Upfront User Research for iPhone/iPad Apps: Why bother?
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Upfront User Research for iPhone/iPad Apps: Why bother?

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While diving right into design may work in some cases, most apps can benefit from some level of upfront user research. User research helps define the high-level product vision, and enables your team ...

While diving right into design may work in some cases, most apps can benefit from some level of upfront user research. User research helps define the high-level product vision, and enables your team to make informed decisions throughout the product life cycle.

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    Upfront User Research for iPhone/iPad Apps: Why bother? Upfront User Research for iPhone/iPad Apps: Why bother? Presentation Transcript

    • Upfront User Research for iPhone/iPad Apps: Why bother? @suzanneginsburg
    • About Me 2
    • Why Upfront User Research? 3
    • Why User Research: Benefits •  Understand your users’ needs and how these needs are currently being met. •  May reveal opportunities for new apps and inspire innovative solutions. •  Helps make informed decisions throughout product development process. (Keep in mind, user behaviors change slowly. Data will be valuable for years to come.) 4
    • Sound Other people Context Light Pain Constraints Points Culture 5
    • Why User Research: Common Concerns •  Won’t it cost thousands & thousands of dollars? •  Won’t it take months & months to complete the research? •  Isn’t it better to just put something out there & get feedback later? 6
    • User Research Methods 7
    • User Research Methods Shadowing Diary Study + User Interviews 8
    • User Research Methods: Shadowing •  Follow participants over certain period of time, e.g., museum visit could be one hour, others could be one or more days •  Generally undirected, often called a “sit back” technique •  Video often used to capture all or part of sessions. 9
    • Diary Study + User Interviews 10
    • User Research Methods: Diary Studies Good when: •  participants can easily capture data you’re seeking. •  need to collect data over longer period of time. •  need a non-intrusive way to collect data. Unfortunately they don’t get at the how & why. Typically combined with user interviews. 11
    • User Research Methods: Diary Studies 12
    • User Research Methods: Field Interviews •  Semi-structured •  Typically 1-2 hours •  Ideally held where app will be used most often, if such a place exists •  Variety of documentation approaches 13
    • User Research Methods: Field Interviews Context “I would have chemistry in the morning for 5 hours, Trig in afternoon, English at night. My chemistry teacher would lecture for 2 hours. I would have my periodic table open. I was in class one day and forgot my periodic table. I Googled it and found an iPhone periodic table app. I showed everyone in class and then they got it. It’s free and they have a lite version. A lot of people in class have an iPhone—half the class. Everybody is on the iPhone, especially on the train. Pain point I’d also use my scientific calculator. If you turn the iPhone landscape, it expands. I removed the other one (he purchased different one for class). Don’t like a ton of apps on my phone at once. Replaced my TI89. The other app allowed more numbers than the built-in calculator app. I looked in the App store under scientific calculator. Looked for graphing one. I got this one (shows me). There was a pop quiz one day so I asked: can I use the phone? Professor said yes but some would say no.” Language Norm User need 14
    • Choosing a Method(s) 15
    • Choosing a Method No clear concept Rough concept Existing app Research can help Research can help Research can help uncover app refine & confirm you determine how to opportunities. concept direction. evolve your app. Consider shadowing Consider shadowing Consider shadowing or diary/interviews. or diary/interviews, or diary/interviews plus paper or with the existing app. concept prototypes. 16
    • So what’s next? Analyzing the research… 17
    • Analyzing Research: Affinity Diagrams 18
    • Analyzing Research: Personas Name & photo Goals Age, occupation, etc. Device info Frustrations 19
    • Analyzing Research: Scenarios •  Motivation: What prompted them to embark on scenario? •  Context: Where is the person? Who else is involved? Other devices? •  Distractions/Interruptions: People? Network connection? •  Goal: Get information? Get somewhere? 20
    • Logistical & Cost info 21
    • Logistical & Cost Info Guerilla-style Traditional-style Staff needed 1-2 2-3 (interviewer, note taker, videographer) Study duration 1-2 weeks 2 weeks or longer Documentation Still photos and notes Video, still photos, detailed notes # Participants ~5 8-10 Recruiting Friends & family (caveat!) Recruiting agency and/or Craig’s List type service Remuneration From cup of coffee to smaller $125/1.5 hours (depending $ amount on location) 22
    • Questions? 23
    • Links & Contact Info Twitter: @suzanneginsburg Blog: http://www.iphoneuxreviews.com Email: suzanne@ginsburg-design.com 24
    • Suzanne Ginsburg @suzanneginsburg 25