Leah weston kaae_lego-ux-final


Published on

LEGO Systems A/S is a large, global company with a focus on research. In fact, there are entire departments dedicated to understanding the consumer. But the digital world can move quickly. Sometimes you can’t wait for the big machine to tell you if you’re on the right track with your design. Maybe you work in a much smaller team and you don’t have the time or resources to bring the consumer perspective into the process.
In this presentation, we’ll explore various ways to get real world feedback into your design. It doesn't have to break the bank or your production schedule. There are some simple ideas and suggestions that can help you make sure the user won’t get lost along the way.

Published in: Design
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • I’m Leah Weston Kaae, Senior Strategic Planner at LEGO. Not everyone knows what a planner does, even within LEGO. I don’t work with excel or project… It’s my job to look at stats and observations and turn them into actionable insights. But before I was a Strategic Planner, I made websites for 17 years. I know how hard it is to remember the end user when you are down in the trenches. One of the worst feelings is to find out weeks into production that the decisions you’ve made don’t work. Most times in that instance, you don’t have the option to just stop and start again from scratch.LEGO is a very consumer-centric company. We research everything to do with our products; play experience, value for money, packaging, placement on shelves, and communication. We have both a consumer marketing insights group and the LEGO Foundation, which conducts ground breaking research on the power of play and creativity in learning.Even so, when we’re down in the trenches, executing on a campaign for a product line, we don’t always have the flexibility to do formal usability tests. Because we have so many product lines all launching at the same time, we usually have very tight openings with the dev team. And often usability tests and prototyping gets left by the wayside. So today, I'd like to share with you some of tricks I've picked up through the years to bring the consumer into the process even when you're short on time, money and people.
  • One of the reasons that I’ve been moved into the position of strategic planner is because I was a vocal and active advocate for testing during the design phases. My approach has always been that something is better than nothing. And I’ve had a lot of success with some really "down and dirty" testing. So, what I want to share with you today are some ideas that have worked for me, and hopefully you can find some inspiration or ideas to use in your work. No one department or person owns insights. It’s a state of mind and something everyone should factor into their daily work to varying degrees. I don’t expect everyone can spend all day focused research, like I do now. Just keeping on tech trends can feel like a chore if you’re knee deep in a project. But it’s so worth the time, and trying to build the time into your production schedules.I want to say, before going any further, that LEGO.com is an entertainment site focused on content. And since our MAIN audience is children, I can identify some places where having an ecommerce site or service focused site (i.e.travel) would differ. But no matter what, first and foremost, you need to identify your audience. In LEGO, we do this with the Communication Strategy. We spend weeks with a team of 6 or 7 working on this before we present it to our stakeholders. So, we have a very clear strategy which identifies the target audiences. For example, with our preschool line, DUPLO (what I’m working on right now), we’ve identified the target audience as first time moms with children between 1 and 3 years old. This is very specific, and it helps us focus the communication and make choices when creating the campaign.
  • One tool that can help you really identify your audience is a persona. Personas were very popular a few years ago, but have started to fall out of favor, which I’ll talk about in a minute. A persona is a fake person constructed from real user research to represent your target user. You can start with just a high level executive summary, for example, “Emma is an 8 year old girl who likes to hang out with her friends and watch videos online.” Ideally, you’ll know enough about your target audience to find that this is an easy task.
  • Here’s an example template of a more in-depth persona. It starts with a picture and some basic information. Then some of the relevant information to know about your end user would be what devices do they use? What are their favorite sites (other than yours), what activities are they interested in, either online or real time, that relate to your product? What is going on around them when they are visiting your site? What time of day? What are they trying to accomplish when they come to your site? Where does the site fail to deliver for them? And what opportunities are there in reaching them or helping them? It can also be quite interesting to gather keywords and create a word cloud. You could see in the LEVI persona poster example that they really relied on keywords to get the relevant information across. The most important point, though, is to gather insights that are RELEVANT and useful to your project.When you sit down to fill this in for your audience, you may find that you know quite a bit, or you may find that you really can’t answer the questions. But there will be things you want either verify or find out. And usually, the answers are a combination between qualitative and quantitative research, so it is important to talk to your target audience.More information aboutpersonas:http://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/web-design-personas/
  • So how do you find your target audience? When we do informal tests at LEGO we use everything at our disposal. We send emails out to all employees to see if someone can bring in their kids, we contact local schools (and now we have an International School across the street). When I wanted to test the newest LEGO Friends app, I posted on my school’s FB page, asking girls in the target age to a LEGO Friends party. Of course, I was very upfront that I wanted the girls to test a new app, and that they would bring home a LEGO set for helping out.
  • We ended up with 8 girls, with 4 ipads and 3 computers. Ordered pizza and made cupcakes to decorate. Gave each girl a LEGO Friends set worth $39.99 or 300 dkk (can get it at cost – a benefit not everyone has) and spent about 700 dkk in food (over did it) for a total of 2400 dkk. We had four adults there, monitoring the children and taking notes. In this instance, we didn’t take pictures or video, which was an oversight. Pictures and video are not only good for gathering the feedback after, but for reporting back to internal stakeholders. As an internal agency, documenting what we did to share with our clients is hugely important. Even informal tests can go a long way in making your case internally if documented properly.
  • The testing really paid off – we’ve had great reviews and were #10 Highest rank out of all apps first week and #2 Highest rank in Kids category first week
  • We had agreed with the developer to have a little over week to come back with feedback from internal stakeholders and from testing from the beginning of the creating the production schedule. So we put together both the internal feedback and the user feedback. There were definitely some features that the girls wanted that were great, but out of scope for the first launch. So we made sure that the features we did offer worked well, and made a prioritized list of features the girls were asking for which went into our backlog.The majority of changes were visual, so luckily, it didn't significantly impact the production schedule.One great way of organizing the feedback is to use post it notes. I’ve started using post it notes in most research I observe. I find it makes it so much easier to organize the thoughts and ideas after the sessions, and to think more proactively about it. Creating a long document no one will read doesn’t help anything.
  • When reporting to internal stakeholders after a “DYI” test, I’ve found that very simple presentations can go a long way. When we were first launching the LEGO Friends web site, we created an experience that was significantly different than the rest of LEGO.com (which is because we saw in earlier tests, that girls had different needs from our usual target audience of boys)Once we had gotten a direction, we piggybacked onto a product test and had 5 girls looking at clickable comps oncomputer screens. We had a few things we wanted to confirm, but we also wanted to see where we had improvement areas. In this example, I just took the comp and put the girls’ quotes into the areas they referred to. This was for discussions with the stakeholder, but it also helped the design and dev teams to see where we had nailed it and where we needed to focus. The visual aspect of it helped with both audiences. 
  • So before we had gotten to the point that I just showed you, we had already tested quite a bit. Since we were making the site aimed at girls in years, we started by testing two different design directions very early on, and learned quite a bit about what the girls look for when coming to a site. Remember to always film the session, even if it's on a phone. As I’ve mentioned (and can’t really stress enough) having pictures, video and sound after are invaluable when documenting the results. There are also software options to capture the user while they interact with the comps/prototype.  If you’re using a Mac, there’s a fairly inexpensive ($70) software named Silverback http://silverbackapp.com/ which will let you capture the user as they are looking at your site. The pictures to the side were taken with silverback. If you look at their site, they even claim to be guerrilla usability testing software for designers and developers. For windows, the high end version is Morae Windows based software: http://www.techsmith.com/morae.html Harry Brignall, who gave the keynote yesterday, runs a site called 90percentofeverything, and has a very useful, abeitolder post about alternative ways to capture a user testing session. http://www.90percentofeverything.com/2009/01/26/cheap-and-free-alternatives-to-morae-usability-testing-software/ We did this test in a conference room in our UK offices, since we didn’t have a focus group room (with mirror, etc) at the time. Since we were testing one girl at a time, we limited the participants to the moderator and one person to take notes. I’ve seen in tests where the users can see everyone watching the test, that it’s important to be sensitive to whether or not they will feel shy with a room full of strangers. For kids that’s doubly important. It’s also important to be in an environment that isn’t distracting for the users. Again, with kids, we find we can’t have too many LEGO bricks in the room or they will play with the toys instead of look at the computer. In most instances that’s a good thing...Test 2 prototypes of the LEGO Friends site• Target group: 6-8 year old girls• Participants: 11 girls• Methodology: Explorative in-lab usability testing• Sessions: July 27-29, 2011 in Slough, UKGirls didn’t understand:Product numbers, thought they were pricesThe word “building” thought it was a house or school The word “products” – wouldn’t have expected thatStrongly disliked the strong purpleWanted to see all of the girls, “I want to see what they are wearing”
  • One of the things we learned from that test was that the users (the girls) were extremely interested in the LEGO Friends girls, and seeing as much of them as possible. So, we tried a novel (again for LEGO) type of navigation, using just the girls. We created a prototype for testing, but also to have a conversation with the designers and dev team about functionality. For this prototype, I used App Sketcher. It’s an inexpensive Adobe Air app for $79. http://www.appsketcher.com/And while this worked well for conversions with the developers, the users found this confusing. Of course, there is a difference between kids and audiences and what they understand. But you'll be lucky if you can find people who can think this abstractly. It really depends on your target market. So it is important to make a prototype look as finished as possible to your target audience, which isn’t to say you have to have a final design. And it’s not the software that can’t do that… it was me…
  • But this is what lead to was the comps which I showed before… and between the comps and the prototypes, we launched our final website.
  • But it didn’t stop there. Three months after we launched we tested again in two markets, the US and DE. I was lucky enough to have usability researcher working for LEGO at the time who I could work with (Internal hours not a problem), and since we used LEGO offices for the testing, the only costs to me where the recruiting, the incentives (cash and product) and translator in Germany. The method used was very interesting. In usability testing, often you give the user tasks to perform to see how they interact (find the video section, find the games section and play a game). With this method, peer tutoring, we recruited two friends for the same session. The first girl would come in and go through the tasks, then she would teach the other girl how to do the tasks. It was really enlightening to hear them talk to each other, or hear one girls say, “Oh, don’t click there, that’s not important” and things like that. Because I was working with a specialist, I did get a very detailed report. However, for stakeholders we condensed it down to the actions we would take to improve the site (along with a time plan and budget for the improvements).Target group: GirlsMarkets: United States and GermanyParticipants: 9 peers of girls per market (18 peers total)Methodology: Peer Tutoring (one child teaches a friend)Study sessions: March 5-8, 2012 in New York, USAApril 17-19, 2012 in Munich, Germany
  • So we took a lot of the recommendations and results from the test into the process as we redesigned the site for the 2013 campaign. From 2012, traffic has increased by 19%, but I work in the global agency, which creates the content but we don’t have control over media budgets. The various brand managers in our markets (i.e., Nordic/Benelux or North America) have a big impact on how much traffic a site will get depending on if they are running promotions and really driving traffic to the site. But what we do have control over is the experience once the user gets there. The time spent on the LEGO Friends site has increased YOY by 77%. We’ve also doubled the page views on games and the products sections, and the time spent watching videos has increased 66%. And earlier this year, we did the same test on the redesigned site. It was great to see what we had addressed and what we still had issues with. The results are being implemented in the 2014 campaign redesign.The current LEGO Friends website, a Heartlake City Map (mockup), iOS game and the Nintendo DS game (prototype) were tested in terms of the overall User Experience.Target group: 6-9 year old girlsMethodology: Peer Tutoring (one child teaches a friend)Participants: 10 pairs of girlsMarkets: United States and GermanyStudy sessions:January 21-23, 2013 in Enfield, CT (USA)March 11-13, 2013 in Munich, Germany 
  • Duke University
  • Leah weston kaae_lego-ux-final

    2. 2. Leah Weston Kaae Senior Strategic Planner Consumer Marketing Agency LEGO Systems A/S Strategic Planners, in an agency context, helps turn statistics and observations into actionable, creative solutions Planners represent the consumers in the strategy and design process ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 2
    3. 3. in·sight noun 1. The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation; penetration. 2. The act or outcome of grasping the inward or hidden nature of things or of perceiving in an intuitive manner. ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 3
    4. 4. Identify your audience with personas "Emma is an 8 year old girl who likes to hang out with her friends and watch videos online" ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 4
    5. 5. Personas A picture says a thousand words… Source: Persona Posters, Jason Travis & LEVI’S ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 5 Source: Wall Street Journal
    6. 6. EXAMPLE PERSONA FIRST NAME Age Country Family Interests Picture Devices Favorite sites Goals Activities Keywords (word cloud) Pain Points Situations: What are they doing when they visit your site? ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 6 Opportunities
    7. 7. Recruiting Users Use anything and anyone at your disposal ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 7
    8. 8. LEGO Friends App testing ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 8
    9. 9. LEGO Friends App App Store User Reviews “My 5 year old granddaughters love this app… Shoot, I love it too! ..." "... excellent fun. I highly recommend it!” “THIS IS SOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS WHOEVER MADE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “I love lego friends and this app is great!” ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 9
    10. 10. Organizing feedback ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 10
    11. 11. Reporting “I’d go see Emma next” “I want to click here!” “I’d go see the games*” Attention areas: “Why is it in black & white?” Attention areas: “This page doesn’t really look like LEGO” One suggestion “you should get money in games, that you can shop with [in game]” ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 11
    12. 12. Testing Comps ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 12
    13. 13. Protoyping ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 13
    14. 14. Reporting “I’d go see Emma next” “I want to click here!” “I’d go see the games*” Attention areas: “Why is it in black & white?” Attention areas: “This page doesn’t really look like LEGO” One suggestion “you should get money in games, that you can shop with [in game]” ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 14
    15. 15. Post launch usability tests ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 15
    16. 16. ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 16
    17. 17. It's not rocket science •Insights belong to everyone •Try using personas •Find whatever way you can to talk to your users •There's a value in informal tests •Plan ahead and add some time to your production schedule •Make sure you record your sessions •Find simple, visual ways of capturing your findings •Make it actionable •Keep testing, keep improving •Be open ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 17
    18. 18. Thank you ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 18
    19. 19. APPENDIX ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 19
    20. 20. Focus Group Questions - Guidelines Make sure the focus group participants can understand and can fully respond to the questions posed. Questions should be: - ƒ Short and to the point - ƒ Focused on one dimension/subject each - ƒ Unambiguously worded - ƒ Open-ended or sentence completion types - ƒ Non-threatening or embarrassing - ƒ Worded in a way that they cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” answer (use “why” and “how” instead) There are three types of focus group questions: 1. Engagement questions: introduce participants to and make them comfortable with the topic of discussion 2. Exploration questions: get to the meat of the discussion 3. Exit question: check to see if anything was missed in the discussion ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 20
    21. 21. Focus Group Questions - Guidelines The focus group moderator has a responsibility to adequately cover all prepared questions within the time allotted. S/he also has a responsibility to get all participants to talk and fully explain their answers. Some helpful probes include: • ƒ “Can you talk about that more?” • ƒ “Help me understand what you mean” • ƒ “Can you give an example?” It is good moderator practice to paraphrase and summarize long, complex or ambiguous comments. It demonstrates active listening and clarifies the comment for everyone in the group. In order for all participant comments to be understandable and useful, they must be boiled down to essential information using a systematic and verifiable process. Clean up notes by stripping off nonessential words. Also, put each participant comment/quote a separate line on the page as well as any new thoughts or ideas. Label each line with the participant and group number, e.g. a comment from participant 6 in group 2 would be assigned the number 2.6. ©2013 The LEGO Group Page 21