Overview of User Research
for Design & Development
Michelle Yaiser
Instructional Designer, Adobe
myaiser@adobe.com
@Michel...
Why research?
•
•
•
•
•

Your customers are not you
Not knowing users can be costly
Your customers are probably not who yo...
General research goals
•
•
•
•

Exploratory - helps define the problem
Descriptive - describes the situation
Evaluative - ...
Research Stages
1. Plan
2. Recruit
3. Conduct
4. Analyze
5. Communicate
1. Plan
•

Research goals - why?

•
•

•

Use statements based on verbs - describe, evaluate, identify
You’ll never finish...
What do you want to learn?
•

Users

•
•

•

Descriptive, Evaluative
Interviews, Surveys, Usability Testing, A/B Testing

...
What do you want to learn?
•

Competition

•
•

•

Analytic, Evaluative
SWOT Analysis, Brand Audit

Organization

•
•

Des...
2. Recruit
•
•
•

Question all assumptions about users
Always more work than anticipated
Should you use a recruiter?
2. Recruit
1. Who is your target?
2. Find people who are part of one of the targets
3. Convince them to participate
2. Recruit
•

A good participant is

•
•
•
•

part of your target audience
articulate
honest
willing to participate
3. Conduct
•

Categories of methods

•
•

Quantitative
Qualitative
Quantitative
•
•
•
•
•
•

aka - Surveys
Describe your users
Find out how satisfied your users are
Find out what users (cur...
Qualitative
•

Interviews

•

•
•
•
•
•

Structured and Unstructured

Field observations
Usability testing
A/B Testing
Heu...
Questions
•
•
•
•
•
•

Avoid judgmental language
Never say the participant is wrong.
Don’t use peer pressure
Listen carefu...
Questions
•

Concentrate on immediate experience

•

•

Behavior is a better indicator of future behavior than than
predic...
Questions
Focus on single topic
Strongly
Disagree

I drank coffee and ate
grasshoppers this morning
for breakfast.
I drove...
Questions
Provide an answer or leave it open-ended
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
a.

Beagle-Beaked-Bald-Hea...
Questions
Answers need to be mutually exclusive
What did you eat for breakfast this morning? (select
one)
a.

Eggs

b.

Ba...
4. Analyze
•
•
•
•
•

Prepare your data
Stats
Charts and graphs
Find patterns and themes in the data
Consolidate lists of ...
5. Communicate
•
•
•
•

Personas
Scenarios
Task analysis
Experience Models
Objections
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Not enough time
Not enough money
No tools
No one knows how
We already know users and issues
Rese...
Resources
•

Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research by Mike Kuniavsky,
Andrea Moed, Elizab...
Questions?

THANK YOU!
myaiser@adobe.com
@MichelleYaiser
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Overview of User Research for Design and Development

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Presented by Michelle Yaiser
In Boston on Nov 7-8, 2013 at FITC's Web Unleashed 2013 event

Good research is critical to ensuring the success of the experiences you design and develop. But research doesn’t have to be costly or take a long time; by conducting even small, quick research projects, you’ll learn more about who your audiences are, what they want and what they need. You’ll discover what your users really think about your project and what you never knew about how they use it. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll save time and money on both design and development.

In this session, Michelle will discuss the core user research methods and tools available. She will also talk about how to use multiple research methods in a project to get more valuable results. Finally, attendees will learn the questions to ask that help determine which methods to use and when.

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Overview of User Research for Design and Development

  1. 1. Overview of User Research for Design & Development Michelle Yaiser Instructional Designer, Adobe myaiser@adobe.com @MichelleYaiser
  2. 2. Why research? • • • • • Your customers are not you Not knowing users can be costly Your customers are probably not who you think they are Your users are not all the same Finding out who your customers are, what they want, and what they need is the start of figuring out how to give it to them
  3. 3. General research goals • • • • Exploratory - helps define the problem Descriptive - describes the situation Evaluative - how are we doing? Casual - unintended consequences
  4. 4. Research Stages 1. Plan 2. Recruit 3. Conduct 4. Analyze 5. Communicate
  5. 5. 1. Plan • Research goals - why? • • • Use statements based on verbs - describe, evaluate, identify You’ll never finish if you understand or explore Schedule - what and when? • • Goals will lead you to certain types of research Budget - how much? • Money, time, and people will narrow the list of methods
  6. 6. What do you want to learn? • Users • • • Descriptive, Evaluative Interviews, Surveys, Usability Testing, A/B Testing Product • • Evaluative, Casual, Exploratory, Descriptive Usability Testing, Heuristic Analysis, Competitive Analysis
  7. 7. What do you want to learn? • Competition • • • Analytic, Evaluative SWOT Analysis, Brand Audit Organization • • Descriptive, Exploratory, Casual Interviews, Contextual Inquiry, Literature Review
  8. 8. 2. Recruit • • • Question all assumptions about users Always more work than anticipated Should you use a recruiter?
  9. 9. 2. Recruit 1. Who is your target? 2. Find people who are part of one of the targets 3. Convince them to participate
  10. 10. 2. Recruit • A good participant is • • • • part of your target audience articulate honest willing to participate
  11. 11. 3. Conduct • Categories of methods • • Quantitative Qualitative
  12. 12. Quantitative • • • • • • aka - Surveys Describe your users Find out how satisfied your users are Find out what users (current and potential) value Can be done quickly and cheaply Easy to be done very poorly giving your data no statistical or any other significance
  13. 13. Qualitative • Interviews • • • • • • Structured and Unstructured Field observations Usability testing A/B Testing Heuristic Analysis Card sorting
  14. 14. Questions • • • • • • Avoid judgmental language Never say the participant is wrong. Don’t use peer pressure Listen carefully to the questions people ask you. Be aware of your own expectations Avoid binary
  15. 15. Questions • Concentrate on immediate experience • • Behavior is a better indicator of future behavior than than predictions. Focus on the person answering it • • “Is this useful?” versus “Is this useful to the work you do right now?” Don’t force opinions • Even if they don’t have one they will pick one.
  16. 16. Questions Focus on single topic Strongly Disagree I drank coffee and ate grasshoppers this morning for breakfast. I drove or walked to the conference this morning. Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
  17. 17. Questions Provide an answer or leave it open-ended What did you eat for breakfast this morning? a. Beagle-Beaked-Bald-Headed Grinch b. Chuggs c. Funicular Goats d. Nizzards
  18. 18. Questions Answers need to be mutually exclusive What did you eat for breakfast this morning? (select one) a. Eggs b. Bacon c. Coffee d. Juice
  19. 19. 4. Analyze • • • • • Prepare your data Stats Charts and graphs Find patterns and themes in the data Consolidate lists of all of the tasks in a workflow
  20. 20. 5. Communicate • • • • Personas Scenarios Task analysis Experience Models
  21. 21. Objections • • • • • • • Not enough time Not enough money No tools No one knows how We already know users and issues Research will cause a change in scope CEO going to tell us what to do anyway
  22. 22. Resources • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research by Mike Kuniavsky, Andrea Moed, Elizabeth Goodman • Just Enough Research by Erika Hall • Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products by Kim Goodwin • Learning From Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies by Robert Weiss • Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches by Lawrence Neuman • The Practice of Social Research by Earl Babbie • Survey Research Methods by Earl Babbie • http://www.aiga.org/ethnography-primer/ • http://userfocus.co.uk/articles/index.html • http://www.nngroup.com/articles/
  23. 23. Questions? THANK YOU! myaiser@adobe.com @MichelleYaiser

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