Resist the urge to reduce your usability findings into a series of checkmarks, X’s, and exclamation points.

Nothing will endear you to your team more than a series of red X’s and green checkmarks. Screenshot by author.

I was in my second semester of grad school at Michigan when I was first exposed to color coding usability findings. A student in our program had used the system in class the year prior. Our professor wanted to share the method as an example of visualizing usability findings in a manner that’s easy for stakeholders to understand. We all agreed with our professor that a table of color coded findings seemed like a novel way to present our data. …

This might look like a scene from Dexter but it’s actually my house. Photo by author.

When I first started this publication/blog, my intention was to write about the process of renovating the house pretty regularly. Alas, between work, the actual renovations, and life . . . time got away from me. In this post, I’m going to try to recap the past six weeks of renovations … as best as I can from my memory.

Week 1: May 10, 2021

Whether it is the Vice President or a colleague, there’s no excuse for mispronouncing people’s names.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

You may have missed it in the chaos of the 2020 Election and the pandemic but last October, David Perdue, a senator from Georgia, mocked Kamala Harris’ name at a Trump rally. After intentionally butchering her name, Perdue ended his remarks with, “I don’t know, whatever.” The crowd laughed because apparently being so ignorant (and arrogant) as to mispronounce an ethnic name is funny. Perdue’s people dismissed the whole incident because apparently Perdue didn’t mean anything by it.

But Perdue did mean something by it — else he wouldn’t have even bothered to mock Kamala’s name. By pretending that Kamala’s…

Santa Cruz yesterday.


We had the day off yesterday so an outing to Santa Cruz was in order. It was gorgeous! We even spotted an otter playing in Monterrey Bay. Before the pandemic, I always took the Bay Area’s proximity to beaches for granted. Now I’m really grateful that I can see the water within an hour’s drive. When I first moved to the Bay Area, I had this idea of trying to visit every nearby beach up and down the cost. I may resurrect that project this summer and fall.

I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend and get…

10 San Jose neighborhoods offering more than just strip malls.

The palm tree lined streets of Palm Haven. Photo by author.

I was having lunch at a team offsite (remember those?) a couple of years ago. A bunch of us who normally don’t work together were sitting at a table chatting about the things that people chat about when they don’t really know each other that well. Somehow the topic of where people live and how long their commutes are came up. One woman talked about how much she hated the South Bay. “It’s all strip malls. No character,” she proclaimed. It was an odd (rude?) statement to make given that you could probably characterize most of California as a bunch…

TOTO’s “Timeline of Innovation” (which feels very UX-y to me) — taken a few weeks ago while shopping for bathroom fixtures at a bath showroom in San Jose, CA.


It’s been one of those weeks where by the time Friday comes around, I’m thinking, “It’s been A LONG week.” I’m hoping you didn’t have one of those weeks … and if you did, I hope you have a restful weekend.

Some recent blog posts:

What you can and can’t ask a stranger on LinkedIn

Photo by laura adai on Unsplash

Ever since I started writing about UX and UX research on Medium, I’ve had a steady uptick in private messages and connection requests on LinkedIn. Writing on Medium and these types of connections with random people I don’t know on the internet remind me of what I loved about social media and the internet when I first started blogging back in 2001. Not only was it a way for me to explore my ideas in writing and play around with content and design but it was fun to think someone else was reading my writing and responding to it. Back…

Fig tree in my backyard. Photo by author.


Thanks for signing up for my newsletter and welcome to the first edition.

It’s starting to feel like summer in the Bay Area. I’m fully vaccinated and have some exciting professional news this week. I’m optimistic about what the summer and fall will bring to the country. I’m hoping vaccination efforts will spread throughout the world and that vaccine hesitancy will wane in the United States. Here’s the latest from me:

Some recent blog posts:

It’s important for your team to understand where research brings value and where it doesn’t.

A group of people sitting around a coffee table with a whiteboard and post-its behind them.
A group of people sitting around a coffee table with a whiteboard and post-its behind them.
Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Earlier this week, I wrote about my frustration with UX researchers who don’t want to do any usability research. It’s a critical part of the UXR role and researchers must embrace it (and get good at conducting that type of research).

But there are situations where organizations expect UX researchers to conduct research too often and to answer questions that UX research isn’t suited to answer. In my experience, these expectations from teams usually signal larger organizational issues.

When research brings the most value

I believe that UX research brings a ton of value to organizations, especially when it:

Noor Ali-Hasan

I’m a UX research lead at Google, where I help teams design and build desirable and easy to use products. Outside of work, I love art, Peloton, and Lego.

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