Bolt | Peters User Experience Winter Update for '07 boltpeters.com   
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User Research Friday Recap
Thanks to everyone that came out for drinks and UX research discussions at User Research Friday a few months ago here at B|P! Along with KDA Research and Uzanto, we put on this little conference and had a wild turn-out, with talks from folks including Ravit Lichetenberg from HP, Wendy Castleman from Intuit, Indi Young, Lane Becker / Todd Wilkens from Adaptive Path, and many others. We’ve got some videos and notes of the sessions up on userresearchfriday.com which has a sign up to hear about the next one. We'll probably make advanced UX research the focus of the next event, since many fine citizens let us know they were familiar with the broad concepts we discussed. So bring your smarty pants next time, because it’s gonna get complicated. And crunk.
So When is The Next One?

 

Genentech Hearts B|P
We completed a rapid remote usability study for Genentech recently for their internal time-reporting tool, and got them up and running with Ethnio. Rather than run off at the mouth about how much we helped them, we’ll just pass along their words:

The B|P project was a total success. Their research for Genentech actually elevated the importance of usability to the executive level here. It's now a focus for our entire I.T. organization. The old time-reporting system flooded our Service Desk with support calls the day it launched. The new application launch barely made a ripple.

sarah murgel
manager, user experience & interface design, corporate information technology --- genentech

The Amazing B|P Process

 

Ethnio Goes International
Ethnio
B|P is excited to announce that international dialing and call recording is now included free-of-charge with all Ethnio licenses. But what is Ethnio anyway? It's the world's first remote usability web application that allows you to watch and record anyone using a computer in the world with the express purpose of making their computer easier to use. Now you can expand your user research to international users! No need to fly to Japan and France to conduct usability studies unless you’re craving sushi or croissants on the corporate dime. Also, some of the latest organizations that have started using Ethnio are Adobe, CareerBuilder, and HP. They’re off and running with both assisted studies, where our practitioners help with set-up, moderating, or live recruiting, and doing all the remote research on their own.
Take Me to Ethnio Town

 

Just a Little Help, Please
It’s wild how many of our Ethnio customers have been asking for just a little bit of testing assistance for their remote research projects. So many of you are expert practitioners real physical world research, and just need a little assistance in conducting remote research. Whether it’s study design, training, moderating a couple users, helping combine moderated and automated remote methods, using MindCanvas or RelevantView, or just making sure your remote study goes smoothly, we're down to help. B|P can ensure that the executive team watching your first remote study will denounce corporate social hierarchy and just give you a hug. Unless you don't want a hug from your executive team, in which case we'll make sure you get a nice email.
Hook me Up With a Quote
 

 

Remote Dog Treats
We are proud to announce that B|P will be leveraging its experience in remote research to expand into Remote Robotic Dog Treat Dispensers. Working with Lego, or actually, working with the toy robot kit we bought from Lego, Nate and Mike built this little robotic arm that receives IMís with the word "treat" and then dispenses a small treat to the office dog.
YouTube Video
You’ll soon be able to IM the wild pooch a treat and watch it on our office webcam.  The venerable Make zine picked it up, and you can check out the video below! We know what you're thinking, and no, it's not clear to anyone at the office why we built this, either.
Watch the Video

 

New Team Members
To support the growth of our research service business and the success of Ethnio, we have some new folks that have joined the team in the past couple of months. Cyd Harrell brings nine years of experience in UX to our team as our new Director of UX Research. Before joining the team, Cyd was a director at Charles Schwab for their representative facing financial service application. That’s RFFSA if you want to get technical.

Also joining the team is Bryan Tsao. Bryan is the 5th graduate of the UCSD HCI program in 5 years to join our team. In addition to helping B|P out with user research and the development of Ethnio, Bryan is getting his masters at from UC Berkeley in the new iSchool (Information Management and Systems). Welcome Cyd and Bryan! Now if you meet people from the iSchool at CAL, don’t say “so you go to iSchool?,” because it sounds like you are asking if they go to high school, and that’s just awkward.
See the Whole Team

 

A Very Funny Thing
Achewood, an internet comic where independently wealthy cats write advice columns and robots lie, comments astutely on the usability profession: