Workshop: Gathering User Insight


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Four User Insight Techniques in 60 minutes

Beyond asking users to play with your prototype or product how do you get meaningful feedback to influence your design? This talk was from an interactive Meetup about how to gather deeper information from users. We started with a quick introduction of four techniques of gathering information: observation, talk out loud, contextual inquiry, and storytelling. Then volunteers from the audience practiced these four techniques with a volunteer user using a real product from a local startup. We discussed how these methods gave triangulation and depth to what could be learned in interviews. There are MANY tools for gathering insight; these four are good ones to add to your toolkit.

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Workshop: Gathering User Insight

  1. 1. UX Review 1 4 Insight Techniques 1© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Four User Insight Techniques in 60 minutes* * A super-condensed hands-on experience meant to give you an impression rather than teach you to be competent. KALL Consulting customer and user experience design and strategy 1 hour version: 24Jun2013
  2. 2. UX Review 2 4 Insight Techniques 2© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Kall Consulting We are a User Experience (UX) consultancy. We help technology and technology-enabled companies ensure that every product offer is a great experience for users, regardless of industry or technology. What We Do
  3. 3. UX Review 3 4 Insight Techniques 3© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Darren Kall - BioTimeline Human Engineering Lab Partners KALL Consulting Customer and User Experience Design and Strategy School Work
  4. 4. UX Review 4 4 Insight Techniques 4© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- 5 Myths of Interviewing Myth 1: People are good at rating their dissatisfactions and are prepared to share them. Myth 2: People are good at knowing the root cause of their problems. Myth 3: People are skilled at suggesting ways to improve the design. Myth 4: People perceive their own needs well and can articulate them. Myth 5: People in interviews tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. People are not reliable, and they wing it. Human nature to confuse correlation with cause. They are not designers; they are experts in their jobs. Observers discovers unarticulated needs. How naïve are you? 
  5. 5. UX Review 5 4 Insight Techniques 5© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Problem, Solution, Need What’s the problem? • I need meaningful user feedback to improve my product / service / concept. I (rightly) feel that interviewing people who play with it isn’t enough. What do we do about it? • Gather insight from people in multiple ways, make sense of the patterns and contradictions, and transform the discoveries into innovation. What do we need to get it done? • UX techniques to extract different insights from users.
  6. 6. UX Review 6 4 Insight Techniques 6© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Triangulation Using two or more methods to study the same point 1. Confidence: It allows you to fix a point in space. The more alignment among measures, the more confidence 2. Elephant in the dark: Rely on one measure and you only believe what you know 3. Contradictions: Contradictions don’t exist. They only mean that there is something you don’t know yet 4. Humility: You don’t know as much as you think you do. Be flexible enough to learn from users
  7. 7. UX Review 7 4 Insight Techniques 7© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Onion layers 1.Observation without interfering • ethnographic observation 2.Talk aloud • protocol analysis 3.Questioning in Context • contextual inquiry (not interview) 4.Descriptions • storytelling
  8. 8. UX Review 8 4 Insight Techniques 8© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Observation without Interfering – Ethnographic observation 1. Your job: Set up and watch, period! 2. What do you see? 3. How do you know what you know? 4. Hypotheses 5. Questions 6. All about: watching details and making observations 7. Observing a person doing their real job • With or without their awareness 8. Taking detailed notes • Frameworks for collecting observations (Later) 9. Learning: how to observe, how not to interfere, how to reduce biases for both parties. This takes patience, mindset and practice.
  9. 9. UX Review 9 4 Insight Techniques 9© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Talk Aloud – Protocol Analysis 1. Your job: Prompt them to keep talking, period! 2. All about: listening, and linking to observations 3. Prompt the participant to talk aloud • What they are thinking • What they are about to do • What they are looking for • What has just happened • What are they doing 4. You are building a mental model of how they see the system. 5. Learning: insight into the triangulation between what you observe and what the user reports their perceptions and thoughts are.
  10. 10. UX Review 10 4 Insight Techniques 10© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Questioning in Context – Contextual Inquiry 1. Your job: Question for clarity, test your theories, dialog to collaborate on understanding 2. You are not interviewing them 3. Real person, real tasks, real environment 4. All about: testing hypotheses 5. The participant does their real job, but you interrupt with clarifying questions. 6. You confirm observations from the first technique 7. You validate the models from the second technique 8. Learning: insight into the details behind the observations and the self-report of talk-aloud. Requires careful, oblique questioning.
  11. 11. UX Review 11 4 Insight Techniques 11© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Descriptions - Storytelling 1. Your job: Asking for and encouraging open ended participant story telling 2. Keep the story going 3. Collect a strong narrative 4. All about: gaining perspective, and empathy, through narratives and story telling. 5. Ask open ended questions: • Why do you do it that way? • Tell me what your day is like? • What do you do just before and after using this product? 6. Encourage participant to recount example stories • Tell me a time when XYZ? 7. Learning: the participant’s perspective that you might not have thought to ask about, the participant context within which your observations, models, and theories make sense.
  12. 12. UX Review 12 4 Insight Techniques 12© Kall Consulting 2013 --- Proprietary and Confidential --- +1 937-516-9503 --- Thank You Kall Consulting • • +1 (937) 516-9503 We’re glad to help your company become more customer and user-centric.