This week’s assignment was an interesting practice in persuasive communication. Having to form a persuasive proposal based on the premise of researching with a small sample size was unlike anything I have done up to this point in my UXD program with Kent. I was surprised to find in our readings how meaningful usability research can be with such small groups – even a group as small as one. After some reflection though, it does make sense. If there are true usability obstacles, it should require statistically significant groups to uncover them.
I also read an article this weekend about how UI tweaks enabled a company called Next-door reduced posts considered racist on their platform. They recently had received criticism for becoming a home for racial profiling based on their “Crime and Safety” forum, and decided to take steps to change it. In order to combat this, they added text fields that required people to describe (from head to toe) the clothing of people they were reporting to be acting “suspiciously”. This prevented people from profiling purely on race, and forced them to consider whether or not the actions of these people were, in fact, suspicious.