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It sucks, and I wish it didn’t.

The easiest part of being a non-binary person is stating to yourself and others that you are a non-binary person. You specify your preferred set of pronouns, as in my case — they, them and their. Boom, congratulations you are a non-binary person…now what? What does it even mean to be non-binary? The answer is less than satisfactory at present, but it has potential, in time, to be more than the sum of its parts.

A wide chasm has opened between the binary of “Masculine” and “Feminine” that is being filled by gender…


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HAL is a well-known fictional conversational AI that lacked in empathy for it’s users.

About the Author: Dr. Ender Ricart is a Principal UX Researcher at LivePerson, a company at the forefront of conversational AI applications for customer service. The content of this article is informed by insights from in-depth qualitative research on customer experience with conversational AI.

In the research I have performed on conversational AI, people tell me that they do not want nor expect an AI to be human-like. In spite of what they say, in practice, I observe people applying the same fundamentals of linguistic interaction with conversational AIs as they do with people. Interactions with conversational AI are, thus…


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About the Author and Article: Dr. Ender Ricart is a Principal UX Researcher at LivePerson, a company at the forefront of conversational AI applications for customer service. The content and recommendations in this article are informed by insights derived from a series of in-depth qualitative research on customer experience with conversational AI and user-journey with customer service.

Below is a *real* conversation between a customer and a bank’s digital assistant. For the sake of anonymity I have renamed it “Hana” (in several examples, identifying information of the customer, business, and bot have been anonymized). In this scenario the customer has…


A fission has taken place in the practice of UX research, rendering the term itself inadequate at communicating the two different disciplines contained within. This post defines the two forms of UX research and draws attention to the different applications and skill sets inherent therein.

First, there is a form of UX research, termed “Design Research,” that is more explicitly in service of design. The second form of UX research is in service of product strategy and ideation, being termed here “Qualitative Research” or “Quantitative Research”. …


After publishing “How academia helped me in UX” a few people reached out, facing the hard decision of whether to leave academia and the question of how. This article addresses some of the challenges you will face and offers some advice on how to proceed based on personal experience.

Let me start by acknowledging that it is a difficult decision to leave academia, and it took me a while to accept that that was what I wanted/needed to do. Furthermore, for many people leaving academia is not a matter of choice, but necessity. The academic job market is shrinking while…


The Visible and Invisible in User-Centered Design

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The sign on the door prominently says “PULL,” but there you are forcefully pushing. We have all experienced, if not exactly this scenario, a situation in which our intuition troubleshoots in its interaction with things — be they material or immaterial. In the world of user-centered design, the onus is placed on the designer and not the user. Things and environments should be designed with a transparency of correspondence between form and function, allowing for the seamless translation of the person’s intentions into actions. …


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When I made the decision to leave academia for the private sector, I struggled. Firstly, I was unsure what job-options were available. Secondly, I struggled with how to translate my existing knowledge, skill set, and experience to fit the job position. Without going into detail, let’s just say I approached the transition very much like a research project, which is essentially how I approach many aspects of my life, and decided to pursue user experience research.

Since beginning my UX career, I discovered that academia imparted me with super powers that I previously was unaware of. If you are reading…

Dr. Ender Ricart

Qualitative Researcher

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