4 Common Biases in Customer Research• Confirmation Bias• Framing Effect• Observer-expectancy Effect• Recency Bias
Confirmation BiasYour tendency to search for or interpretinformation in a way that confirms yourpreconceptions or hypotheses.
Framing EffectWhen you and your team draw differentconclusions from the same data based on yourown preconceptions.
Observer-expectancyWhen you expect a given result from yourresearch which makes you unconsciouslymanipulate your experiments to give you thatresult
Recency BiasThis results from disproportionate salienceattributed to recent observations (your very lastinterview) – or the tendency to weigh morerecent information over earlier observations
Types of AgileUX Customer Research Contextual Inquiry Task Analysis Card Sorting Focus Groups Surveys Usability Testing
My bullshit customer insights graph 12People The most striking truth of this curve is that zero users give zero insights 0 Insights Lots
You need to gather:• Factual information• Behavior• Pain points• Goals You can document this on the persona validation board As well as… Photos, video, audio, journals…document everything
Types of Research Methods Quantitative 12 fMRI Brain Imaging 10 Eye Tracking 9 Online Card Sorting 11 Online UX Concept Surveys 4 Focus Groups 7 Large Sample On-Line Behavior Testing 6 Lab-Based TestingGenerative 5 Ergonomic Observation Evaulative 8 Professional Heuristics 2 Remote Ethnography 1 Contextual Observation Qualitative 46
1 Methodology: Contextual Observation/Ethnography ► Business problem ► How are people actually using products versus how they were designed? ► Description ► In-depth, in-person observation of tasks & activities at work or home. Observations are recorded. ► Benefits ► Access to the full dimensions of the user experience (e.g. information flow, physical environment, social interactions, interruptions, etc) ► Limitations ► Time-consuming research; travel involved, Smaller sample size does not provide statistical significance, Data analysis can be time consuming ► Data ► Patterns of observed behavior and verbatims based on participant response, transcripts and video recordings ► Tools ► LiveScribe (for combining audio recording with note-taking) Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 47
2 Methodology: Remote Ethnography ► Business problem ► How are people actually using in their environment in real-time? ► Description ► Participants self-record activities over days or weeks with pocket video cameras or mobile devices, based on tasks provided by researcher. ► Benefits ► Allows participants to capture activities as they happen and where they happen (away from computer), without the presence of observers. Useful for longitudinal research & geographically spread participants. ► Limitations ► Dependence on participant ability to articulate and record activities, Relatively high data analysis to small sample size ratio ► Data ► Patterns based on participant response, transcripts and video recordings ► Tools ► Qualvu.com Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 49
4 Methodology: Focus Groups ► Business problem ► What are perceptions and ideas around products/concepts? ► Description ► Moderated discussion group to gain concept/product feedback and inputs; can include screens, physical models and other artifacts ► Benefits ► Efficient method for understanding end-user preferences and for getting early feedback on concepts , particularly for physical or complex products that benefit from hands-on exposure and explanation ► Limitations ► Lacks realistic context of use; Influence of participants on each other ► Data ► Combination of qualitative observations (like ethnographic research) with quantitative data (e.g. ratings, surveys) ► Tools ► See qualitative data analysis Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 50
How To Think About UX Performance (Engagement Pyramid) No EngagementUX Testing User cannot find critical features and cannot determine how to use them if they find them. Low EngagementUX Testing User can find critical features and understands how to use them but has no interest in doing so. Moderate EngagementUX Testing User can find critical features and understands how to use them and has some interest in doing so. Deep EngagementUX Testing User can find critical features and understands how to use them and cannot stop doing so. 51
10 Methodology: Eye-Tracking Business Problem Do users see critical content and in what order? Description Respondents view content on a specialized workstation or glasses. Benefits Very accurate tracking of eye fixations and pathways. Limitations Relatively high cost, analysis is complex, data can be deceiving. Data Live eye fixations, heat maps…etc. Tools of Choice Tobii - SMI Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 52
6 Methodology: Large-Sample Online Behavior Tracking ► Business problem ► Major redesign of a large complex site that is business-critical? ► Description ► 200-10,000+ respondents do tasks using online tracking / survey tools ► Benefits: ► Large sample size, low cost per respondent, extensive data possible ► Limitations ► No direct observation of users, survey design complex…other issues ► Data ► You name it (data exports to professional analysis tools). ► Tools of Choice ► Keynote WebEffective, UserZoom, Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 53
Recommended Reading: Albert and Tullis 54
7 Methodology: Lab-based UX Testing ► Business problem ► Are there show-stopper (CI) usability problems with your user experience? ► Description ► 12-24 Respondents undertake structured tasks in controlled setting (Lab) ► Benefits ► Relatively fast, moderate cost, very graphic display of major issues ► Limitations ► Small sample, study design, recruiting good respondents ► Data ► Summary data in tabular and chart format PLUS video out-takes ► Tools ► Leased testing room, recruiting service and Morae (Industry Standard) Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 55
Recommended Reading: Tullis and Albert 56
8 Methodology: Professional Heuristics ► Business problem ► Rapid feedback on UX design based on best practices or opinions ► Definition ► “Heuristic is a simple procedure that helps find adequate, though often imperfect, answers to difficult questions (same root as: eureka)” ► Benefits ► Fast, low cost, can be very effective in some applications ► Limitations ► No actual user data, analysis only as good as expert doing audit ► Data ► Ranging from verbal direction to highly detailed recommendations ► Tools of Choice ► Written or verbal descriptions and custom tools by each experts. Cost / respondent: NA Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 57
9 Methodology: Automated Online Card Sorting ► Business problem ► User’s cannot understand where content they want is located? ► Description ► Online card sorting based on terms you provide (or users create) ► Benefits ► Large sample size, low cost, easy to field ► Limitations ► Use of sorting tools confuse users, data hard to understand ► Data ► Standard cluster analysis charts and more ► Tools of Choice ► WebSort…and others Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 58
10 Methodology: fMRI (Brain Imaging) ► Business Problem? ► What areas of the brain are being activated by UX design ► Description ► Respondents given visual stimulus while in FMRI scanner ► Benefits ► Maps design variables to core functions of the human brain ► Limitations ► Expensive and data can be highly misleading ► Data ► Brain scans ► Tools ► Major medical centers and research services (some consultants) Cost / respondent: Low – Moderate – High Statistical validity: None – Some – Extensive 59
“It is important to use Card Sorting for the right reasonsand the right time in the project and to analyze theresults in combination with other inputs.”- DONNA SPENCER 2009
STEPS IN A CARD SORT1. Decide what you want to learn2. Select the type of Card Sort (open vs closed)3. Choose Suitable Content4. Choose and invite participants5. Conduct the sort (online or in-person)6. Analyze Results7. Integrate results
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED! Inventory + Audit the Content
WHAT ARE YOU WANTING TO LEARN?• New Intranet vs Existing?• Section of Intranet?• Whole organization vs single department?• For a project? For a team?
OPEN VS CLOSED CRM Year in Product Organizatio Company Review Targets CRM Vacation Christmas Projects n Chart OPEN Policy Vacation request Pay Days Party Walkathon News Meeting Project Review Results SORT form Vacation Policy Human Vacation Resources Events Walkathon Results request Pay Days Christmas CRM form Party Product Organizatio CRM Christmas Targets in Year n Chart Vacation Project Party Review Policy Review Meeting Pay Days CRM VacationOrganization request Chart CRM form Year in Project Review Review Product Meeting Walkathon Targets Results Christmas Year in CRM Party Review Project Company Company Walkathon Meeting Review Product Projects Projects News News Results Targets Vacation CLOSED Human Resources Departments Human Policy Vacation Resources request Pay Days Departments CRM Organizatio form n Chart SORT
SELECTING CONTENTDo’s Don’ts•30 – 100 Cards • More than 100 cards•Select content that can be • Mix functionality andgrouped content•Select terms and concepts • Include both detailed andthat mean something to broad contentusers
LOOK AT• What groups were created• Where the cards were placed• What terms were used for labels• Organization scheme used• Whether people created accurate or inaccurate groups
INTEGRATE RESULTS: CREATE YOUR IA Centers ofOur Company Projects Departments Excellence Employee Community & Resources Groups Project Management Executive Blog Project Name 1 Executive Professionals Vacation & Holidays Events Operations Engineering New York Project Name 2 Expenses Charitable Campaigns Operations Support Terminal Technologies Project Name 3 Vancouver Carpool Vancouver Vessel Planning NAVIS Project Name 4 Travel Mission and Values Yard Planning Lawson Health & Safety Rail Planning IT Wellness Finance & Yard Planning Administration Benefits Human Resources Facilities Corporate Communications Payroll IT Communication Tools
Traditional Card Sort
Online Card Sorting
Card Sorting is as common as Lab based UsabilityTestingSource: 2011 UxPA Salary Survey
Terms & Concepts• Open Sort: Users sort items into groups and give the groups a name. Closed Sort: Users sort items into previously defined category names.• Reverse Card Sort (Tree Test) : Users are asked to locate items in a hierarchy (no design)• Most Users Start Browsing vs Searching: Across 9 websites and 25 tasks we found on average 86% start browsing http://www.measuringusability.com/blog/card-sorting.php http://www.measuringusability.com/blog/search-browse.php
Heuristic Eval is popular pickUPA survey results for HE/expert review % of respondents Survey year 77% 2007 74% 2009 75% 2011 Slide 94
Why so popular? Fact or myth? Fast Cheap Easy Effective Convenient Slide 95
Care to comment? Slide 96
HE output• A list of usability problems• Tied to a heuristic or rule of practice• A ranking of findings by severity• Recommendations for fixing problems• Oh, and the positive findings, too Slide 97
Nielsen’s 10 heuristics1. Visibility of system status2. Match between system and real world3. User control and freedom4. Consistency and standards5. Error prevention6. Recognition rather than recall7. Flexibility and efficiency of use8. Aesthetic and minimalist design9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors10. Help and documentationJ. Nielsen and R. Mack, eds. Usability Inspection Methods, 1994 Slide 98
What do you do?• Do you do it (or teach it)?• How do you do it?• Why do you do it?• Do you do it alone or with others?• How do you report it?• How do you charge for it? Slide 99
HE samplefindingspage usability.spsu.edu UPA 201 100 1
Hyperspace, Shock, and Cardiac Arrest all require more clearly defined goals and objectives. H = Hyperspace; C = Cardiac Arrest; S = ShockFinding Description Recommendation H C S Severity RatingObjectives/goals for the Reason content is being Develop a consistent structure that 3modules presented defines what’s noted in the bulleted Conciseness of presentation points, above. Definitions required to work Avoid generic statements that don’t with the module/content focus users on what they will be Objectives/goals for Reason content is being Develop a consistent structure that 3 Evaluation criteria and the modules presented accomplishing. defines what’s noted in the methods Conciseness of presentation Advise that there is an assessment bulleted points, above. Definitions requiredand used for evaluation and indicate if it’s Direct tie between content to work Avoid generic statements that with the module/content don’t focus users on what they will assessment measurecriteria and Evaluation at the end or interspersed in the be accomplishing. Sequence ofmethods presentation module that there is an assessment Advise Direct tie between content Connect ideas in the indicateand follows logically from used for evaluation and goals if and assessment measure it’s at the end or interspersed in introductionSequence of presentation objectives with outcomes in the the module Quizzes challenge logically from follows users assessment in the goals and Connect ideas introduction Follow the with outcomes in the objectives order of presentation Quizzes challenge users assessment defined the the beginning Follow at order of presentation Develop interesting and challenging defined at the beginning questionsinteresting and Develop challenging questions Re-frame goals/objectives at the end Re-frame goals/objectives at the of theof the module end module 101
usability.spsu.edu UPA 201 102 1
Steve Krug’s approach• All sites have usability problems• All organizations have limited resources• You’ll always find more problems than you have resources to fix• It’s easy to get distracted by less serious problems that are easier to solve . . .• Which means that the worst ones often persist• Therefore, you have to be intensely focused on fixing the most serious problems firstRocket Surgery Made Easy, New Riders, 2010 Slide 103
Krug’s maxims• Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems.• When fixing problems, always do the least you can do. Slide 104
Learnability Satisfaction Efficiency Usability Errors MemorabilityNielsen, Jakob. “Usabiilty 101: Introduction to Usability.” useit.com. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Usability Tests Start new test Make changes Identify 3-5 to site tasks to test Observe test Identify the 2-3 participants easiest things to performing fix tasks
Why Test at All? User- Grounds centered design design debates Surprising Methodical results
Identify Tasks for the Test Known Most problem common areas activities New Popular pages or pages services
Tasks You want to renew the loan period on a book you’ve checked out. You need to find an article on the role of genes in schizophrenia. You want to see what hours the library is open next Monday.
Screen Recording Software Price Features
Staff of One Recruits test participants Runs the test Records the Preps test environment test before & after (screen recording software & mic) test
“Guerilla testing!”Photo and caption credit::Amanda Etcheshttp://instagr.am/p/IuHhRri-wS/
Staff of Two #1 #2 Recruits test Observes the participants test Preps test environment Runs the test before & after each test
Draft a Test Protocol Goals Recruitment Tasks Script Staff Roles Equipment
Before Each Test Participant Arrives Clear cache in Check browser screen Check mic recording software
Getting Each Test Participant Started Don’t show website until Chat about first task is websites introduced Explain why they like you’ll be reading from a script
Working Through Tasks Don’t help the Encourage participant participant Stick to to speak the script aloud
As Each Participant Finishes End and save the Give screen participant recording Thank any payment participant or reward profusely
After Test Is Done • ASAP (same day) Make Notes • Identify common problems • Keep it simple Write Report • Focus on fixing just 2-3 things • Might not be same tasksTest Again • Lather, rinse, repeat
Focus on Fixing Easy Things Small changes A website that keeps up with users Iterative development and testing
For More InfoFrancoeur, Stephen. “Usability Testing Our New Website.” Beating the Bounds. 16 Jan.2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. linkHassenzahl, Marc and Noam Tractinsky. “User Experience - a Research Agenda.”Behaviour & Information Technology 25.2 (2006): 91–97. linkKrug, Steve. Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and FixingUsability Problems. Berkeley, Calif: New Riders, 2010. Print.Nielsen, Jakob. “Usabiilty 101: Introduction to Usability.” useit.com. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. linkReidsma, Matthew. “How We Do Usability Testing.” Matthew Reidsma. 15 Nov. 2011. Web.27 Mar. 2012. linkReidsma, Matthew. “Why We Do Usability Testing.” Matthew Reidsma. 25 Oct. 2011. Web.27 Mar. 2012. linkUniversity of Texas at Austin. “Usability Testing.” Web Publishing. University of Texas atAustin. 27 Mar. 2012. link
New technologies and techniques allow for Remote: – Moderated testing – Unmoderated testing – ObservationIrrelevance of Place
Remote Moderated Testing Products like GotoMeeting allow connections to the test (or observation) computer to the Internet. VoIP can carry voice cheaply. Translator ObserversParticipant Moderator LiveMeeting WebEx GoToMeeting For screen VoIP Audio Skype GoogleTalk
Remote Unmoderated Testing Find the umbrella. • Hundreds of users agree to participate in a study • In their natural context • From geographically spread locations • Users try to complete tasks + answer questions • No human moderation needed • Browser bar connects users with secure servers
Remote Unmoderated Testing ‘Task-based’ Surveys Online Card Sorting > Open or closed> Online/remote Usability Studies (unmoderated) > Stand alone or> Benchmarking (competitive /comparison) > Integrated with task-based studies & surveys> UX Dash`boards (measure ROI) Robust Set of Services Online Surveys User Recruiting Tool> Ad hoc research > Intercept real visitors (tab or layer)> Voice of Customer studies > Create your own private panel> Integrated with Web Analytics data > Use a panel provider*
When to do… Remote Testing In Person• Web/software UI • Physical artifact • Need rich qualitative• More quantitative based feedback• Large, distributed • Need to have the human connection sample or low incidence • Ensure high-level of• Low(er) budget consistency • Uncertain of quality or• High penetration of environment Internet access
Introduction to remote usability testing
Defining Remote Testing ToolsWhat do we mean by “remote testing tools”?• A remote testing tool is any technology that allows a researcher to collect data from users about their experience in using an interface, without direct, face-to- face contact.There are two ways of organizing remote testing tools• Moderated vs. Unmoderated• Qualitative vs. Quantitative-based Moderated Unmoderated Qualitative-based Qualitative-based Quantitative-based Quantitative-based 133
Unmoderated Testing Tools Full-service Self-service Card Quantitative- Sorting/IA based Unmoderated Surveys tools Click/Mouse Video tools Qualitative- based Reporting Expert Reviews 134
Our UX Toolkit 135
Why Should You Care?• Saves time o Lab study takes 2-4 weeks from start to finish, unmoderated typically takes hours to a few days*• Saves money o Participants compensation typically a lot less ($10 vs. $100) o Tools are becoming very inexpensive• Reliable metrics o Only (reasonable) way to collect UX data from large sample sizes• Geography is not a limitation o Collect feedback from customers all over the world• Greater Customer insight o Richest dataset about the customer experience 136
Why is this important NOW?• Questions from senior management are becoming more complex and time sensitive• Traditional usability is no longer enough• Push to measure the UX• Convergence with market research and web analytics to paint a more complete picture of the UX• Budgets/timeline constraints 137
Which one goes first? Lab first, then Unmoderated Unmoderated first, then Lab Identify/fix “low hanging fruit”, then Identify the most significant issues focus on remaining tasks with large online through metrics, then use lab sample size study to gather deeper qualitative understanding of those issues Generate new concepts, ideas, Collect video clips or more quotes of questions through lab testing, then users to help bring metrics to life test/validate online Validate attitudes/preferences Gather all the metrics to validate observed in lab testing design – if it tests well, then no need to bring users into the lab 138
Unmoderated Testing Tools - Quantitative Full-service Self-service Card Quantitative- Sorting/IA based Unmoderated Surveys tools Click/Mouse Video tools Qualitative- based Reporting Expert Reviews 140
OverviewCommon Research Questions:• What are the usability issues, and how big?• Which design is better, and by how much?• How do customer segments differ?• What are user design preferences?• Is the new design better than the old design?• Where are users most likely to abandon a transaction?Types of Studies: Typical Metrics:• Comprehensive evaluation • Task success• UX benchmark • Task time• Competitive evaluation • Self-report ratings such as ease of use,• Live site vs. prototype comparison confidence, satisfaction• Feature/function test • SUS• Discovery • Click paths • Abandonment 141
Strengths / Limitations / MythsStrengths:• Comparing products• Measuring user experience• Finding the right participants• Focusing on design improvements• Insight into the user’s real experienceLimitations:• Not well suited to rapid, iterative Myths: design • Only test with websites• Need a deep understanding of issues • Very expensive• Studies that require long sessions • Only gather quantitative data• Lose control over prototypes • A lot of noise in the data• Internet access • Same as any market research study • Comparing products 142
Full Service Tools – Online Usability Testing 143
Self Service Tools – Online Usability Testing 144
Card Sorting / IA Tools 145
Online Surveys 146
Click and Mouse Tools 147
Unmoderated Testing Tools - Qualitative Full-service Self-service Card Quantitative- Sorting/IA based Unmoderated Surveys tools Click/Mouse Video tools Qualitative- based Reporting Expert Reviews 149
OverviewCommon Research Questions:• What are the big pain usability pain points, and wins?• How do users think, and feel about the design?• Are we on the right (design) track?• What is the overall experience like?• Why might users abandon a transaction?Types of Studies:• Low fidelity prototype Common Metrics:• High fidelity prototype • Frequency of issues• Competitive evaluation • Verbatim comments• Comprehensive evaluation • Task success (via video)• Feature/function test • Task time (via video)• Discovery 150
During the interviewDOTake notesSmileAsk open-ended questions Don’tGet their story Talk about your productShut up and listen Ask about future behavior Sell Ask leading questions Talk much
"Its really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people dont know what they want until you show it to them.” - Steve JobsWhat areFocus Groups?
Let’s dispense with this little turdblossom right up front: Henry Fordnever said, “If Id asked customerswhat they wanted, they would havesaid "a faster horse,”– it’s simply an myth
What are focus groups?The concept of focus groups was developed in 1930’s bypsychoanalyst Ernest Dichter as a social research methodFocus groups are structured interviews that quickly andinexpensively reveal a target audience’s desires,experiences, attitudes, and prioritiesFocus groups can be a useful technique when a companyneeds a lot of insight from potential or existing customersin a short amount of time
When to do Focus Groups?In product design, focus groups are used early in the designcycle when the team is generating ideas and seeking tounderstand the needs of the target audience.Early in the design cycle, focus groups can help thecompany understand: User’s fundamental issues and perceptions of the product What users believe are the important features of the product What types of problems users experience with the product Where do users feel the product fails to meet their expectations
Focus Groups cannot be used tounequivocally prove or disprove ahypothesis about the user experience ofa product.
When NOT to do Focus Groups?When the objective is to acquire usability information A group of people can’t provide specific information regarding product features without structured usability testing sessionsWhen seeking to understand the perspectives of the biggerpopulation Quantitative data that is generalizable to the bigger population requires surveys or other methodological approaches that require a large sample of participants There is no guarantee that proportion of responses in the group matches that of larger population of usersAlthough focus groups are an excellent way to gather motivationsand insights from the users, it cannot be used to unequivocallyprove or disprove a hypothesis about the user experience
Types of Focus GroupsExploratoryFeature PrioritizationCompetitive AnalysisTrend Explanations
Exploratory Focus GroupsTypically conducted in the beginning of a design cycleUncover users’ general attitudes on a given topic, allowingproduct designs to See how their users will understand their product What words users will use to speak about it What criteria they will use to judge it
Feature Prioritization Focus GroupsGenerally held at the beginning of the product design cycle whenthe outlines of the product are clear.These groups focus on features of the product that are mostattractive to the users, with an emphasis on why they areappealing.Underlying assumption of this type of focus group is that that theparticipants are interested in the product, with discussionfocusing on what kinds of things they would like the product todo for them.
Competitive Analysis Focus GroupsAims to uncover what attracts and repels users with respect tocompetitor’s sites What associations do users have with the competitor? What aspects of the user experience they find valuable? Where does the product satisfy users’s needs and where does it not suffice? What emotions does the product evoke? How do users identify with the product?This type of focus group is often conducted anonymously
Trend Explanations Focus GroupGenerally held in either a re-design part of the developmentprocess, or in response to specific emotional or functional issuesin product developmentExploring the trends of users’ behaviors, needs, and expectationswithin and across products.
How to conductFocus groups
How to conduct Focus GroupsAssemble your team Make sure you have a good cross section of product, ux, marketing and development.Create a schedule A good schedule provides sufficient time for recruiting, testing, analyzing and integrating resultsDefine your users Recruit participants who are your users and thus likely to provide the best feedback – usually 6-8Define the scope of your research What is the complexity of your questions? What is the depth at which you wish to explore the answers? This will determine the number of people and the number of groups that need to be conducted
How to run your Focus GroupsChoose a topics for discussion On average, 3-5 topics per 90 minute focus groupCreate a discussion guideConsider the “core” questions you and your product team aretrying to answer and prioritize themEstablish roles Who will moderate? Who will take notes? Who will lead the discussion afterwards
Asking Good QuestionsQuestions should be: Carefully ordered, thus positioning participants within a certain frame of mind, containing an intuitive flow Non-directed: should not imply an answer. Example: “How difficult do you find this feature?” Open-ended: general enough not to constrain answers to a specific responses (limit yes-no questions) Focused: focused on specific topics you are investigating Personal: people love to generalize their experience to the bigger public; create questions that concentrate on person’s current behavior and opinions without many opportunities to project their experiences onto the general public Unambiguous: clear and concise, with few shades of meaning.
Example Discussion GuideWarm up and introduction (approx. 15 min) Introduction of moderation Ice breakers for participants Outline of the processMain topic discussion Moderate group discussion that focuses on specific questions you and your company have regarding a product.Wrap-Up Final thoughts and reflections
Warm Up & Introduction Tips Telling participants that they were chosen to be part of the group allows them to feel more comfortable with one another Informing the group of the purpose of the session focuses their attention to the desired end goal Clearly set out expectations and “ground rules” for discussion (no blocking, interruption, flow of discussion) Acknowledge any potentially anxiety provoking features of the environment (camera, mirrored wall) to help people feel more comfortable• Inform participants of their rights to participation Freedom to leave at any point, confidentiality of their thoughts
Main Discussion TipsProbes and follow-up questions are extremely useful They dig deeper into any given topic They clarify what people mean when they state their opinions My definition of “useful”, “clear”, and/or “good” may not mirror other people’s definitions of there terms. Probes help create a common definition of terms, and alleviate potential misunderstandings between the researcher and participant.
Context Is KingComfortable environment is key to a lively discussionLimited interruptions After the session begins, no new person should join the session so that the dynamic isn’t altered by another person’s presenceFood is encouraged Eating is an informal activity that often breaks tension in any group No noisy snacks that disturb the conversationSeating order Have a 10-15 minute social time before the focus group starts so the moderator can identify introverts, extroverts, and alpha-jerksVideotaping advised Human interaction is incredible complex. Since the moderator is part of the group dynamic, it is helpful to videotape the sessions in order to capture gestures, and other subtle interactions
John McLaughlin is a perfectexample of a bad moderator anda douchebag: highlyopinionated, clearly biased, witha tendency for dominating thediscussion What about the moderator?
What about the moderator?Group moderation is a skillBasic skills any moderator should embody are: Respect for the participants Ability to listen closely to other’s perspectives Ability to think fast on multiple levels simultaneously.The moderator must be able to predict the direction of theconversation and drive it toward a desired direction, without theparticipants realizing that they are being moderated. This can be accomplished via moderator’s subtle cues, tone, and/or body language
Effective ModerationControl Moderator should always be in control of leading discussion towards answers to questions, and deterring tangentsGood time management The flow should be monitored so that introduction of topics is at appropriate times, transitions are intuitive and natural.Participant-focused A moderator should mediate the discussion, rather than expressing opinionsRespect All participants should feel comfortable and have a voice, alpha-jerks managedPreparation Moderator should have sufficient knowledge of product space
Effective Moderation Tips Spend time with participants beforehand to get a sense of who is quiet and might need more attention Stick to the guide but be flexible enough to stray away from the script when necessary Engage ALL participants in the discussion Avoid introducing new terminology and concepts Be mindful of body language Clarify any comments & restate ideas and opinions to ensure everyone is on the same page Probe for alternative opinions on any given topic Don’t dominate the discussion, allow the group to lead Provide the group with time to think & give a break when necessary Use humor when appropriate and keep the energy level high
Commonobstacles An electronics company was testing a new boombox they hoped to start selling. Their research included focus groups where they showed the two colour options: yellow and black. The participants were in agreement that yellow was the best colour because it is vibrant and energetic. At the end of the focus group they were each allowed to take a boombox home and could choose yellow or black. They all chose black. – Steve Mulder, “The User is Always Right”
Common ObstaclesThe moderator is not an objective observer Moderator affects the group dynamics and discussionFocus groups reveal the way people think and not the way theyactually behaveOpinions from focus groups may be limited to the participantsin the sessions The sample may be biased for more reasons than just small size and therefore cannot be adequately extrapolated to represent the bigger populationReticent individuals are often silenced by outspoken ones Data may be biased toward those who speak up“Vividness effect” People often provide examples of situations that are most emotionally vivid to them.
Common ObstaclesOverly talkative participants When people are clearly talking without a purpose, ask them kindly to wrap up and move on: Moderate the extroverts, probe the introverts.Group dominance (The Alpha-Jerk Effect) A single dominant/bullying participant can ruin the focus groupUnqualified participants At times people misunderstand what the participation criteria are, or misrepresent their experienceTangents They can be useful for discussion of values and ideas, but should be wrapped up quickly and redirected to main discussion pointHostility & Offensive Ideas Vehement disagreement or offensive ideas can lead people in the group to feel uncomfortable. The moderator should redirect conversation to the focusing on the ideas behind any given perspective: Go Meta!
Analyzingthe data Researchers must continually be careful to avoid the trap of selective perception - Richard A. Krueger
What data to collect? Focus groups produce a ton of potentially useful information which can be extracted by means of: Transcripts Quotations Observer opinions Models Videotapes What information should be prioritized depends upon how what form of data answers your question, and how quickly you need to synthesize the results.
Analysis Steps Capture the initial hypothesis During the debriefing (occurring with little time lapse from focus group to retain memory), discuss with other observers thoughts regarding the groups opinions and feedback Transcribe and code Video interaction should be transcribed and themes/trends of opinions should be extracted via coding Coding is a method of extrapolating ideas from the transcripts and categorizing the responses (thus generating quantitative data). Your codes (general categories) should be short, concise, descriptive in nature, and accurately depicting a users’ single idea.
Coding FrameworkTop-down A hypothesis of what types of themes the participants’ transcripts will generate already exists and is confirmed using the data A pre-existing model is applied to the data.Bottom-up The data is explored without pre-existing framework in mind, generating themes based on the responses in the transcript. The model is generated using the data. This methodological approach to extracting themes from focus group interviews is recommended since it is less biased and more true to the data.
Extracting Trends in Data Mental models Mental representations of how your users understand the way the world or a product works Values What do people like and dislike and what criteria do they use to establish their opinions Stories Stories are a powerful way that people capture their unique, subjective experiences, and provide details about their assumptions, order of doing things and ways of solving problems Product pitfalls Brainstorms during focus groups can produce a list of problems that users experience using the product
Getting the most out of the data Questions to read for What are reasons behind people’s opinions? What terminology do people use and do products speak their users’ language? Where do people contradict themselves? When do people change their minds and how does that reveal their actual values and perspectives on a given product? What do people consider to be important and is the product that is popular actually important to them?
What isContextual Inquiry? 198
What is contextual inquiry?Contextual inquiry is a field data-gathering techniquethat studies a few carefully selected individuals indepth to arrive at a fuller understanding of the workpractice across all customers.Through inquiry and interpretation, it revealscommonalities across a product’s customer base. ~ Beyer & Holtzblatt
Contextual Inquiry: When to do itEvery ideation and design cycle should start with acontextual inquiry into the full experience of a customer andhis/her.Contextual inquiry clarifies and focuses the problems acustomer is experiencing by discovering the • Precise situation in which the problems occur. • What the problem entails. • How customers go about solving them.
Contextual Inquiry: How to do itWhat is your focus?Who is your audience?Recruit & schedule participantsLearn what your users doDevelop scenariosConduct the inquiryInterpret the resultsEvangelize the findingsRinse, repeat (at least monthly)
Inquiry Process: Main ObservationObserve the participants What are they doing? What tools are they using? How are they using the tools? Have they developed any work-arounds?Occasionally ask for the participant to describe whatthey are doing, providing any necessary explanations,clarifications, walk-through of actions.Take copious notes. Video record, if possible.
Inquiry Process: Follow-Up & Wrap-UpFollow-Up After the main observations, ask the participant any follow-up questions you may have regarding your observation which his/her memory is still fresh.Wrap-Up Ask the participant about his/her experience and perspective on the inquiry process •Was anything anxiety provoking? •Was there anything you would like to have been done differently?
Inquiry Results: What to collect What tools do participants use? Formal tools? Informal tools? What brands? Behavior sequences Order of actions is important to understanding how the participants think about the task Methods of organization How do the participants organize the information they use? (out of necessity, convenience, importance?) What kinds of interactions do participants have? What are the important parties in the transfer of knowledge? Are they people? Are they processes? Is the information shared? What is the nature of the interaction? Collect Artifacts Artifacts are the non-digital tools people use to help them accomplish the tasks they’re trying to do. (ex: if you are interested in learning how people schedule their events, photograph their daily calendar)
Analyzing the results“The output from customer research is not a neat hierarchy; rather, it is narratives ofsuccesses and breakdowns, examples of usethat entail context, and messy use artifacts” Dave Hendry 206
Research AnalysisWhat are people’s values? People are driven by their social and cultural contexts as much as their rational decision making processes.What are the mental models people build? When the operation of a process isn’t apparent, people create their own models of itWhat are the tools people use? It is important to know what tools people use since you are building new tools to replace the current ones.What terminology do people use to describe what they do? Words reveal aspects of people’s mental models and thought processesWhat methods do people use? Flow is work is crucial to understanding what people’s needs are and where existing tools are failing them.What are people’s goals? Understanding why people perform certain actions reveals an underlying structure of their work that they may not be aware of themselves.
AffinityDiagrams“People from different teams engaged in affinitydiagramming is as valuable as tequila shots andkaraoke. Everyone develops a sharedunderstanding of customer needs, without thehangover or walk of shame” 208
Research Analysis: Affinity Diagrams Creates a hierarchy of all observations, clustering them into themes. From the video observations, 50-100 singular observations are written on post-its (observations ranging from tools, sequences, interactions, work-arounds, mental models, etc) With entire team, notes are categorized by relations into themes and trends.
What is eye tracking? Bill Albert December 13, 2011 email@example.com 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Eye tracking records what people look at 212
See the user’s gaze - LiveYou can follow what theuser pays attention to inreal-time.The participant‟s gaze ismarked by red dotsand red lines.A camera displays theparticipant, so you cansee their facialexpressions and bodylanguage. 213
Eye tracking results: Heatmaps Heatmaps show what participants focus on. In this example, „hot spots‟ are the picture of the shoes, the central entry field and the two right-hand tiles underneath. The data of all participants is averaged in this map. 214
Eye tracking results: Gazeplot Gaze plots show the „visual path‟ of individual participants. Each bubble represents a fixation. The bubble size denotes the length or intensity of the fixation. Additional results are available in table format for more detailed analysis. More examples with interpretations are coming up. But before… 215
How does it work? Bill Albert December 13, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Pupils move a lotOur pupils are constantly inmotion.When the pupil is moving, it‟scalled a „saccade‟.During a saccade, visualperception is unlikely or evenimpossible. in here, somewhere… 217
How we ‘look’ FixationThe pupil must focus on apoint in order to perceivecolour, faces, writing, etc.That is called a „fixation‟.Eye Tracking measures the speed of thepupil and can thus detect when a fixation Saccadeis happening! 218
What do these fixations tell us?Fixations are linked to attention.Moving your eyes means movingattention.A fixation does not mean that theparticipant definitely perceived anelement.But it is fair to say that elements thatdraw visual attention have a higherchance of being perceived (consciouslyor subconsciously). 219
How can a monitor tell what I look at? 220 tobii
The red-eye effectThere‟s a layer in our eyes thatreflects infrared light.This is where the red-eye effect inphotos comes from as photo flashesuse infrared light.The eye tracking monitor makesuse of this effect! 221
What the eye tracker seesThe eye tracking monitoruses infrared light tomake the pupils of theperson sitting in frontof it light up and sobecome detectable.This is what it looks likefor the monitor. tobii 222
Monitors - No strings attachedIt used to be like this: Now it‟s all free and comfy. The monitor can capture the gaze in a wide area, so the participant can relax and move naturally: kristenbell.org 223 tobii
Eye Tracking & User Research Bill Albert December 13, 2011 email@example.com 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
You run user research to understand: Your user‟s actual behaviour. Your user‟s attitudes, feelings, and motivations. Your user‟s experience with your company/organisation (stories). What is and isn‟t working in your design/product. 225
You add eye tracking to get: A deeper understanding of user‟s actual behaviour. Insight into user‟s subconscious or instinctive behaviour. A better understanding of why your design does or doesn‟t work. Evidential (quantitative) data. 226
There’s 2 scenarios for eye tracking The Check-Up Inform your design How is my design, Use eye tracking data to website or product support your design performing? process How do users perceive my Conceptual design: what basic design/website/product? structure works best? Do users notice what I want Wireframe stage: where shall I them to notice? place my content or images? How is my design performing in Detailed design: how does my the context of typical usage visual design serve the tasks? website‟s/product‟s design purpose? 227
The Check-upHow is my Bill Albert design, website or December 13, 2011product performing? firstname.lastname@example.org 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Set-up of an eye tracking testUser tests are often run in 45 to 60minute sessions with 6 to 15participants:1. Participants are give a number of typical task to complete, using the website, design or product you want to test.2. The user’s intuitive interaction is observed, comments and reactions are recorded.3. The participant‟s impressions are captured in an interview at the end of the test. 229
What happens then?The next step is to analyse theeye tracking data and the user‟sfeedback. We focus on: what users saw, what users overlooked and what they thought and felt about the website, design or product.The next slides are a couple of examples. 230
Examples: Testing website designsWhat do you thinkdraws the user‟sattention on this site?The listed offers inthe centre or thespecial offerbanners on the right? 231
The site suits browsers and focussed users This participant This participant focusses thoroughly reads the on the right-hand listed offers. banners. Whenever a destination He briefly gazes at the sparks her interest, she listed offers, but showslooks at the offer details, no reading behaviour e.g. the price. there. 232
What drew most attention on this design? 233
The key visual and a box at the bottom The key visual got Surprising: This box got lots of heaps of attention. It attention. reads: “If you are having trouble getting through to us on the phone, please click here to email us, we‟ll get The main back to you within 2navigation and business days”. its options got almost no Participants got the attention. impression that Telstra Clear has trouble with their customer service. 234 Note: Telstra Clear have since re-designed their homepage.
Inform your designUse eye tracking data to support Bill Albert December 13, 2011 your design process email@example.com 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Design processThere‟s lots of decisions to make in all stages of the development process: 236
Decision like these… Where should the ‘Pay now’ button be? Will users notice this if I put it here? 237
… or these: How does my Does my design design perform draw enough compared to attention? others? visuality-group.co.uk 238
… and these: DoesDesign A work better? … or Design B? 239
Design principles – revealed by eye tracking Bill Albert December 13, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Face EffectHumans are programmed to recognisefaces. Everywhere.This effect can beAlbert Bill seen in eye tracking. December 13, 2011Faces always draw attention! email@example.com 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
The Face effect – an exampleYep, there’sattention oncertain… areas, … the face, however, is the strongest point of focus! 242 bunnyfoot
Using the Face effectThe ‘Face effect’ can Version A Version Bbe used to driveperception.Here‟s a great examplefrom humanfactors.com2 versions of an addesign were tested usingeye tracking.The goal of the ad is ofcourse to draw attentionto the product name. humanfactors.com 243
Using the Face effect Eye tracking results for ad Version A: We see a face effect: The model‟s face draws a lot of attention. The slogan is the other hot spot of the design. Participants will likely have read it. The product and its name get some, but not a lot of attention. humanfactors.com 244
Using the Face effect Eye tracking results for ad Version B: Again, we see a strong face effect. BUT: In this version, the models gaze is in line with the product and its name. The product image and name get considerably more attention! Additionally, even the product name at the bottom is noticed by a number of participants. humanfactors.com 245
Ways to focus attention Same effect: If the baby faces you, you‟ll look at the baby. But if the baby faces the ad message, you pay attention to the message. You basically follow the baby‟s gaze.usableworld.com.au 246
Banner BlindnessDid we learn to ignore them? Bill Albert December 13, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Central bannersCentral banners areused on a lot ofhomepages.They use prime realestate on the homepage.That means they must bein the centre of attention,right? 248
Banner blindness… or are they?In this test, participants weregiven a task: Find the nearestATM.Participants focused on themain navigation and thefooter navigation– this iswhere they found the „ATMlocator‟.So, when visiting a site with atask in mind – as younormally do – the centralbanner can be ignored! 249
Compare the visual paths: Task versus browse When browsing, the central banner gets lots of attention. But how often do you visit a bank website just to browse?Participant was asked just to look at the homepage Participant was given a task („Find the nearest ATM‟) 250
Main focus: Navigation optionsEye tracking results show:When looking for Task: „What concerts are happen in Auckland this month?‟ Task: „You want to send an email to customer service‟something on awebsite, the mainfocus of attention arethe navigation options.Maybe users have learnedthat they‟re unlikely tofind what they‟re lookingfor in a central bannerimage. 251
When do users look at banners?In this example, participants looked at the banner even though they were looking forsomething specific. What‟s different? Task: „You want to get in touch with customer service‟ Participant was asked just to look at the homepage 252
Banner Blindness: The trick is… … don’t make your banners look like banners! 253
The bottom line:User research + Eye tracking =a more complete understanding of Bill Albert your user’s13, 2011 December experience email@example.com 781.891.2500 | www.bentley.edu/usability
Customer ValidationDiary Studies help here
Diary Studies from 30,000 feetWhat? How? Why?Analyzing and gaining insightsPractical tipsIdeas on how to apply
A diary study involves participants reporting theiractivities over a specific period of time, usually apartfrom the researcher and in their normal daily lives.
Benefits• Why users behave a certain way• Right context & environment• Remote• Sample over a duration• Bridge qualitative & quantitative• Integrate with metrics & tools• Flexibility
Users record thoughts, comments, etc. over time Interview users Gather feedback, data Organise and analysehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/vanessabertozzi/877910821 (affinity maps, analytics)http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3599753183/http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3020452399/http://www.flickr.com/photos/jevnin/390234217/
Participants keep a record of“When” data “What" dataDate & time Activity / taskDuration Feelings / moodActivity / task Environment / setting
No one right way to collect data Structured Yes/no Select a category Date & time Multiple choice Combine / mix & match Unstructured Open-ended Opinions / thoughts / feelings Notes / commentshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/roboppy/9625780/http://www.flickr.com/photos/vanessabertozzi/877910821
Organize before analyze Affinity mapping (integrate with “To the whiteboard”* exercises) •Extract notes from interview data •Place similar notes together, repeat •“tag” clusters according to topic, title, concept, etc. •Extract learning and insights by illustrating the whole concept •See “Rich Pictures” from Soft Systems Methodology*See “Enterprise guide to customer development” by Brant Cooper & Patrick Vlaskovits
“Hygiene” aspectsAt the beginning•Introduction / get-to-know-you•Demographics & psychographics, profiling•Instructions / Setting expectationsAt the end•Follow-up•Thanks / token gift•Reflection
Pitfalls• Belief bias• Behavior adjustment• Ramp-up time• Failure to recall
Start small, be nimble• Low-tech (email, SMS, twitter, paper/pen, phone interviews)• Simple, not complex, diary forms• Let users just ‘dump’ facts, don’t force them to think so much• Catch up regularly & share often• Tweak on the fly
Bring an observer or two • Efficiency is shared experience • Bring one or two key stakeholders along to the interview sessions (e.g. lead dev, mktg, sales, CEO, etc. • Share and contrast: Don’t be precious about your own viewpointshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/qkgirl/4837119913/
Map diary to session tracking Validate diary data against your metrics. Customers sometimes behave differently than what they say. Make the data richer.
Integrate with business metrics • Use diary studies to test business assumptions • Test against segments • Useful for generative or evaluative research • Scale up or down • Test with prototypes • Etc.Taken from “Enterprise guide to customer development” by Brant Cooper & Patrick Vlaskovits
‘Hidden’ insights from qualitative data • Useful for new ideas • Generates more questions • Hidden facts about customers • Stuff you never knew to look • Store them for later
Take-aways• Diary studies are flexible, tweak to your requirements• Use it to address gaps in your research data• Integrate it with your existing measurement machinery• Refine and iterate your approach
More on diary studieshttp://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/diary-study-guide.shtmlhttp://www.system-concepts.com/articles/usability-articles/2011/a-quick-start-guide-to-online-diary-studies.htmlAnalyzing using affinity mapshttp://www.usabilitybok.org/methods/affinity-diagram?section=how-tohttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_86.htmGamestorming book by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo