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UX research throughout
the project lifecycle
@alicegherbison
some helpful methods of investigation
when they can be used on a project
the kind of impact research can have
BUSINESS
USERS CONTENT
THE CHARITY
our assumption
charity user = website user
research goal
research goal
=
what role does the website play in the
lives of the people the charity helps?
never visited website
got all information from Facebook
mostly used phones to go online
collect assumptions
set research goal
use research to validate
no way we would have known true
behaviour otherwise
tree testing
www.optimalworkshop.com/treejack
Tree Jack
TREE JACK
TREE JACK
have something to validate
reach people remotely
want to ignore UI
get quick stats and robust sample size
THE DENTIST
research goal
=
1. develop a deeper understanding of end user needs
and expectations (and any localised differences)
through direct and indirect feedback
2. identify and prioritise business needs
why does speaking with staff
count as user research?
staff interviews
contact page giving wrong impression
practice pages not highlighting NHS
CMS setup makes updating difficult
speaking to staff can identify user needs
THE BIG INSTITUTION
39 key questions
?
things to fix
explore further
opportunities
reassurance
JIRA & prioritise
UX team
client to explore
client happy
prioritised updates
contextual interviews
tree testing
usability tests
staff
interviews
stops you aligning design and content with
the wrong user group
check your IA is suitable
find ways to improve higher level business
processes and workflows
lets business prioritise change
make things better
thank you!

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Signal's Alice Herbison @ Drupal Camp Scotland 2018

Editor's Notes

  1. Slide 1: Drupal Camp Scotland 2018 - UX research throughout the project lifecycle.
  2. Slide 2: Alice, UX designer @ Signal Signal, Drupal, UX team My work is full spectrum MSc in HCI, undergrad in psychology, dancer
  3. Slide 3: How we integrate UX research methods into the project process, a few examples, and sharing insights and helpful tips
  4. Slide 4:
  5. Slide 5: Release, test, learn Feel like it should probably connect in a circle, because learnings evolve and lead to more discovery work For us the whole flow could be an agile sprint, working quickly and looping over and over, with UX & design working ahead of each dev sprint, Or it could be more waterfall but using Kanban, with the bulk of UX&D work done up front and passing tasks / functionality into build, especially smaller projects. Depends on project which one. Original approach - doesn’t match reality, research isn’t perfect and wanted to highlight that
  6. Slide 6: UX involved heavily in discovery phase. Typically this might include other members of the planning team as well to set strategy.
  7. Slide 7: Smaller framework within the discovery phase that we use to gather needs. Business requirements - what are the commercial goals of the site User needs - top tasks or key functionality needed Content - content available, and content possible within timeframe Most common difficulty is tension between business and user - especially on smaller projects or change requests - when the business suggests something that’s important to them but we can’t establish value to the user.
  8. Slide 8: First example, when we thought there might be tension between the business goals and user needs. Charity - provides scheduled sporting activities to help alleviate homelessness and social exclusion. People engage 4-5 times a week, extended relationship, courses Needed website redesign - out of date, lack of content
  9. Slide 9: First instinct was to use the site to help the people who engage with the services Charity helps in person but website should also support this through online outreach - showcase all the schedules, latest updates, activities, ways the charity can help, support programmes, strong content direction Charity was saying they wanted their website’s audience to be the business sponsor. Generate income and explain ‘what they do’ but more from an ‘removed’ point of view rather than active. Charity user = website user, Macmillan example - despite offline support, website plays huge role.
  10. Slide 10: Felt like something to absolutely validate to ensure content direction was correct Charity worked in Edinburgh - ideal opportunity to visit them on-site. Sports session & informality. Prepared discussion guide.
  11. Slide 11: Most important thing to help design research is setting a research goal. Influences the direction of the research - from what methodology chosen to how to present the findings back.
  12. Slide 12: Best prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour Clear goal to help lead the discussion What role...
  13. Slide 13: Answer = absolutely no role To get this answer, the questions I asked to meet the research goal were based around: - How did the people there discover the charity? How did they get involved? - How do they keep up to date with what’s going on and the care options available to them? - What kind of technologies do they use?
  14. Slide 14: Charity engagement came through personal recommendations or outreach programmes
  15. Slide 15: In the discover phase Collect assumptions - any biases from the team Set clear a goal, manageable research goal Use research to validate those assumptions
  16. Slide 16: Helped inform the site strategy - needed to highlight services & impact to be an attractive option to sponsorship, but not focus fully on those users of the charity themselves
  17. Slide 17: Where the idea generation phase happens for UXD. For UX, information architecture, defining labels, high-level layout needs, templates Continuing with the charity example, at this point we knew the various site audiences: Business supporters Individual supporters Care workers at shelters and organisations The players (to a lesser extent than we thought) Defining the information architecture for the site.
  18. Slide 18: Great evaluative method for IA work is tree testing. A tree test is a ‘search method’ type of research where participant is presented with site structure and asked to find where they think certain content lives
  19. Slide 19: Treejack - online tool Input site structure, set up survey & mark correct answers, send out to participants Free plan is good, has enough for small studies but paid plan offers much more extensive options
  20. Slide 20: Display everything that user can see - gives all evaluative options Set up questions & send
  21. Slide 21: Results panel - one of many useful views. Clear, quantitative statistics. Gives breakdown of complete, direct success = no changing mind
  22. Slide 22: A few reasons this would be a suitable evaluation method during the envision phase Have something to validate - not for exploration Timezone independent, people can fill out in their own time Removes any conflict or confusion for UI (could run further testing using prototypes with the confirmed labels) Can send to many especially on the paid plan, also fun and easy way for frequent customers to feel involved in the design process
  23. Slide 23: Build phase - not generally an easy one to integrate any end-to-end research in because things are moving quickly While things are in build, UX are often in other stages working ahead
  24. Slide 24: The interesting thing about the evolve stage is it can describe two different types of work One where we’re evaluating something we didn’t build, and the UX work might be self-contained report of recommendations One where we’re evaluating something we did build, and looking to improve or refine it further
  25. Slide 25: Give dental chain context Task was to run a piece of research with a few different streams within it - Heuristic review Usability testing Statistics and website feedback Myself running interviews with practice and head office staff
  26. Slide 26: Goal for the staff interview portion was… Clear business vs user investigation - link to cyclical nature of process
  27. Slide 27: One thing that might stand out = not users of site They are a key, unified source of user feedback. We could speak with 10 customers and get a few concerns, but speaking with staff will get them all. Helps improve overall customer service journey.
  28. Slide 28: Went to practices in Scotland and England, speaking with practice staff - manager and reception team, then Head office More formal interviews - full discussion guide, recorded
  29. Slide 29: Way the website talked about getting in touch = pushing many to contact head office (sitting beside receptionist), needed way better signposting and page design (put together set of recommendations/wireframe) NHS availability - small private upsell, always an option but site is blocker Major workflow difficulties prevented site from being accurate
  30. Slide 30: Main takeaway for the evolve stage - if you can’t easily get in touch with users, speaking with staff as a info resource can really help
  31. Slide 31: Final bit of evolve - largest usability study run Site built and released section by section. Began with separate subdomain housing key content, then gradually transitioned over. Agile methodologies meant challenges of fitting research in during initial design and build stage. Site live fully for around 8 months - gave big opportunity to evaluate it through usability testing.
  32. Slide 32: Originally split research into different site sections - this first cycle targeted 3 of 8 areas Knew that 5 different types of people would use these sections Across several different types of devices Massive challenge of direction for the research - normally we’d go with 2-3 clear research goals
  33. Slide 33: Client wanted to investigate 39 key questions Meant the research was kept more generic in terms of website tasks, spread across the different user groups Main takeaway would like to talk about from this challenge, was how to analyse such a large volume of insight Not needing to act immediately on findings - and curiousity from client meant at this point there was no clear priority We had a lot of data from 20 participants - needed an easy way to share and summarise findings within the team and with the client
  34. Slide 34: Best way to do this - Trello board (Jessica Crabb) First 2 columns are the research plan - outlining the usability activities and participants schedule Every single other card is a piece of insight Being digital means this is really easy to share with the team and creates a permanent record (don’t lose boards) Each participant has a colour. Each card is marked with frequency of insight gathered. Once you have them all, group the insights into different categories
  35. Slide 35: Group by these, but even once grouped, you need to take the summary one step further to present back
  36. Slide 36: Highlighted columns show the summarised view, what goes in report
  37. Slide 37: What this mean was the research gave the client very clear areas to prioritise - both from immediate, necessary fixes, to longer-term strategy ideas.
  38. Slide 38: At the beginning I outlined 3 things I hope you could takeaway from this talk: Appropriate research methods that you can use to investigate - we looked at interviews, tree testing and usability testing
  39. Slide 39: When and where they’re appropriate
  40. Slide 40: And the kind of impact research can have, which in our case: Charity = stops you aligning design… Charity = check IA Dentist = fix workflows, bigger tech problems Institution = prioritise change on a big site
  41. Slide 41:
  42. The end.