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Understanding Users : How to Get People to Really Say What They Do

Great products and services start with a deep understanding of your user’s needs and behaviour. This workshop will share some tips on how to frame your questions to get better insights, and the types of questions to ask to undercover user motivations and behaviours.


Presented at Echelon 2015 Workshop, Created by Minitheory

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Understanding Users : How to Get People to Really Say What They Do

  1. 1. Jun 24, 2015 Understanding Users Echelon 2015 Prepared by Minitheory Pte Ltd
  2. 2. Charmaine Low Interaction Designer, Minitheory I understand user needs & behaviours to create useful & intuitive products.
  3. 3. Minitheory is a digital design studio, based in sunny Singapore. We make software simple, based on how people think and behave.
  4. 4. Make something people want Paul Graham Y Combinator
  5. 5. Understanding users helps you figure out what they want Talk to your users!
  6. 6. How well do you know your users?
  7. 7. Some Grocery Delivery Startup My customers… ○ 20 - 40 years old ○ income of $2500 - $5000 ○ shops at supermarkets ○ female Bad Example
  8. 8. Focus on behaviours & needs instead of demographics
  9. 9. My customers… ○ buy groceries regularly for their household ○ live with family of 4 or more ○ working adult ○ does not have a helper ○ probably does not have a car ○ could live far away from a grocery store Good Example Some Grocery Delivery Startup
  10. 10. Learn about your user ✓ problem ✓ context ✓ existing behaviour ✓ goals & needs TAKEAWAY
  11. 11. Tips for talking to users
  12. 12. Tip 1
  13. 13. Questions that produce not-so-helpful answers ● Would you use this app? ● What do you want from product X? ● Do you like this? ● If you had this problem, would you use X
  14. 14. Why? (or, Human Behavior 101) ● (most) people are too polite to say ‘no’ ● People can’t imagine technologies that don’t exist yet ● people overestimate how much effort they’re willing to put into something ● people think incremental, not disruptive
  15. 15. A better format ● Start off with a general question like Tell me about the last time [insert context where problem occurs] ● Ask for details about the problem and pain What took you the longest time to do? What was hard to figure out? ● Find out how they are currently solving the problem Why do you…? How do you…? ● Figure out what is important to them If you had to pick only one thing… What is most important to you...
  16. 16. Avoid Yes/No, use open-ended questions Tip 2
  17. 17. Avoid Yes/No questions ● restricts answers to 2 options, which may not be the case ● implies an option Examples Do you go to the gym regularly? Do you use your phone to buy X? Do you use loyalty cards? Do you have trouble booking flight tickets?
  18. 18. Using WWWWH qns make it open-ended Do you go to the gym regularly? → When was the last time you went to the gym? Did you buy X online? → Where do you go to buy X? Do you use loyalty cards? → What loyalty cards do you have? Do you have trouble booking flight tickets? → How was the last time you booked a flight? TAKEAWAY
  19. 19. Tip 3 Ask for specific instances instead of generalizations
  20. 20. Generalizations lose details of how people make decisions You: “Do you go to the gym regularly?” User: “Yeah I usually go to the gym maybe once a month, and do the treadmill.” You: “Oh, tell me about the last time you went to the gym.” User: “Hmm that was… oh actually 2 months back. I missed last month because I was sick for a while. And I think the month before the gym wasn’t open when I went so I didn’t. So in March I went after work on a Wednesday, and did the treadmill. Oh, and also the weights - my friend...
  21. 21. Use this magic question “Tell me about the last time you…” TAKEAWAY
  22. 22. ● Focus on behaviour & needs instead of demographics ● Learn about user’s problem, context, goals etc ● #1 One does not simply ask a user what they want ● #2 Use open-ended questions ● #3 Ask for specific instances SUMMARY
  23. 23. Thank you! Feedback? Questions? Coffee? Minitheory @MinitheoryHQ