Fast & Cheap UX Research


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Have you always wanted to do more UX research but thought it might cost too much, or take too much time? Learn how a few UX ers, Jodi Bollaert and Megan Schwarz, at Team Detroit (advertising) in Michigan, have used several fast & cheap web-based tools & methodologies to glean valuable user insights for digital automotive projects.

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  • What do you want to learn? Who is your target audience? What’s your timing & budget? What’s the format of the product you’re testing?
  • Results include videos of participants using the test site and written answers to four customizable follow-up questions.
  • Or about $5,000 per participant
  • Or $49 per participant ($39 if you have basic Enterprise Plan which is $12,000 per year for 20 tests per month)
  • In this next example, you’re going to see a woman interacting with the Audi mobile site. Our mobile team at Team Detroit was interested in learning more about what navigation styles work best. I set up a test for them that compared the Audi site to a another manufacturer’s site You’ll hear this participant thinking out loud as she explore the Audi models page.
  • More ownership of next stepsMore likely to be feasible (considering resources, timing, expense)
  • This is the template I used for analyzing the results. I inputted all of the results into the template. I was able to assign identifiers so that similar labels were mapped to the same identifier. This allowed me to easily see where the patterns existed to help me make my final recommendation.
  • Has anyone used something else?
  • Fast & Cheap UX Research

    1. 1. Fast & Cheap UX Research No More Excuses Jodi Bollaert & Megan Schwarz, Team Detroit
    2. 2. Why Do Research? 2 Image courtesy of MediaMetric Why Not?
    3. 3. UX Research Tools AB Tests Accessify App Cooker Ask Your Target Market Axure Axureland Bad Usability Calendar Balsamiq BUXmarks Cacoo Chalkmark ClickHeat ClickTale Clixpy Concept Feedback Crazy Egg Creately Deviant Art - Android 2.2 GUIDeviantArt - Web Kit Interface Layout Pack Drawar Ethnio Feedback Army Feng GUI Five Second Test Flowella Fore UI Get Backboard Gliffy Hotgloo iPlotz Just in Mind Just Proto Kampyle Keynotopia - Keynote Wireframe Templates KISSmetrics Loop 11 Lovely Charts Lucid Chart Lumzy Mechanical Turk Mockflow Mockingbird Mocksup Mockup Builder Morae Mouse Trace Napkee Naview Nav Flow Omnigraffle 3 *
    4. 4. 4 UX Research Tools (cont’d) Opengazer Open Eyes Open Hallway Optimal Sort Paper Browser Pencil Project Hibbitts Design - Wireframe Stencils for Microsoft Powerpoint PlainFrame Power Mockup Press 9 For More Options Protonotes Protoshare Readability Reinvigorate SessionCam Silverback Simple Card Sort Simple Mouse Tracking Sketchflow The Click Test Tiggr Total Wireframe Treejack Try My UI UI Sketcher for iPad Usability Testing Suite Use it Better Userfeel Userfly Userlytics Userzoom User Interface Design Framework UX Basis UX Pin UX Quotes UX Pin Quplo Visual Attention Service - 3M Webnographer Website Grader Websort What Users Do Wireframe Sketcher Yuseo *
    5. 5. 5 What’s the Best Tool?
    6. 6. “It Depends” 6 What do you want to learn? Who’s your target audience? What’s your timing & budget? What will you be testing?
    7. 7. 2007-2008 Lab-based moderated testing in 1-2 markets; travel required 2009 Remote moderated testing with nationwide market (WebEx) 2010-2012 Remote moderated testing with nationwide market recruited via intercept (Ethnio, WorldApp) UX Research at Team Detroit 7 *Partner with third-party research companies
    8. 8. Challenges • There’s 3X as much to test! (Desktop, Mobile & Tablet) • Project lifecycles often short; traditional UX research takes 4-6 weeks to plan, execute & report • Traditional UX research requires a substantial investment • Perception that UX research may slow a project down Challenges We Face Today 8 Opportunity Web-based tools enable teams to conduct research at a radically lower cost, in less time and with fewer resources.
    9. 9. 9 UX Research
    10. 10. Tools We Use 10
    11. 11. • Observe and hear users as they experience a site or prototype • Test desktop, tablet or mobile experiences • What you get: • About 15 min. of video per test • A written summary of likes, dislikes & improvement suggestions 11
    12. 12. 1. Set-up (Tasks & Questions) How It Works – 3 Steps 12
    13. 13. 2. Choose participants (screener) How It Works – 3 Steps 13
    14. 14. 3. Share and analyze results. How It Works – 3 Steps 14
    15. 15. When is Appropriate? 15 • You need findings quickly (e.g., within hours) • Test can be completed in 15 min. • Asking the exact same questions in exactly the same way is important • Your audience can be easily recruited online • Site or prototype is accessible via URL • Resources are available for test planning, analysis and reporting • You have a low budget
    16. 16. 16 What Does that Mean Exactly?
    17. 17. • 5 people • Lab-based or Remote • 45-60 min • Results in about 10 days Traditional Moderated Usability Testing 17 = $25,000 on average
    18. 18. = $250 Un-moderated 18 • 5 people • Remote • 15 min • Results in about an hour on average
    19. 19. • Team Detroit’s Mobile Team wanted to learn more about the Audi vs. Cadillac mobile website experience • What were shoppers’ first impressions? • Was one navigation style more intuitive/efficient than the other? • Which experience did they prefer overall? • Insights were considered in the redesign of a Lincoln mobile site Sample Project: Audi Vs. Cadillac 19
    20. 20. Sample Video: Audi 20
    21. 21. • Shared videos with team within hours of launching the test • Developed a UT report template • Kept it short; focused on actionable findings • Created video highlights to underscore key themes • Delivered report in person; some team members had watched videos • Empowered team to come up with their own solutions (supported by UXA) Analysis & Reporting 21
    22. 22. • Watched videos together • Practiced “active observation”; (laptops closed; phones off) • Provided caffeine & chocolate • Each viewer documented key insights on sticky notes; one per note • Posted stickies on wall; worked together to sort into groups • Labeled each group to identify key themes • Brainstormed solutions (later) Different Project: Team-Based Analysis 22
    23. 23. • Observe how users naturally browse a site (e.g., first impressions, where they click, when and where they exit) • Observe how users complete 1-2 big tasks or 2-3 smaller tasks (e.g., learn about MKZ, find a different Lincoln vehicle, locate a dealer) • Observe users experiencing and comparing two competitive sites (e.g., Audi vs. Cadillac) • Test the desktop vs. tablet vs. mobile experiences with different user groups • Begin your study with a search engine. How do users begin looking for information like yours? Do they find it or do they get side-tracked? Research Ideas 23
    24. 24. • Reinforce where participant should be early in the study • RISKY “What are your first impressions of this website?” • BETTER “What are your first impressions of the website?” • Avoid leading questions • LEADING “Was that awkward?” • NON-LEADING “What did you think of that experience?” • Consider exploratory tasks, then directive • EXPLORATORY “Find information about a vehicle that interests you. What did you think of that experience?” • DIRECTIVE “Now configure a vehicle with your desired options and features. What did you think of that experience? Constraints/Lessons Learned 24
    25. 25. • Run a pilot test with one participant before launching the full study • Check that duration is about 15 min. • Ensure that your directions and questions are understood • Participant no good? Swap them out for a new one! Constraints/Lessons Learned 25
    26. 26. Even Cheaper Tools 26
    27. 27. • Find out what users recall about your design • FREE with “Karma Points” or monthly subscription pricing • Easy set-up • Upload screenshots • Enter brief instructions • Use default questions or customize 5 Second Test (Usability Hub) 27
    28. 28. • Does Team Detroit home page communicate what we do? • Asked users, “What is the purpose of this page?” Results: • About cars in Detroit • About Detroit • Don’t know 5 Second Test Example 28
    29. 29. Revised Team Detroit Site 29
    30. 30. • Find out where users would click on your site to get information • Upload screenshot, write up task and specify number of clicks allowed • Paid accounts allow for multiple tasks Click Test (Usability Hub) 30
    31. 31. • Completed user test of prototype for a Lincoln Mobile project • Found mixed expectation for where engine information would be found – Specs or Options • Needed justification for whether further testing was needed Click Test Example 31
    32. 32. • Couldn’t use the prototype for proprietary reasons, but labels reflected on desktop site • Wrote up task and requested 25 responses Where would you click to find information about the MKZ engine? Click Test Example: Methodology 32
    33. 33. • Users clicked everywhere! • Closer look on the sub-navigation showed Specs chosen over Options • Concluded that this test did not confirm an immediate need for additional testing, but future testing may be useful Click Test Example: Analysis 33
    34. 34. • Cannot recruit users that fit target market • Cannot test in a mobile environment • Too many options on desktop site and not all were relevant for mobile • Options should have been limited to those included on prototype Click Test Example: Constraints/Lessons Learned 34
    35. 35. • Method for organizing content on a site or section of site • Users asked to physically sort content separated onto note cards • Gives insight into what patterns users see within your site content Card Sorting 35
    36. 36. • Large amount of videos and photos sorted randomly into one gallery on Ford Fusion YouTube page • Needed content sorted in intuitive way • Goal was to increase user engagement through increased understanding of content offering • No budget and no time Card Sorting Example 36
    37. 37. • Cut and paste content onto large index cards • Asked project manager to find 15 users that fit target within organization • Scheduled three 30 minute back-to-back sessions with five users each • Wrote script for facilitator to read to each group • Users asked to group content and then write-up labels once all cards were grouped • One facilitator and one note taker • Great article for reference: Card Sorting Example: Methodology 37
    38. 38. • Recorded results in Excel spreadsheet template • Looked for consistencies and inconsistencies between the three groups’ results • Referenced notes to understand rationale • Finalized results and shared with team Card Sorting Example: Analysis 38
    39. 39. 39
    40. 40. • Constrained to target users within limited pool • Informal means of recruiting users may reduce trust of results within project team • Using groups over individuals risks the loudest person in the room influencing the group • Multiple groups make analysis more difficult due to potential for inconsistency between groups Card Sorting Example: Constraints/Lessons Learned 40
    41. 41. 41 • Online card sorting tool • Free for under 10 users
    42. 42. • Qualitative research method for better understanding users • Consists of one-on-one conversations with users • Questions centered on: • Understanding how and why users have or might interact with your site or similar sites • Understand experiences that your site supports • Identify what your users’ needs are and why • Uncover why or why not your users’ needs are satisfied User Interviews 42
    43. 43. • Doing initial concepting for upcoming project • Had budget and time for quantitative research, but not qualitative • Quantitative results not back before work needed to begin • Needed some directional information about target users to get started User Interviews Example: Really Awesome Project 43
    44. 44. • Asked project manager to find 5 users that fit target within organization • Met with project team to develop a list of learning goals for interviews • Wrote up interview questions and sent to team for approval • Scheduled half hour one-on-one sessions with users • One facilitator and one note taker • Entire project team welcome to attend sessions User Interviews Example: Methodology 44
    45. 45. • Input interview answers into Excel spreadsheet • Looked for common themes across interviews individually • Reported back to the team for feedback and discussion • Used results to create rough draft experience map User Interviews Example: Analysis 45
    46. 46. • Constrained to target users within limited pool • Only used interviews to form a hypothesis with the understanding that additional research is necessary • Quantitative results will allow us to more confidently finalize results User Interviews Example: Constraints/Lessons Learned 46
    47. 47. Getting Tool Buy-In 47
    48. 48. • Talk to project teams. What are their burning questions or concerns? • Involve them in research planning and observation • Acknowledge the constraints of the tool • Share results as soon as you get them • Document findings & facilitate next steps • Be careful what you wish for! Address Real Problems 48
    49. 49. 49 Free Trials, Man!
    50. 50. Jodi Bollaert @Uxcited Megan Schwarz @megan_schwarz Join “Detroit User Experience” on! User-Experience/ Questions/Comments? 50
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