Full day training course offered at Usability Week Las Vegas

The One-Person UX Team Tool Box

Usability techniques and strategies to maximize your impact when you are the sole UX specialist on your project or in your organization

Plenty of books, conferences, and websites give professionals information on how to engage in user-centered design when they have sufficient time, budget, and staff, but few focus on what to do when you constitute the entire user experience team on a project or in an entire organization.

One-person User Experience teams have unique challenges: 

  • Few, if any, resources.
  • Strategic and creative isolation.
  • Lack of time.
  • Organizational misunderstanding and even resistance.

The sole UX specialist must focus on the UX methods and results in addition to building the UX team. As a one-person UX specialist you must determine where you can make the biggest impact, who your allies are in your organization and which methods to concentrate on.  You need to generate your research and design ideas quickly and use other members of your organization to help you.

This session will give you insight into how you can operate as a one person team or as a consultant with a small budget, limited time and resources. We’ve compiled techniques used today in companies around the world; many of these techniques are not commonly known because the people using them seldom publish their secrets.

As the only person responsible for a big, multi-disciplinary field, you risk becoming the "jack of all trades but master of none" and being spread so thin that you have no deep impact and don't get any management recognition because you only generate superficial design improvements. This course shows how to avoid these pitfalls, so that you (a) gain more job satisfaction and (b) produce more value for your employer and (c) grow your team, both in the short term and the long term.

"A great overview of the possibilities to do user research. No excuses to not do it anymore!"

Daniel Chaves
Rede 82

Topics covered

  • Establishing your role in your organization
    • Defining UCD and UX in your organization - What can you realistically achieve?
    • Solving the challenges of being a one-person group
      • Whether you are in an organization or consultancy
    • How to make an impact with limited time or budget
    • Capitalizing on opportunities to gain recognition and respect
    • Picking projects for maximal strategic impact
    • Handling too-many requests for your time
    • Identifying your usability allies and creating internal advocates
    • Targeting your role and where to focus your energy
    • Getting respect in your organization
  • Research Strategies
    • Big Studies or Quick Fixes?
    • Focus of a one-person team (design, content, architecture, widgets, etc.)
    • Building a lab or informal research
    • Strategies and Techniques for getting user results - quickly
    • How to obtain quick usability and design solutions when your organization needs answers
    • Methodologies and research techniques you need to use
      • User testing, field studies, card sorting and other proven methods as a one-person team
    • Choosing research methodology combinations that produce synergies
    • Taking advantage of automated testing tools
      • Including a description of testing tools and their benefits
    • Real users or best practices?
    • Analyzing and choosing the best research and/or design method for your project
    • Recruiting guidelines and alternatives
      • Building a database of participants for fast research
    • Participant compensation
    • Acquiring equipment with little budget
  • Effective Communication
    • Delivering timely and focused results
    • Using reports, lists, videos, and presentations to speak for you
      • Suggestions for which data to focus on in your results
    • Publicizing project plans to increase organizational awareness
    • Communication styles and tactics based on your audience roles, responsibilities and power levels
    • Short and long-term strategies for growing your group
    • Demonstrating your ROI
    • Getting respect within your organization
    • Creating your 60-second UX message


The course is mainly in lecture format with a couple of group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Screenshots of testing websites and tools
  • Videos of usability research methods
  • Examples of focused usability reporting
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

London: Offered Twice

This course is so popular that it has to be presented two times in London: both Sunday, May 17 and Friday, May 22. Note that these two presentations are identical, so we strongly recommend only attending one of the two days.


Garrett Goldfield

Garrett Goldfield is a User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group with 20 years of practical experience. At Nielsen Norman Group, Goldfield has consulted for clients in a broad range of industries, including e-commerce, automotive, health care, financial, media, telecommunications, education, art and non-profits, as well as highly specialized B2B sites. Read more about Garrett

Course Date: December 07, 2012

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