Pen & Paper Tools for getting from Research to Design


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In the world of user experience, learning about your customers is key to making great stuff. But design research reports are dense and boring. Unlock the power of sketching and pen and paper tools to create research outputs that are vibrant, sticky and that reflect personality, human perspective and that move seamlessly into design.

SXSW 2010 panel.

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Pen & Paper Tools for getting from Research to Design

  1. 1. Pen & paper tools for getting from research to design SXSW | March 13, 2010 | #penpapertools Kate Rutter
  2. 2. A little about me… @katerutter I’m a designer and strategist. Designing delightful experiences makes me tick. Making things visible and visual makes my heart sing. Adaptive Path Adaptive Path is a User Experience strategy and design consultancy. Our mission is to help companies make products and services that deliver great experiences that improve people’s lives.
  3. 3. What’s the whole point? To create products & services that delight, that inspire and that improve the lives of the people who use them.
  4. 4. First, a story... BIG opportunity space large shifting team money & time constraints
  5. 5. So here’s what we did:
  6. 6. So here’s what we did:
  7. 7. So here’s what we did:
  8. 8. And it was awesome. Vibrant stories captured visually Shared understanding Compelling insights Clear implications for design
  9. 9. What made it work? Visual approach activated a different way of working Pen & paper tools were accessible and fast Concepts hinged The insights carried directly to design from research implications into design
  10. 10. Why work visually? Pictures Visual ideas communicate a Images help get through more complete groups move faster idea faster...together So that the resulting designs reflect real people and their needs.
  11. 11. How could we do this again?
  12. 12. We’ll cover… What you need to get started : tools techniques A simple method activities! A way to take this home with you.
  13. 13. Warm-up INSTRUCTIONS Make a nameplate. 1.  On a piece of paper write your name in a way that communicates something about who you are. 2.  Then make a sketch of some kind that says something about you. 3.  Do it in 2 minutes.
  14. 14. Your toolkit Surfaces Mark-makers 1/2 sheets squares quarters sharpies stickies markers sheets colored pencils templates colored chalks poster board rolls of paper crayons!
  15. 15. Your toolkit Marks WORDS LINES PICTURES case symbols case weight Case CASE lettering texture icons drawings Takes only seconds more than writing! shading
  16. 16. Your toolkit Layouts And also... centered size list cluster shape grid linear color tree radiant
  17. 17. Here is our process
  18. 18. Here is our process
  19. 19. Here is our process
  20. 20. Transcripts Jotting Note taking Coding Spreadsheets And more!
  21. 21. Jotting
  22. 22. Jotting EPIC : October 2008 : p. 22
  23. 23. Jotting Jotting breaks down observations into their most elemental parts and captures the weight of each idea.
  24. 24. Let’s do an experiment You’ll practice jotting items from a short clip of an interview, using pen paper tools. Try to capture the emotional energy along with key messages.
  25. 25. Activity INSTRUCTIONS I love to come home after a long day. When I get here, it just feels like this is the place I can Jot what you observe. hide from the world, or recover, 1.  Read this quote from a user or just be alone. It's all my stuff interview. and everything is where I want it. It's like a nest. Well, 2.  As you read, jot any significant sometimes it’s a nest. But ideas or themes that you observe. sometimes it's more like a 3.  Jot one observation per project. There's always piece of paper. something that needs to be 4.  Do it in 2 minutes. done.
  26. 26. Activity INSTRUCTIONS Let’s jot an audio transcript. 1.  Now, listen to this three-minute transcript. 2.  As you listen, jot what you hear. 3.  Use line weight, color, and imagery to distinguish the big themes from the smaller ideas. 4.  Do it in 5 minutes.
  27. 27. What do we do with all these pieces of paper?
  28. 28. Relationship Models Word Sort Theme Boards Bottom-up Sorting Affinity Diagrams Clustering And more!
  29. 29. Theme Boards
  30. 30. Theme Boards Theme boards display the results of synthesis. They show the patterns and themes that act as a bridge to the design process.
  31. 31. Reports Presentations Concept Storyboards Sketches Decks Books Video Reels Personas And more!
  32. 32. Concept Sketching
  33. 33. Concept Sketching Concept sketches capture a story, illustrate the relationships of elements, or a communicate a core set of related ideas.
  34. 34. Handy visual layouts Mind Maps 2 x 2s Graphs Grids Mandalas
  35. 35. Bringing it all together Use the concept sketches, jots supplemental material to craft stories and implications for design.
  36. 36. Moving into design
  37. 37. Project Management Marketing Product Management Business strategy Product engineering!
  38. 38. Hinge from research… …to design
  39. 39. From concept sketch… … to storyboard
  40. 40. From concept sketch… … to information architecture
  41. 41. From concept sketch… … to interface prototype
  42. 42. What we covered What you need to get started : tools techniques A simple method activities! A way to take this home with you.
  43. 43. Why are we doing this? So that the stuff we design connects with real people... their true stories, their honest emotions and their most important needs.
  44. 44. Why are we doing this? So that the stuff we design connects with real people... their true stories, their honest emotions and their most important needs. PU RE ESO ME AW
  45. 45. THINK ABOUT... What 1 thing can you start using tomorrow?
  46. 46. MORE UX GOODNESS Phoenix, AZ • Pre-con : Apr 6-7 • Conference: Apr 8-11 | @iasummit Amsterdam: Apr 26-29 | San Francisco: Jun 27-30 15% off with code FOKR San Francisco: Aug 24-27 15% off with code FOKR
  47. 47. GETTING THE GOODS @katerutter The slides will be on and slideshare in the next day or so... Credits to Leah Buley and Rachel Hinman for collaborating on this material and to the Adaptive Path folks who shared their project work.