From Observation to Inspiration: User Research as a Design Tool


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Designing a user experience requires that you understand the people you’re designing for, and they’ll never fail to surprise you. UX designers thrive on surprises like this and use them as inspiration for the design decisions they make. In this fun and messy workshop, you’ll learn about two common user research methods, practice two methods for analyzing the data they uncover, and you’ll learn how to translate these research insights into inspiration.

From Observation to Inspiration: User Research as a Design Tool

  1. 1. FROM OBSERVATION TO INSPIRATION USER RESEARCH AS A DESIGN TOOL :: BY FRED BEECHER @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  2. 2. USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN IS... ...the process of designing an interactive system such that it is easy and engaging to use for the people it is intended for. @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  3. 3. USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN IS... @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  4. 4. Brennan Novak INFORMED DECISIONS SATISFY CUSTOMERS Brennan Novak Brennan Novak Austin Condiff Austin Condiff Austin Condiff Austin Austin Condiff Austin Austin Condiff Amelia Wattenberger Andrew J Young Brennan Novak DELIGHT RIGHT PROBLEM? RIGHT SOLUTION? Amelia Wattenberger Amelia Wattenberger Austin Condiff @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  5. 5. 3 TYPES OF RESEARCH METHODS QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE EVALUATIVE Luis Prado Edward Boatman Luis Prado Mateo Zitar Andrew J Young @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  6. 6. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS • Observe individual behavior • Investigate motivation • Establish psychographic profile • Answer “who,” “how,” & “why” CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY • INTERVIEWING • DIARY STUDIES • NON-DIRECTED TESTING • FLY-ON- Luis Prado THE-WALL • ETHNOGRAPHY • SCENARIOS • CONCEPT MAPPING @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  7. 7. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS • Identify behavior patterns • Compare performance • Validate qualitative findings • Answer “what” & “how much” SURVEYS • WEB ANALYTICS • KEYWORD ANALYSIS • CARD SORTING • COMPETITIVE TESTING • A/B TESTING • MULTIVARIATE TESTING Luis Prado @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  8. 8. EVALUATIVE METHODS • Can be qualitative, quantitative, or a mix of both • Can be research methods or design methods (formative/ summative) • Illuminates what’s working, what’s not, & what’s missing Luis Prado USABILITY TESTING • REVERSE CARD SORTING • UNMODERATED USABILITY TESTING • HEURISTIC REVIEW • PROTOTYPE TESTING @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013 Luis Prado
  9. 9. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Is good for... • Identifying and understanding behavior in context • Observing behavior without the error of recall • Uncovering unknown unknowns Reveals data like... • Things people don’t know they do • Why people do what they do • Environmental factors like space restrictions, access to net & power • Workarounds & hacks • Workflows & processes @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  10. 10. INTERVIEWING Is good for... • Pretty much everything • Open-ended, exploratory research Reveals data like... • Things people know they do • Things that people have done in the past • Things people think they might like in the future • Feelings, motivations, & goals @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  11. 11. THREE DATA ANALYSIS METHODS AFFINITY MAP SPREADSHEET MENTAL MODEL @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  12. 12. AFFINITY MAPPING • Physically manipulate observations to find patterns • PRO: Reveals hidden patterns • PRO: Highly collaborative • CON: Not portable • CON: Less rigor; can miss stuff • CON?: Sharpie high • TIP: Be succinct & write BIG! • TIP: Start in some sort of order Luis Prado @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  13. 13. SPREADSHEETING • Enter data into spreadsheet, tag with metadata, identify themes, sort & filter on themes • PRO: Very rigorous • PRO: Highly portable • CON: Can be tedious • CON: Researcher disagreement • TIP: Use Google Spreadsheet • TIP: Add theme definitions • TIP: Enter data first, then tag it Luis Prado @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  14. 14. DROGONICORP Buy our products or flee from them in terror! A military contractor that specializes in breeding mil-spec dragons and training soldiers to ride them in air-to-ground and air-to-air combat @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  15. 15. DROGONICORP ANALYZE ONLINE LEARNING RESEARCH • Drogonicorp is expanding, and they need to keep their training program consistent across multiple locations • They’ve decided to implement a Learning Management System (LMS) • Their internal UX team interviewed several cadets, but they don’t have time to analyze the data • You must conduct this analysis and use it as inspiration for LMS features! @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  16. 16. AFFINITY MAPPERS SPREADSHEETERS • (10 min) Read raw notes and identify up to 20 key observations • (10 min) Summarize and post key observations on post-its • (10 min) Stare at post-its, arrange similar observations in groups • (10 min) Discuss the themes as a group • (10 min) Identify features to support four key themes & post in “Features” area (one color post-it per theme) • (10 min) Read through dataset and note any themes you see arising • (10 min) Finalize themes and write the appropriate theme next to each data point • (20 min) Work with your group to identify 4 key themes, write this theme next to relevant data points, highlight in 1 of 4 colors • (10 min) Work with your group to create features to address the four themes; write them on your theme pages @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013
  17. 17. Fred Beecher @fred_beecher Icons by Nounproject Database Search :: Brennan Novak Smile :: Austin Condiff Big Smile :: Austin Condiff Factory :: Amelia Wattenberger Cameraman :: Luis Prado Statistics :: Mateo Zitar User :: Luis Prado (All others public domain or custom made) @fred_beecher :: #designcamp ® Fred Beecher 2013