A tiny data story

The value of data increases with size: the more data you have, the more your dataset is worth. But, personally, I’ve always been fascinated with tiny data – the stuff that is perhaps more collection than dataset, more anecdote than evidence. Last year I stumbled upon some tiny data. On my late grandmother’s desk, right […]

Experiencing English jury service

A white envelope. A reference to ‘Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service’ on the back. Inside there is a pink letter with big bold letters: jury summons. That’s how it starts. In 2018 I served as a juror on a long court case at a crown court in London. Think several months, rather than days […]

How many participants do researchers recruit? A look at 678 UX/HCI studies

While the number of participants is only one of many factors in producing a good study, I thought it would be interesting to see how many participants are typically involved in UX/HCI research. So I had a look at all the papers published at CHI2018, the largest – and arguably most prestigious – Human-Computer Interaction […]

Research on three online communities: shoplifters, self-trackers, and illegal immigrants

At this year’s edition of the largest Human-Computer Interaction conference (CHI2018) there were – as always – hundreds of fascinating articles about topics ranging from Fitts’ Law (yes, still) to augmented reality. In the category ‘interesting behaviours on the Internet’ the following three studies stood out to me: Shoplifter community on Tumblr Tumblr is used […]

User research in government

This is an attempt to articulate what makes being a user researcher in the public sector – and specifically UK central government – so interesting and rewarding. These are some of the things that make it exciting to go to work.   Duty Typically, people do not choose to use a government service; they have […]