014 - 10:09:43

Take away: User experience (UX) is a method of engineering and design that creates systems to work best for the intended user. In order to design in this way, users must be included in the design process through user research and usability testing. If user research and usability testing are not practiced, then UX is not being practiced. What is…

The top four things every user wants to know

Posted: Thu, November 13, 2014 - 10:43:16

I have been conducting research with human participants for roughly 14 years. Some of my studies have been formal (i.e., requiring the approval of an ethics or internal review board), some a have been informal (i.e., guerilla usability testing for small start-ups), and some have landed in between those two extremes. Additionally, the populations and domains that I studied ranged…

Ethical design

Posted: Thu, July 24, 2014 - 9:29:26

Take away: Something as fundamental to the human experience as ethics ought to be a fundamental part of human-centered design. If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and…

May I have your attention

Posted: Sun, June 01, 2014 - 5:40:51

Take away: Removing ourselves from stimulation, electronic or otherwise, is crucial for our brains to function at their peak, and focusing on one task at a time with as little outside distraction as possible is the best way to increase task performance. I will begin this article by saying that I love meta. The fact that we build new technologies…

Why teaching tech matters

Posted: Fri, May 16, 2014 - 9:12:56

Education is one of the most valuable ways that we can improve quality of life for ourselves and others. This improvement applies to teachers as well as students. Having just taught a ten-week user experience design immersive course, I am keenly aware of how my life is better as a result. The following is a list of how my life…

Wireframes defined

Posted: Tue, April 29, 2014 - 12:18:59

Take away:Wireframing is the phase of the design process where thoughts become tangible. A wireframe is a visual 2D model of a 3D object. Within website design, it is a basic, visual guide representing the layout or skeletal framework of a web interface. Page schematic or screen blueprint are frequently used synonyms. When user experience (UX) professionals create wireframes, they…

Help me, please: User testing, automating customer service, and treating people nicely

Posted: Tue, February 11, 2014 - 12:46:24

Take away: Designs that automate customer service work best when they are based upon the Golden Rule. In other words, treat your users as you would like to be treated. During 2013, I worked on a number of projects that involved automating customer service. Common themes ran through the data from every user test, regardless of the context, the platform,…

Mobile usability findings for 2013

Posted: Wed, January 15, 2014 - 12:55:28

Take away: The four best practices for designing mobile sites and applications are to make the interfaces and interactions as simple, clear, obvious, and consistent as possible. In 2013, I was part of a number of user experience research and design projects that involved creating and user testing mobile sites and applications. A number of themes emerged from these user…

The past, present, and future of women in STEM

Posted: Mon, August 26, 2013 - 3:02:21

Take away: An impactful way to make lasting, positive change for women in STEM is to constantly adjust in small, simple everyday ways. In other words, change starts at home. A very brief look at the past The word scientist was first used in reference to a woman, Mary Fairfax Somerville, and one of her published works entitled On the…