Bootstrapping User Research

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In this presentation I discuss the approach, and tools we can use to do research on our users when we don't have resources, budget, or buy in from stakeholders.

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  • Next we will move on to a few ways that we can scrape, hustle, and dig up that data on our own. This will consist of some tools as well as techniques that we can use.\n\n
  • I have even approached a service provider (who I can not name) and just asked if they would upgrade my service for 60 days if I would provide them with a case study, and a blog post (on my design blog) about how their service worked for me. It actually worked and they didn’t just upgrade me one level, they allowed me to test drive the enterprise level of their tool. It worked out great for both parties, I got my data, and they got some additional targeted marketing.\n\n
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  • There are quite a few online survey tools available that can be used to get information from our users. \nMost of these are either free, or come with a minimal monthly charge.\n
  • I love me some data, and getting a firm grasp of Google analytics can definitely shed some light on how are users are interacting with our sites/web apps.There are also some other great analytics tools such as Omniture, ClickTale, and Crazy Egg are a few that I have used, and would recommend to really get a great snapshot of user behavior.\n
  • Another great way to learn about your users, is to sit down with the different departments of your company that interact with the end user like customer service, sales, billing, etc. Most of the time we can get away with doing this for free, but I have gone as far as to take people to lunch for their time, or given them a Starbucks gift card. Any information we can get is helpful. So don’t be afraid to get creative.\n
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  • When we can show ourselves to be resourceful and come back with useful information that can help improve the quality and experience of the products we are building we increase our chances of getting buy in from stakeholders and managers, as well as the likelihood that we will get some kind of budget, even if it is small, every little bit helps.\n\n
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  • Bootstrapping User Research

    1. 1. Bootstrapping User ResearchGathering data about your users with limited or no resourcesAaron IrizarrySenior Product Manager - PixelFish, Inc
    2. 2. The SituationIntroduction There is research that needed to be done...
    3. 3. The SituationIntroduction There is research that needed to be done... • We are limited to very few resources.
    4. 4. The SituationIntroduction There is research that needed to be done... • We are limited to very few resources. • We are limited by lack of budget.
    5. 5. The SituationIntroduction There is research that needed to be done... • We are limited to very few resources. • We are limited by lack of budget. • We are limited by lack of buy in from stakeholders.
    6. 6. Introduction our circumstances Regardless of it is our responsibility as designers and researchers to obtain the data we need even if it is not provided to us.
    7. 7. But how?Introduction The right approach combined with the right tools and a bit of hustle we can dig up useful information on our own. These two things can be our biggest allies when working with limited resources.
    8. 8. ApproachIntroduction If our mental approach isn’t right... We are limiting ourselves from the start. Bootstrapping, and hustling for information has to come from a never say die attitude where we get information about our users by any means necessary.
    9. 9. Approach: techniqueIntroduction Be Proactive, be Prepared to get creative in your approach, and be Persistent in your pursuit of data.
    10. 10. Introductionsurveys Tools: using
    11. 11. Tools: analyticsIntroduction Getting familiar with analytics tools is a good way to get snapshots of user behavior.
    12. 12. Tools: interviewsIntroduction Any conversation you can have that provides more information about your users is valuable.
    13. 13. PresentationIntroduction “Once you start talking about what the executives are already convinced of, it becomes easier to get them to make investments. You’re no longer trying to get them to change their focus. You’re playing directly into their main field of attention.” - Jared Spool
    14. 14. Introduction techniques Presentation:
    15. 15. Introduction techniques Presentation:• Avoid too much documentation.
    16. 16. Introduction techniques Presentation:• Avoid too much documentation.• Use Video
    17. 17. Introduction techniques Presentation:• Avoid too much documentation.• Use Video • Speak to the points you know will hit home.
    18. 18. Don’t get down by limitedresources, or when “the powersthat be” don’t seem committed.Bootstrap your way to getting thedata you need.
    19. 19. That’s my story and I’msticking to it. Aaron Irizarry Senior Product Manager - PixelFish thisisaaronlife.com @aaroni268
    20. 20. Additional ResourcesWhy I can’t convince executives to invest in UX (and neither can you) - Jared SpoolGuerilla Usability Testing - Andy BuddGuerrilla Research Methods - Russ UngerDIY UX - Whitney HessEvangelizing User Centered Design Pt.4 Research - Aaron Irizarry
    21. 21. Bootstrapping User ResearchGathering data about your users with limited or no resourcesAaron IrizarrySenior Product Manager - PixelFish, Inc

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