About Cory Lebson

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So far Cory Lebson has created 102 blog entries.

Usability: What a Project Manager Needs to Know – Part 1

Update 3/29/13 This blog has been the basis for: A reprint on usability.gov (May 28, 2014) Lebson, Cory. 2012. "Making Usability a Priority: Advocating for the Value of User Research (PDF)." Intercom Magazine. October 2012. Lebson, Cory. "Making Usability a Priority: Advocating for the Value of User Research." Society for Technical Communication (STC) Live Webinar. October [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:49-04:00Feb 8, 2012|Tags: , , |

Importance of a Good Logger in Qualitative Research

A usability test, user interview, or any one-on-one qualitative research really isn’t entirely one-on-one, at least not in an ideal setup. Ideally, it involves two research staff members to do research with a single participant – a moderator and a logger. A focus group should have the same two types of staff members as well. [...]

2015-04-24T16:23:52-04:00Dec 23, 2011|Tags: |

How many trainers does it take to do UX training?

I’ve been teaching usability training workshops for a number of years now, and I invariably prefer a team-teaching approach. However, I was challenged on that principle lately. A client asked why I would suggest two trainers, when I, as a single trainer, should be capable of teaching the entire course myself. Yes, I’m absolutely capable [...]

2014-01-28T15:15:14-04:00Nov 18, 2011|Tags: , |

How well do they listen? Results of a meta-analysis of usability recommendations

A long-term Lebsontech client asked me to report on how often my usability recommendations were followed. The truth is, I didn’t really know. I had done research on a number of different sub-sites for this client and produced a ton of reports. While I had certainly kept tabs on some of those sites, in other [...]

2014-02-13T09:20:30-04:00Nov 9, 2011|Tags: , , |

Should you keep asking the question after you know the answer?

Classic usability studies involve a lot of hours to prepare, to conduct the research and to write up a robust report of findings. There is often a recruiting fee for someone to recruit the “right” participants, and participants often get paid, typically $75 to $100. In some cases, to get to the right audiences, travel [...]

2014-01-28T15:18:53-04:00Sep 15, 2011|Tags: |

Usability as Sociology: How the Perspectives of Tornado Survivors Differ from those of Other Major Disasters

My initial training in usability occurred during my undergraduate years, within the framework of my bachelor’s degree in psychology. The research methodology that was applied to usability fit well within an experimental psychology approach. After graduating with my psychology degree, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in sociology, with one emphasis on the use [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:49-04:00Aug 14, 2011|Tags: , |

How Much Should a Small Business Owner Pretend?

I’m a small business owner. My office is in my basement. The basement was converted into a two-room “in-law suite” apartment by the prior owners. We use one room as my office and the other room as my wife, Aviva’s, office. We also have a conference table, a kitchenette and a door to the outside [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:26-04:00Aug 7, 2011|

Critical Importance of Usability at FEMA: Before, During and After a Disaster

[Update 3/29/13 - This blog has been the basis for: Lebson, Cory. 2011. "The Critical Importance of Web Usability in Disasters: Agency-Wide Efforts to Promote Usability at FEMA (PDF)." International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 11. November, 2011.] In the last post, I talked about our user research training program at [...]

2014-02-13T09:17:50-04:00Aug 1, 2011|Tags: , , |

Evangelizing Usability at FEMA: Training Those Who Create Disaster-Related Websites

[Update 3/29/13 - This blog has been the basis for: Lebson, Cory. 2011. "The Critical Importance of Web Usability in Disasters: Agency-Wide Efforts to Promote Usability at FEMA (PDF)." International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 11. November, 2011.] Lebsontech has been doing usability work for FEMA since 2008. After having spent [...]

2014-01-28T15:25:28-04:00Jul 27, 2011|Tags: , , |

User Research and Emotional Awareness

Although I interned in a usability lab while a psychology undergrad at University of Maryland, my undergraduate senior honors thesis was actually in the field of cognitive neuropsychology. Specifically, I conducted in-depth qualitative research on patients with frontal lobe damage, focusing on their ability (or in most cases, lack of ability) to perceive the emotional [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:53-04:00May 16, 2011|Tags: |

Professional History and Serendipity

Last week I got to do something very cool. Wearing my hat as the Usability Professionals Association’s DC-chapter president, I got to introduce one of our speakers for the evening, Dr. Kent Norman, the professor at University of Maryland who first got me interested in usability almost 20 years ago. Further, the person that he [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:38-04:00Apr 4, 2011|Tags: , |

On Heuristic Reviews and Checklists

One of the most cost effective ways to evaluate a site is to do a heuristic review. A heuristic review is a systematic evaluation where the site is examined by one or more evaluators against a checklist of usability principles known as heuristics. There are heuristic lists that are rather general and a bit vague, [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:34-04:00Mar 28, 2011|Tags: |

Colleagues or Competitors?

I spoke with a colleague on the phone last week.  We hadn't talked on the phone before but found that we had a lot in common.  We both run small user research firms and both enjoy doing similar kinds of user research.  There was a brief awkward moment when the person said that their company [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:16-04:00Mar 24, 2011|Tags: , , |

On the Importance of Body Language in User Research

I love interacting with people but have never particularly enjoyed those interactions when over the telephone.  No matter how clear the voice on the other end is, no matter how great it is to catch up with someone, I still have the vague impression of flatness, much like listening to music from really cheap speakers: [...]

2019-02-25T19:29:30-04:00Feb 15, 2011|Tags: |

Love your Client, Like Yourself

Recently, a client said to me of another consultant that this consultant did not exhibit a passion for the work or for the company. This consultant generally produced good quality work, but that lack of passion was a serious impediment to the company’s perception of his consulting skills. I started thinking about this. Do consultants [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:31-04:00Feb 4, 2011|Tags: , |

Preparing a Home Office for Disaster

Update 7/2/12 - I wrote this blog post about 1.5 years ago and again am in a similar situation. Actually worse as it's been 3 days since my home (and thus my office) has had power. Some ways that I've improved the process of business continuity for the home office since then: I actually now [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:37-04:00Jan 31, 2011|

Experiential Usability Learning

1995 It was January of 1995 and I had just turned 21, graduated college, and pretty much immediately found a job as a “human factors consultant” (for “web usability consultants” would not exist for a few more years). I was content for about 6 months until someone informed me of a new NASA/Boeing Information Systems [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:22-04:00Jan 19, 2011|Tags: |

DC Usability

My earliest memories of loving to write were as a 6th grader, deciding one nice spring day to sit alone under a tree during recess and write a short story that I had been contemplating.  I was so wrapped up in penning my story into my notebook that I recall looking up to see that [...]

2017-04-22T22:36:16-04:00Jan 19, 2011|Tags: |