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Design Research Synthesis

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a simple guide for synthesizing design research

Published in: Design

Design Research Synthesis

  1. 1. Synthesis
  2. 2. The most critical part of the design process
  3. 3. “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions” -Albert Einstein
  4. 4. Designers often try to solve a design problem while simultaneously trying to understand the design problem - Exposing the Magic of Design by Jon Kolko
  5. 5. Designers often try to solve a design problem while simultaneously trying to understand the design problem - Exposing the Magic of Design by Jon Kolko
  6. 6. How we should spend our time solving design problems
  7. 7. Finding the problem Understanding the problem Solving the problem
  8. 8. Finding the problem Understanding the problem Solving the problem Research Synthesis Design & Prototyping
  9. 9. Synthesis is turning the mess of research to the beginnings of a design solution
  10. 10. Findings are observed behaviors or quotes. Insights show us what people do, why they do it and how we can design a solution for it.
  11. 11. Insights show us what people do, why they do it and how we can design a solution for it. People’s true needs and motivations Observed behavior or quote Actionable design hypothesis
  12. 12. Less than 3 suggests you didn’t cover a wide enough range of people. More than 8 suggests that you might be expressing the same insight multiple times. So how many insights should we have?
  13. 13. How we synthesize Going from problem finding to problem understanding
  14. 14. The goal of synthesis Consensus across the group a clear journey of evidence for design
  15. 15. Grouping Emerging Themes
  16. 16. Closely review the notes Write down behaviors, emotions, and verbatim quotes on post-it notes Group notes on the whiteboard Watch patterns emerge Rearrange the notes as you continue assess the patterns Grouping Emerging Themes
  17. 17. Affinity diagrams organize and prioritize insights Observations, Behaviors, Quotes I asked someone who did it I asked lawyers I didn’t compare That are personalized to them wanted to hire my first employee In the right location Insights People don’t know what they don’t know People just want it dealt with Looking for someone they trust Actionable insight People need to compare They need to know you can be trusted Within their family
  18. 18. Grouping theme form usability testing
  19. 19. “In 25 years of doing this, in virtually every usability test I’ve seen, we knew what the top 3 problems were once the final user had left the session.” - the 7 deadly sins of user research, David Travis
  20. 20. You know you’ve done usability testing correctly when You already have a strong sense about what you’re going to fix before your round of testing is done.
  21. 21. User Journeys
  22. 22. Archetypes help organize useful quotes, data, and anecdotes from interviews “A quote that sums up his interview” Goals What are some of Dave’s goals? What did he say? 
 Quotes that stood out to us What did we observe?
 What we noticed but he didn’t mention Behaviors, habits, and workarounds Meet Dave, again
  23. 23. User Journeys based on research visualizes the current experience for how people solve problems. Here is a sample for how people select an HR solution. Trigger
 Why did you start looking for an HR solution? Search
 Where did you start looking? Compare
 How many services did you look at? Decide
 What was your deciding factor? Sign Up
 How did you feel after you chose?
  24. 24. Research Retrospective
  25. 25. Three categories Understood Confusing Noteworthy
  26. 26. Synthesizing our research even farther into actionable insights and challenge statements
  27. 27. We pair insights with challenge statements
  28. 28. A good actionable insight Based off research Typically derived from a grouping of insights Is short and memorable Very hard to do
  29. 29. A good challenge statement Directly relates to the actionable insight Require further testing to address
  30. 30. Team Sketch Session
  31. 31. You’ve synthesized your research. And have some hunches to explore.
  32. 32. All team sketch session Hunches Ideas
  33. 33. Scenarios and prompts based off synthesis
  34. 34. Quick Steal Remix No bad ideas Fun
  35. 35. Take those stacks of sketches and create polarizing prototypes

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