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A Brief Introduction to User Research

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Created for a content strategy course in the UW Informatics program, this presentation is an introductory outline to user research and how it can power content strategy.

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A Brief Introduction to User Research

  1. 1. users are people, too using user research to remember your users are actually people. rachel price
  2. 2. who am I? user researcher information architect partner at factor UW iSchool alum bandleader
  3. 3. user research is observation
  4. 4. what people are doing how they are doing it why they are doing it
  5. 5. relieve your users of blame
  6. 6. add understanding to data
  7. 7. This is exactly what I needed to know.Why is she looking at me? I don’t understand what he means. add understanding to data
  8. 8. make evidence-based design decisions
  9. 9. generative evaluative
  10. 10. generative generates understanding of behaviors and needs, agnostic of your thing. ethnographic field studies diary/camera studies surveys user interviews …and more! evaluative
  11. 11. generative generates understanding of behaviors and needs, agnostic of your thing. ethnographic field studies diary/camera studies surveys user interviews …and more! evaluative evaluate, against a determined set of metrics, how well your thing serves user needs. card sorts (open or closed) A/B tests usability testing eye tracking studies …and more!
  12. 12. deep dive: user interviews!
  13. 13. 1.why interview? 2.design a user research program 3.conduct the interviews 4.analyze your findings 5.translate your findings to design decisions
  14. 14. when you talk to users, you realize that they are actually human beings.
  15. 15. when you talk to users, you find out some pretty surprising things. they challenge your assumptions.
  16. 16. 1.why interview? 2.design a user research program 3.conduct the interviews 4.analyze your findings 5.translate your findings to design decisions
  17. 17. STAMPede!
  18. 18. “hobbyist customers are dumb and don’t know how to order. this costs us a lot of money.” -the client
  19. 19. “hobbyist customers are dumb and don’t know how to order. this costs us a lot of money.” -the client “hobbyist customers are unfamiliar with the custom stamp ordering world, and don’t know what questions to ask, or what is expected of them in order to purchase.” -the user researcher
  20. 20. “we want hobbyists to buy things from us. how can we make them buy things from us?” -the client
  21. 21. “we want hobbyists to buy things from us. how can we make them buy things from us?” -the client “let’s do some research and turn it into a journey map so you can see where things are going awry…and hopefully, fix them.” - the user researcher
  22. 22. identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know?
  23. 23. identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know? how do novice users figure out which stamp to order?
  24. 24. identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know? how do novice users figure out which stamp to order? how do hobbyists describe stamps? what language do they use?
  25. 25. identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know? how do novice users figure out which stamp to order? how do hobbyists describe stamps? what language do they use? what projects are hobbyists trying to complete with stamps?
  26. 26. identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know? how do novice users figure out which stamp to order? how do hobbyists describe stamps? what language do they use? what projects are hobbyists trying to complete with stamps? how do hobbyists figure out which stamp they need?
  27. 27. how do novice users figure out which stamp to order? how do hobbyists describe stamps? what language do they use? what projects are hobbyists trying to complete with stamps? how do hobbyists figure out which stamp they need? what inspires hobbyists to start new projects? identify research goals what do we know? what do we want to know?
  28. 28. who should we talk to?
  29. 29. 1.why interview? 2.design a user research program 3.conduct the interviews 4.analyze your findings 5.translate your findings to design decisions
  30. 30. go where your participants take you.
  31. 31. don’t lead your participants.
  32. 32. commit to awkward silences.
  33. 33. notetaking take all the notes. they are the foundation for everything else.
  34. 34. 1.why interview? 2.design a user research program 3.conduct the interviews 4.analyze your findings 5.translate your findings to design decisions
  35. 35. affinity diagramming go cluster!
  36. 36. 1.why interview? 2.design a user research program 3.conduct the interviews 4.analyze your findings 5.translate your findings to design decisions
  37. 37. let’s make a journey map!
  38. 38. Am I supposed to be using a ‘stamp plate’? A ‘stamp machine’? Which one am I supposed to buy? I couldn’t figure it out. I ended up buying a stamp plate, when what I really needed was a stamp plate WITH a stamp machine. How was I supposed to know that? “ ”
  39. 39. Hobbyists think about specific projects. So, use that subject matter on your site! Better have good SEO! Could test out using holiday themed stamp collections as an organizational method.
  40. 40. Hobbyists are project-oriented, so they want to accomplish something quickly. Hobbyists look at images to make decisions. Hobbyists don’t understand the language you’re using on your product pages.
  41. 41. Hobbyists are having trouble understanding what they’re buying. you ruined Christmas! Wrong orders cost money & misunderstandings make their experience negative.
  42. 42. user research is challenging.
  43. 43. user research is rewarding. user research is challenging.
  44. 44. …when you do it right. user research is rewarding. user research is challenging.
  45. 45. thank you!
  46. 46. further resources Dan Szuc & Josephine Wong’s take on facilitating great user interviews: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2014/05/deeper-understanding- stories-observations-and-insights.php Explaining UX Research to Clients (A List Apart) http://alistapart.com/article/can-you-say-that-in-english- explaining-ux-research-to-clients When to Use Which UX Research Methods https://www.nngroup.com/articles/which-ux-research- methods/ Interviewing Users (Steve Portigal) http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/interviewing-users/

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