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Fundamentals and practices of UX research


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8 common methods and techniques used in UX research

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Fundamentals and practices of UX research

  2. 2. UX?
  3. 3. UX = USER EXPERIENCE deals with people interacting with your product or service and experience they receive from that interaction…
  4. 4. UX encompasses all aspects of the end- user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. “The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use“ UX COMPONENTS…? UX isn’t limited to the visual interface. UX has many dimensions covering the entire journey a person takes: • The process they go through to discover your company’s product • The sequence of actions they take as they interact the interface • The thoughts and feelings that arise as they try to accomplish their task • The impressions they take away from the interaction as a whole Norman Nielsen
  5. 5. THE GOAL OF UX DESIGN IS TO improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product (UserTesting) UX DESIGN: „is a process for designing systems that offer a great experience to users“(Justin Mifsud) UX DESIGN: „is a commitment to building products with the customer in mind“ (Marieke McCloskey)
  6. 6. UX vs USABILITY…?
  7. 7. Usability is about task-based interaction. It is the characteristic of the interface indicating how quickly and easily (how intuitively) users reach their goals – perform indented task. It is measured with metrics such as: success rate, error rate, abandonment rate, time to complete task, clicks to completion, etc.
  8. 8. User experience (UX) is a broader concept including also how people feel while they interact with your product. So, UX is also about emotional connection
  9. 9. Excellent usability is definitelly the crucial component of a great UX There is no good UX without a good usability However, good usability is not enough to create an excellent UX….
  10. 10. Great UX creates users’ joy and amusement when using your product, great UX is about the esthetic values being fulfilled. UX is about personal identity and personal mastery being created or proved by using your product. It is about social connections gathered or deepened by using your product. Thus UX affects overall users’ engagement, therefore influences: likelihood to continue use, and likelihood to recommend your product to others.
  11. 11. WHAT IMPACTS UX…? User experience design is a concept that has many dimensions, and it includes many different disciplines - such as interaction design, information architecture, visual design, usability, etc.
  12. 12. UX RESEARCH Where to start…?
  13. 13. What are the best research tools? …It depends: ON WHAT YOU NEED TO TEST = WHAT IS THE STAGE OF YOUR PROJECT
  14. 14. There are many research methods useful in the process of a digital product development Different methods are applicable in different phases of a project TEST EARLY. TEST OFTEN. TEST WITH REAL USERS. ITERATE.
  15. 15. FROM EXPLORATION TO VALIDATION Research methods vary from explorative techniques (in early phase) to validation techniques (in late phases) based on research objectives set up according to specific PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STAGE Exploring and gathering users’: • Needs and motivations • Expectations and desires • User stories • Users’ painful moments and the „moments of true“ • Users’ demographics, U&A analysis • Market and sector insights • Competitors analysis and best practices, etc. Validating and testing: • Product value and concept idea • IA / taxonomy testing • Interaction flow testing • Overall usability testing on: • Paper or clickable prototypes • Visual (overall) design evaluation • Product potential testing, etc.
  16. 16. 8 COMMON METHODS USED IN UX RESEARCH 1. Creating personas 2. User journey mapping 3. 2-minutes interview 4. Card sorting 5. Competitive audit 6. Heuristic evaluation 7. Usability testing: Prototype testing 8. Heat Maps
  18. 18. Before starting any product development it is crucial to answer: who are the people we are designing the solution for? Personas support user-centered design throughout a project’s lifecycle by making characteristics of key user segments more salient
  19. 19. WHAT IS PERSONA? A fictional character that represents the group of users described in a such way that we can picture him or her as an alive tangible person To understand better who the users are in order to fulfill their expectations and needs via newly developed product PURPOSE
  20. 20. Demography • Age • Family status • Education • Occupation and income • Where he lives Appearance and personality • His characteristic traits • How he communicates • What is important to him • What he likes/dislikes • What kind of problem he solves Name of persona........... Credo / quote ........... Interests • What he does for fun • Where you can meet him • What he reads and watch • Tools he uses (notebook, i-watch, i-pad…) • Applications and web sites he fancies • Social nets he uses Needs and motivators • What he aspires for, wishes, dreams • What kinds of problems he solves • What are his personal and work goals • What motivates him • Who is an idol figure for him • What is important for him at work • What frustrates him
  21. 21. PROCESS TO CREATE PERSONAS 1. Organize the team cross-functional workshop: using the team knowledge to make a raw draft of personas 2. Do research: interview (possibly combine with observations) 2 – 6 people per persona to verify and tune the team assumptions and knowledge about personas 3. Have presentation: show the final image of users’ personas to the whole team, so each project member has the consistent knowledge of the users target groups usable during the whole project cycle
  22. 22. What is it? Technique used to define and describe your groups of potential or current customers / users In the very beginning of the project When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? To ensure that all project members know who the target user is throughout the whole project cycle To understand better your users’ needs and expectations RECAP
  24. 24. A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience
  25. 25. A user journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. It’s used for understanding and addressing customer needs and pain points
  27. 27. OPTIMAL PROCESS TO CREATE USERS’ JOURNEY 1. Organize a team cross-functional workshop in order to: a. Define a use case you want to explore - in terms of a goal users should reach b. Make a draft of an assumed - expected users’ journey 2. Do research: 2 – 6 interviews (optimally combined with observations) per persona - to explore real users’ journey: find out what users do, what devices and touchpoints they use, explore users’ motivation, painful moments, explore what users think and feel and identify all insights and opportunities 3. Organize a team cross-functional workshop in order to: a. Visualize the whole process b. Based on research insights make reco how to improve it and fine-tune the user journey process
  28. 28. User journey map example
  29. 29. User journey map structure
  30. 30. What is it? Technique used to understand how people / users behave right now when reaching their goals As a second step of the project after creating persona When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? To solve and eliminate all painful moments for the users To create more effective, more intuitive and more enjoyable ways for users to reach their goals using your new product To describe users’ current flow, users touchpoints, devices and steps they take when reaching their goals To identify users painful moments, to explore their motivation behind it in order to create more enjoyable UX RECAP
  32. 32. GOAL AND PROCESS • A semi-quantitative approach if you want to identify the only one and „the biggest problem and issue“ users face while using SW, site or app • It takes 2 minutes to ask: „Tell me one thing you would like to change in a way you do your job. Just 1 thing. • You can interview 40+ people = potential for quantitative analysis
  33. 33. What is it? Technique used to identify the most problematic issue users face when using current products or services While you ideate about your future project idea When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? To find the key „problem“ people want to get eliminated To identify the biggest challenges on the market / industry, etc. To identify semi-quantitatively users’ painful moments they experience while using current products or services RECAP
  34. 34. CARD SORTING
  35. 35. What is it? A method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture While you create the content and structure of your site (taxonomy) When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? Get insight how to structure the whole content of your site / app Test whether the site / app structure matches the way users think Find out how users understand and group information items on your site Find out how users label categories and organize items into those categories RECAP
  36. 36. 1. Prepare cards with your site content items (topics) and blank cards 2. Ask participants to organize cards (topics) into groups that make sense to them 3. Ask participants to name (label) each group they created in a way they feel it describes best its content - putting the name of each category on the blank cards 4. Ask participants to think aloud while sorting and naming 5. Record thoroughly the whole process 1. Prepare cards with your site content items (topics) and cards with pre- defined categories (labels) 2. Ask participants to sort items into pre- defined categories 3. Ask participants to think aloud while sorting 4. Record thoroughly the whole process Open Card Sort Closed Card Sort PROCESS: there are 2 ways to conduct card sorting
  38. 38. 1. To keep a finger on the pulse of what other businesses in your industry are doing, saying and offering 2. Help you position yourself in a differentiated and compelling way 3. To see what works and what doesn’t 4. To collect inspiration WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? Understanding who your key competitors are, how they’re positioning themselves, what products and services they offer, and how their talk about them…
  39. 39. What is it? A desk-research method used to learn industry trends and standards In the beginning of the project When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? It is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to get insight into an industry sector you are operating in Find out what and how your competitors communicate in terms of product offer, in terms of website design, how they position themselves, etc. Find out best practices RECAP
  41. 41. • Quick, inexpensive method applicable before testing website or app on real users • Based on 10 Heuristic Commandments by Jacob Nielsen ideally broken down into more specific usability guidelines • Several experts evaluate the interface toward these guidelines • Goal: to test how well an interface complies with valid recognized usability principles = heuristics • Process: prepare the list of the specific usability principles and let several experts evaluate how well the interface performs on each using the 5-point scale GOAL AND PROCESS
  42. 42. 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design 1. Visibility of system status 2. Match between system and the real world 3. User control and freedom 4. Consistency and standards 5. Error prevention 6. Recognition rather than recall 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors 10. Help and documentation
  43. 43. What is it? Technique used to evaluate web sites or apps by experts Before testing on real users – before usability testing When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? It is a quick and inexpensive way to eliminate „bugs“, and to improve the overall interface (flow, content, structure, etc.) To create sites or apps in an accordance with 10 heuristic commandments RECAP
  45. 45. One of the most widespread and popular techniques in UX research applicable during variety of stages of a project lifecycle You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but people will leave immediately if they are unable to figure out how to navigate your site quickly
  46. 46. Usability test measures on real users how easy an object is to use In the case of websites and app, usability has been defined as the ease at which an average person can use the software or website to ACHIEVE INTENDED TASK
  47. 47. 1. SPECIFIC USE CASES (SCENARIOS) ARE SET PRIOR TO TESTING 2. USERS OF A PROPER TARGET GROUP ARE INVITED 3. USER IS INSTRUCTED TO PERFORM SPECIFIC TASKS 4. USER IS ASKED TO THINK ALOUD AND COMMENT 5. FACILITATOR OBSERVES BEHAVIOR AND TAKES NOTES 6. THE WHOLE PROCESS IS RECORDED 7. ANALYZED QUANTITATIVELY AND QUALITATIVELY GOALS AND PROCESS The goal is to identify any usability problems, and increase the users' satisfaction with the (digital) product Usability testing involves 1 user and facilitator in a set up of a moderated interview:
  48. 48. ANALYSIS QUANTITATIVE METRICS: • success rate • error rate • time to complete task • clicks to completion • overall satisfaction . QUALITATIVE INSIGHTS BASED ON: • all users’ verbal behavior: expressed thoughts and comments • users’ non-verbal behavior: expressed struggles or delight After completing all interviews results are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively
  49. 49. LOW-FIDELITY prototypes: paper ones, wireframes, static pages YOU CAN TEST: This usability testing method involves creating rough, even hand-sketched, drawings of an interface to use as prototypes, or models of a design. Observing a user undertaking a task using such prototypes enables the testing of design ideas at an extremely low cost and before any coding has been done.
  50. 50. • Generally speaking, the different screens are sketched prior to the testing. • Typical use cases are then created and the users are requested to try and perform them by interacting with the prototype. • Based on where they press or select, the „human computer“ (typically person responsible for interaction design) will change or alter the prototype by introducing whole screens according to users behavior MORE DETAILS…..? Usibility testing video
  51. 51. OR YOU CAN TEST: This usability testing method involves building an interactive prototype which can be time and money consuming due to coding. However it may enable to test not only interaction design but also visual design – graphic elements HIGH-FIDELITY prototypes: clickable sites, work-in progress interactive app, etc.
  52. 52. MOST EFFECTIVE RESEARCH TECHNIQUES involve observing participants doing things and talking about what they’re doing, rather than focusing on opinions and discussing behavior in an abstract manner. Therefore, the best way to evaluate a new design is to create a prototype and give participants something concrete to interact with and react to.
  53. 53. As stated by Jakob Nielsen, 5 users should be able to identify about 85% of all usability problems
  54. 54. What is it? Technique used to evaluate a web site or app by testing it with representative users During different project stages, in every iteration of a product development When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? To eliminate as early as possible problems with user interface To safe time and money required by coding To identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product RECAP
  55. 55. HEAT MAPS
  56. 56. On-line quantitative approach to test how people use the live site or app How people move on site OUTCOME: Move Heatmaps: shows where visitors move their mouse on the screen. This gives a very good indication of where the visitor is looking on the page Where people click or tap: OUTCOME: Click and Tap Heatmaps: shows where visitors click their cursor on desktop devices and where visitors tap their finger on mobile and tablet devices How far people scroll: OUTCOME: Scroll Heatmaps: shows to what position your visitors scroll on the page
  57. 57. WHAT KINDS OF PROBLEMS YOU SOLVE BY THIS? 1. The Distraction Test: shows what redundant information distracts users from following the wanted flow – usually the critical path 2. The Link Test: show when visitors are confused thus using links which are not active links 3. The Missing Information Test: shows whether visitors look for information that is missing on your site 4. The Depth-Surface Test: shows whether visitors do not realize there is additional content lower on your pages since this is not readily visible 5. Conversion Funnel Test / Abandonment Test: shows when and where visitors decide to leave your page
  58. 58. What is it? A method used to track users’ behavior on-line on your completed live site or app Before you test your site / app using hi- fidelity usability testing or along with it, on a live site / app When to do it? Why to use it? Objectives? It is easy and quick on-line feedback on your site or app from real users enabling quantitative testing To reveal how users move and click on the site, which elements distract them, or are missing To eliminate problematic issues without necessity to apply hi-fidelity usability testing RECAP
  59. 59. SOME SW FOR PROTOTYPING AND UX TESTING • UserTesting: prototype and wireframe tests, moderated tests, users recruiting, • Usability Tool: surveys, card sorting, scenario-based testing, etc. • Axure: create flowcharts, wireframes, mockups, user journeys, personas, idea boards and more • InVision: prototyping tools for web, mobile, clickable, interactive prototypes • CrazyEgg: click tracking usability tool • Hotjar: clicks, taps and scrolling behavior via heatmaps • Clickheat: usability tools that track where users click • Keynotopia: Keynote and PowerPoint templates for creating mobile, web and desktop prototypes • HeapAnalytics: analytic tool capturing all user interactions without requiring extra code
  60. 60. People don't really know what they want! But people can be amazingly accurate talking about the things they don't want. Listen to users and observe the users! Twitter: @trezova THAT’S ALL FOLKS, JUST REMEMBER….