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Building a Product, from a User Researcher Point of View


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This is a workshop I gave at 500 Startups on incorporating user research early on in your product definition.

500 Startups is a new kind of seed fund and startup accelerator. We believe successful internet startups are born from usable design, customer-focused metrics, and online distribution.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education
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Building a Product, from a User Researcher Point of View

  1. 1. Building a Successful Product from a User Experience Researcher’s point of view @dianeloviglio April 2012 #500strong #research
  2. 2. Architecture & Anthropology Startup Founder UX Researcher
  3. 3. Solving problems at...
  4. 4. Workshop- Why do user research- How to recruit the right people - write a screener - promote your screener - select interview participants- How to learn about those people - write an interview script - conduct an interview - take notes and collect artifacts
  5. 5. What problem is your startup solving?
  6. 6. What do you want to know about your current or potential users?
  7. 7. Why User Research? gain empathyEthnography Usability their motivations their values their needs their behaviors
  8. 8. “Understanding past andcurrent behaviors to usethose as a proxy forfuture behaviors.” -me
  9. 9. Screener vs Survey- used to recruit the users - used to make charts/graphsfor your research study and draw conclusions- no more than 10 questions - gazillion questions- doesn’t use any branching - can use complicated logic- a researcher’s tool - a marketer’s tool
  10. 10. Tips on Writing Screeners• Put incentive upfront in the description• Don’t make any question required• Start easy and broad eg: type of smartphone• When enumerating always make other an option• Add at least one open ended question• Always ask for first name and email or phone as last questions• Include the exact times and locations of the interviews• Don’t use any branching logic• Keep it to 10 questions
  11. 11. Write a screener
  12. 12. Promoting Your Screener• place-specific people - touristy spot, farmer’s market• current customers• personal networks • email • twitter - #competitor’s company @specific people • facebook - ads, fan pages - no spamming :) • linkedin - status updates, group admins• places where they hang out online - groups, forums• have people you know post it on your behalf• craigslist as a last resort
  13. 13. Selecting Interview Participants• variety from each question• interesting use cases eg: iphone and android tablet• ones who pique your interest from the open ended q’s• ones who completed the whole form and didn’t skip q’s
  14. 14. Tips on Writing Interview Scripts• Re-ask 1 or 2 screener questions• Include time estimates for each section• Ask open ended questions Who, What, Where, When, Why, How• Ask about specific times, NOT how often• Ask about the past, not the future• Get them to tell you stories, not just answer your questions• Give them activities to do, so you have artifacts afterwards
  15. 15. Write an interview script
  16. 16. Tips on Conducting Interviews• Let them do 90% of the talking• Leave awkward moments of silence• Follow up with “tell me more”• Bring another person with you to be your notetaker• Take notes - timestamped in Excel• Record with Flip cameras, or screenflow, skype, etc if remote• Call them out on inconsistencies and ask for clarification• Break up the talking with little activities eg: drawing, timelines etc
  17. 17. Timeline 12am 2am 4am 6am 8am 10am Noon 2pm 4pm 6pm 8pm 10pm
  18. 18. Me In the Middle
  19. 19. Interview the person sitting next to you
  20. 20. Building a Successful Product from a User Experience Researcher’s point of view @dianeloviglio April 2012 #500strong #research