user research:
trying to answer
the why and how
questions
aga szóstek(at)gmail.com
why doing user research
in the first place?
- users have different goals
than designers
- users do not care for design
success
- there is more than one user
per soluti...
traditional user research
-  formal
-  informative
-  answers
-  precision
-  understanding
-  raw data
generative methods...
user research:
an example
PhD	
  project:	
  Sebas1an	
  Denef	
  
	
  
Promoters:	
  David	
  V.	
  Keyson	
  i	
  Reinha...
How do firemen deal with
dangerous situations
in the midst of the action?
How could their actions be supported
through inte...
OBSERVATIONS
TOOL
ANALYSIS
ROLE PLAYING
BUILDING
EMPATHY
using generative methods:
an example
Welcome Experience at a telecom provider
Aga Szóstek, Marcin Piotrowski, Joanna Kwiat...
first month with a telecom provider
provider
first
impressions
user
trial
period
uncertainty
building
relationship
gaining
t...
partcipants
-  20 persons (50% M, 50% F)
-  recruited at the door of the provider’s shop
-  committed to buy a postpaid pl...
diary / blog study
love / hate letters
creative workshop
why and when
traditional user research?
-  works great for the defined design space
-  helps to objectify discovered phenomena
-  supports task oriented design
-  ...
why and when
generative methods?
-  high complexity of the design issues (so
called: wicked problems)
-  uncertainty what truly is the design
challenge
-  ...
who should participate?
snowball sampling:
when you want to find users who have similar
interests, jobs or lifestyle
extreme case sampling:
when you want to find users who are extreme
representatives of certain behaviours (e.g. firemen for a...
homogenous sampling:
when you want to find users who are very much
alike in a certain aspect
maximum variation sampling:
when you want to find users who are very different
with respect to a certain aspect
convenience sampling:
when you just want to find users
who are together for some reason (eg. a workshop)
and agree to parti...
opportunistic sampling:
when you just want to find
truly random users
references
Denef, S.; Keyson, D.; Oppermann, R. Rigid Structures, Independent
Units, Monitoring: Organizing Patterns in Fr...
User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions
User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions
User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions
User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions
User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions
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User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions

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This is the first part of my fourth lecture at the HITLab, Canterbury University in New Zealand. As a design practitioner I am frequently getting a question from other practitioners, why would they do user research in the first place. Once I manage to convince them why it makes sense, the follow up question typically regards the issue of choosing the right people for that research. In this presentation I am trying to highlight two different approaches to user research, which I will describe in more detail in the next presentation.

Published in: Design

User Research: trying to answer the why and how questions

  1. 1. user research: trying to answer the why and how questions aga szóstek(at)gmail.com
  2. 2. why doing user research in the first place?
  3. 3. - users have different goals than designers - users do not care for design success - there is more than one user per solution - there is more than one solution per problem
  4. 4. traditional user research -  formal -  informative -  answers -  precision -  understanding -  raw data generative methods -  informal -  inspirational -  questions -  ambiguity -  empathy -  interpretation
  5. 5. user research: an example PhD  project:  Sebas1an  Denef     Promoters:  David  V.  Keyson  i  Reinhard  Oppermann      
  6. 6. How do firemen deal with dangerous situations in the midst of the action? How could their actions be supported through interactive technologies?
  7. 7. OBSERVATIONS
  8. 8. TOOL ANALYSIS
  9. 9. ROLE PLAYING
  10. 10. BUILDING EMPATHY
  11. 11. using generative methods: an example Welcome Experience at a telecom provider Aga Szóstek, Marcin Piotrowski, Joanna Kwiatkowska    
  12. 12. first month with a telecom provider provider first impressions user trial period uncertainty building relationship gaining trust adjusting offer explaining payment upselling
  13. 13. partcipants -  20 persons (50% M, 50% F) -  recruited at the door of the provider’s shop -  committed to buy a postpaid plan -  signing an agreement to participate
  14. 14. diary / blog study
  15. 15. love / hate letters
  16. 16. creative workshop
  17. 17. why and when traditional user research?
  18. 18. -  works great for the defined design space -  helps to objectify discovered phenomena -  supports task oriented design -  resolves interaction problems -  focuses in iterative measurement of progress -  enables comparison
  19. 19. why and when generative methods?
  20. 20. -  high complexity of the design issues (so called: wicked problems) -  uncertainty what truly is the design challenge -  need for flexibility to approach the solution -  building empathy
  21. 21. who should participate?
  22. 22. snowball sampling: when you want to find users who have similar interests, jobs or lifestyle
  23. 23. extreme case sampling: when you want to find users who are extreme representatives of certain behaviours (e.g. firemen for a decision-taking study
  24. 24. homogenous sampling: when you want to find users who are very much alike in a certain aspect
  25. 25. maximum variation sampling: when you want to find users who are very different with respect to a certain aspect
  26. 26. convenience sampling: when you just want to find users who are together for some reason (eg. a workshop) and agree to participate in the study
  27. 27. opportunistic sampling: when you just want to find truly random users
  28. 28. references Denef, S.; Keyson, D.; Oppermann, R. Rigid Structures, Independent Units, Monitoring: Organizing Patterns in Frontline Firefighting. In Proceedings of the 2011 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Austin, TX, USA, 5–10 May 2011; pp. 1949– 1958. Pallot, Marc, et al. "Living lab research landscape: From user centred design and user experience towards user cocreation." First European Summer School'Living Labs'. 2010.

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