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Rethinking user research for social design

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This is a talk I gave at IA Summit 11 about how the methods we've been using for a generation to evaluate UIs are imperfect for social interfaces.

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Rethinking user research for social design

  1. 1. Rethinking User Research forthe Social WebDana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.net @danachisIA Summit 2011 #rethinking 1
  2. 2. Shelly 2
  3. 3. The state of theart is ageneration oldTime for a new generation ofuser research methods. 3
  4. 4. Usability testing isn’t telling us what weneed to know for SxD Me, Inc. 4
  5. 5. We don’t know how to find out about thingswe don’t know about 5
  6. 6. People don’t live in the world doing one taskwith one device out of context WebEx - meetings Marriott.com - reserving rooms Me, Inc. - retirement planning eHarmony - coded messages in Libya Facebook & Twitter - organizing demonstrations in Egypt 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. H+C=I 7
  9. 9. 7
  10. 10. H <== (computer) ==> H 7
  11. 11. 8
  12. 12. Methods and measures were probablyalways imperfect. 8
  13. 13. Methods and measures were probablyalways imperfect.But they used to be enough. 8
  14. 14. Methods and measures were probablyalways imperfect.But they used to be enough.No more. 8
  15. 15. Everything isdifferent now.But not different.All this has happened before. 9
  16. 16. The nature ofbeing online issocialIt always has been. email calendaring sharing documents --> Name some online transaction you think is not social. http://www.flickr.com/photos/holeymoon/ 10
  17. 17. Scale is a gamechangerCaution: large sample sizes 20,000 googlers didn’t expose real issues. Quora moderating overburdened Google Buzz http://www.flickr.com/photos/daguerreotyped/ 11
  18. 18. Tasks aren’twhat you thinkActivities = goals that emerge andchange Effectiveness Efficiency ... aren’t meaningful http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks/ 12
  19. 19. Satisfaction iscorrelated withtask completionInstead: control, engagement But how do you measure control and engagement? What does engagement mean? 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/litebriteneonstudio/
  20. 20. Users How do you design effective tasks in this case? /cc @continuously product reviews that turn into literary projectsdesign your UI Using comments in Facebook for a conversation Hey, where did everybody go? - user-created help page to describein real time a hack to get around a feature they don’t like Coded messages in Egypt on dating sitesWorkarounds = hacksEtiquette and norms http://www.flickr.com/photos/juleshabib/ 14
  21. 21. And we have to becareful not to violateeither of those things:Etsy CirclesFacebook engagementring story 15
  22. 22. Social is about context. And we have to be careful not to violate either of those things: Etsy Circles Facebook engagement ring story 15
  23. 23. Social is about context.And relationships. And we have to be careful not to violate either of those things: Etsy Circles Facebook engagement ring story 15
  24. 24. Methods are not robust for understandingcontext and relationships. 16
  25. 25. Cultivate polymaths Decision sciences Communication Anthropology sciences Psychologies Sociolinguistics Behavioral economics Organizational behavior Psychobiology Sociology Social neuroscience Social networks 17
  26. 26. The most successful userresearch methods for SxDcombine field and testingtechniques 18
  27. 27. 19
  28. 28. Methods 19
  29. 29. MethodsReviewing online profiles, connections in groups ininterviews 19
  30. 30. MethodsReviewing online profiles, connections in groups ininterviewsStories of how you met 19
  31. 31. MethodsReviewing online profiles, connections in groups ininterviewsStories of how you metMulti-user sessions with people who have strong andloose ties 19
  32. 32. MethodsReviewing online profiles, connections in groups ininterviewsStories of how you metMulti-user sessions with people who have strong andloose tiesVideo diaries with retrospective review 19
  33. 33. MethodsReviewing online profiles, connections in groups ininterviewsStories of how you metMulti-user sessions with people who have strong andloose tiesVideo diaries with retrospective reviewExperience sampling with SMS 19
  34. 34. Takes more timerecruiting, prep, session, analysis 20
  35. 35. Takes strong research design rather than templated, commodity usability testing 21
  36. 36. Takes deep thinkingabout questions to answer, and what the evidence will be that you have answers 22
  37. 37. Takes study of cohesivenesscollaboration, connections, networks, relationships Strong and weak ties Dunbar 23
  38. 38. Where are you with planning? what we asked answered a business question 24
  39. 39. Who do you ask when you don’t know?How do you make financial decisions was what we wanted to know - which is about context and relationships 25
  40. 40. Would have told us Who is part of planning and deciding Who is trusted Why these people are important Why they are trusted How planning happens 26
  41. 41. To build a model that supports 27
  42. 42. Rethinking userresearch 28
  43. 43. Rethinking userresearchWe’re not getting the answers we need. 28
  44. 44. Rethinking userresearchWe’re not getting the answers we need.Experimenting is limited because we’repressured to go to market. 28
  45. 45. Rethinking userresearchWe’re not getting the answers we need.Experimenting is limited because we’repressured to go to market.We’re looking for things we know about. 28
  46. 46. We’re missing things we don’t know about. 29
  47. 47. It’s time to rethink user research forthe new (old) social web 30
  48. 48. Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.nettwitter: @danachiswww.usabilityworks.com415.519.1148 31

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