Words to explain, highlight and share.

February 2020 UX Collective

Does UX have an imposter problem?

Eyes cast down, she whispered, “I feel like UX is a dance club that I can’t get a ticket into.” A heavy silence hung in the air. This, after two years working at one of the largest technology firms, in what most of us would consider a highly specialized UX role. With a Master’s degree in her area of expertise.

January 2021 UX Design Institute blog

Designing a Long Term Career in UX with Melanie Polkosky

What’s your favourite thing about working in UX research? Variety. The weirder, more constrained or complicated a research study is, the more fun I’ll have with it. I really like it when someone says to me we’re curious about this issue but you only have a limited budget. Taking that kind of complexity and figuring out a little path through the mess to the insights is really fun for me.

August 2020 UX Collective

When less is more: Minimalist personas in UX

Minimalist personas are brief, evidence-based character sketches that are specific, concise and based on psychographic user variables. They are used to simplify and highlight critical information about target users, leading to clearer communication, better design prioritization and more alignment among stakeholders. I provide 3 case studies and 8 ways to design minimalist personas so they are more believable, generalizable, compelling and resistant to stereotyping.

Apr 2020 Silicon Republic

Career Profile in Silicon Republic

Psychologist Dr Melanie Polkosky, who is senior VP of customer experience at Sweepr, reflects on her career path to date.

Dec 2019 The Quick Sweep

How to design 'Must use' Customer Self-Service

One of the major value propositions of Sweepr’s intelligent self-service platform is its delivery of self-service support customized for users.

2015 Book

Uncovering Truffles: The Scarcity and Value of Women in STEM

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Match (STEM) are much like truffles: the unique and precious result of many variables converging in a single person. Like truffles, a STEM woman’s value may not be superficially obvious. She can be destroyed by an environment that disregards her unique, subtle but perishable characteristics. But, in the hands of a masterful chef, the truffle is treated like the treasure it is, a star of the finest cuisine in the world.

2013 Blog

21 Days in Belfast: IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

After 3 weeks of working 10-15 hour days and meeting with literally hundreds of stakeholders across Belfast, my team proposed a new way of making decisions and measuring outcomes:  we described the process, collaboration and technology changes that would lead to better city services and quality of life for all residents.

2013 Blog

September in Al Ain: A Month in the United Arab Emirates with IBM’s Corporate Service Corps

I quickly marched through the introduction to our project, method and the CSR strategy we had developed jointly with department representatives of the Municipality.  As I talked, the senior Emirati nodded occasionally with a relaxed face as he listened, his dark eyes intense.

2003 International Journal of Speech Technology

Expanding the MOS: Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the MOS-R and MOS-X

Our initial experiments documented the reliability, validity, sensitivity, and factor structure of the Mean Opinion Scale and used psychometric principles to revise and improve the scale. This work resulted in the MOS-Revised (MOS-R).

2007 Speech Technology Magazine

The Characters You Meet in VUI Design

Project after project, were running into the same people, all with different job titles, control issues, and motivations. Knowing what makes them tick means we can use specific strategies to help us become more successful. Creating a VUI design is only the beginning of our work.

2005 Dissertation, Department of Psychology, University of South Florida

Toward a social-cognitive psychology of speech technology: Affective responses to speech-based e-service

Using a theoretical foundation derived from research in social cognition, interpersonal communication, psycholinguistics, human factors, and services marketing, two studies develop items for a speech interface usability scale, which is then used to examine interrelationships among individual differences (e.g., self-monitoring, need for interaction with a service provider, inherent novelty seeking), usability, comfort, and customer satisfaction).

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