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Audience Research on a Dime - NTC

You need it. You know you do. Audience research is a vital part of any project, but it’s often the first thing to be cut. “We know our audiences well enough,” they say. “We know what they want.” But is that true?

No! Of course not! If we knew what audiences wanted, we’d have an excess of donations, volunteers, newsletter subscribers, and report readers, and we wouldn’t be having conversations about how to get audiences to act or increase awareness.

During this session, you’ll learn about:

Our favorite lean audience research methods and why they’re awesome
- How to convince your boss that audience research is necessary
- How to conduct audience research when you have zero resources
- By the end, you’ll have what you need to do some quick and dirty audience research and convince others that it’s necessary!

Presented by: Courtney Clark, Kristina Bjoran, Valerie Miller

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Audience Research on a Dime - NTC

  1. 1. Audience Research on a Dime Nonprofit Technology Conference • March 25, 2017
  2. 2. Sound familiar? I’m a team of one. I don’t have budget. I don’t have buy-in.
  3. 3. No Silver Bullets I don’t have time. I don’t need research.
  4. 4. Small but mighty!
  5. 5. Perfect is the enemy of good.
  6. 6. Record it! Seriously. No really.
  7. 7. Audience Research Methods
  8. 8. Observation What Observe online behavior, common questions, conversations, keywords. How ● Reddit, Twitter, Instagram ● Online Communities or Forums Resource Social Media Research
  9. 9. Survey What Measure product performance How ● SurveyMonkey ● Typeform ● Google Forms Resource 28 Tips for Creating Great Qualitative Surveys
  10. 10. Interview What Ask about process, beliefs, needs How ● In Person ● Phone or Video Call Resource Interviewing Users #WOCinTech
  11. 11. Usability Testing What Inform and optimize designs in order to reduce risk and improve usability How ● In Person ● Screenshare / Phone Resource Don’t Make Me Think #WOCinTech
  12. 12. Questions Answered What People Do What People Say Why and How to Fix How Many, How Much Source: When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods Email Surveys Interviews Usability Testing
  13. 13. Getting Buy-In #WOCinTech
  14. 14. 1. When was the last time you did audience research? 2. Are you working from assumptions or facts? 3. If you conduct research, what will that do for your org?
  15. 15. Guerilla Tactics
  16. 16. 1. Go rogue. 2. Start with 5-10 people. 3. Don’t ask leading questions. 4. Record it!
  17. 17. Some audience research is better than no audience research.
  18. 18. Research Process
  19. 19. 1. Set research goals 2. Form a hypothesis 3. Pick a method 4. Write a script 5. Find people 6. Conduct research 7. Summarize findings 8. Present findings
  20. 20. 1. Set Research Goals Why So you know when you’re done. Ask Yourself ● What does success look like? ● What’s driving this action? Example Our goal is to better understand if our app is usable for our key audiences.
  21. 21. 2. Form a Hypothesis Why Provides starting points / practical direction for the study. Ask Yourself ● What hunches do you have? Example We believe that people don’t even see the Donate button, therefore never select it.
  22. 22. 3. Pick a Method Why You have to start somewhere! Ask Yourself ● Do you need qualitative or quantitative info? ● Do you want to explore or optimize? Example Observation, Survey, Interview, Usability Testing
  23. 23. 4. Write a Script* Why Always be prepared. Example Outline ● Introduction & Welcome ● Purpose of research ● How results will be used ● Questions ● Conclusion & Thank you Tips Keep it short and succinct. *Does not apply to Observation.
  24. 24. 4.5 Practice Why Work the kinks out. Test equipment. Tips You can practice with anyone!
  25. 25. 5. Find People Why It’s called audience research ;) Where ● Email Lists ● Social Media ● Conferences ● LinkedIn ● Meetups ● Friends & Relatives ● Coffee Shops
  26. 26. 6. Conduct Research!
  27. 27. 7. Summarize Findings Why Themes and summaries are more consumable. How ● Affinity diagram
  28. 28. 8. Present Findings Why Document results so you can refer to them later. Sample Outline ● Goals & Hypothesis ● Method & Approach ● Participants ● Themes ● Findings & Quotes ● Next Steps
  29. 29. Use Audience Quotes!
  30. 30. 1. Set research goals 2. Form a hypothesis 3. Pick a method 4. Write a script 5. Find people 6. Conduct research 7. Summarize findings 8. Present findings
  31. 31. Case Studies
  32. 32. Washington All Payer Claims Database Project App to compare healthcare costs and quality Audience Healthcare consumers and shoppers Hypothesis People don’t understand what what they’re supposed to do with existing tools.
  33. 33. Washington All Payer Claims Database Research Method Usability Testing (comparator) Investment 20 hours + 6 pack of beer Outcome ● Identified key gaps in usability. ● We need to spend more time on language.
  34. 34. United Way Online (UWO) Project Improve intranet (UWO) Audience 12,000 United Way staff Hypothesis Very disorganized, users unable to find resources, lacking context
  35. 35. United Way Online (UWO) Research Method 24 interviews with stakeholders and content contributors Investment 30-40 hours Outcome ● Learned extent and scope of problem, dynamics of organization. ● There’s good content there!
  36. 36. United Way Online (UWO) Project Improve intranet (UWO) Audience 12,000 United Way staff Hypothesis People could not use the site
  37. 37. United Way Online (UWO) Research Method 10 usability tests Investment 30 hours + Nielsen Norman guide Outcome ● Identified and prioritized improvements
  38. 38. Resources
  39. 39. Fifine USB Microphone,Fifine Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone
  40. 40. Small but mighty!
  41. 41. Perfect is the enemy of good.
  42. 42. Record it! Seriously. No really.
  43. 43. Questions? Courtney Clark @circlish Kristina Bjoran @bjoran_identity Valerie Miller