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design research for
‘everyday’ projects
      UX London 09


        leisa reichelt
     disambiguity.com
            @leisa
this is not really about user centred design
to solve a problem you must
     first understand it
        - kim goodwin
it’s about good design
who is this
workshop for?
‘everyday’ projects?
the design research projects you hear about most often are
        enormous, time consuming and expensive.

        most projects we work on can’t bear that.

        research can/should be customised to
            suit the project requirements
what we’ll cover
    PART ONE: Designing Design Research
   PART TWO: Conducting Design Research
   PART THREE: Analysing Design Research


          LOTS of hands on exercises.
 Lots of your questions & shared experiences
       Focus on QUALITATIVE Research
            (esp. interview format)
Focus more on practical ‘what you can actually
            do’ than ‘best practice’
part 1: designing
design research
what is
    design research?
activities that seek insight into
user behaviour, goals and needs
that might be supported by the
  design of products/services
why do
   design research?
  ‘we tend to project our own
rationalisations and beliefs onto
the actions and beliefs of others’
  - don norman, the design of everyday things
why do
    design research?
design research helps you uncover,
    understand and design for
         real user needs
real user needs
    = design for good usability
               but also
= insight for inspiration/validation
when to do
design research?
generative research



    prototype



evaluative research
design research toolkit
Qualitative
Stakeholder Interviews             Co-design/Participatory Design

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews    Group/Social Research

Competitive Reviews                       Longitudinal Research
                                              - diary study
Literature Reviews                            -twitter
                                              - flickr
Depth Interviews (Customer&User)
                                          Focus Groups
Direct Observation (Ethnography)         Quantitative
Contextual Inquiry                       Surveys
Usability Testing                        Remote ‘Testing’ Tools
‘Snap’ Interviews                        Stats/Analytics
quantitative Vs
  qualitative
mathematics and natural sciences

Quantitative
                                                      statistically sound, scientific
                                                      large random samples
                                                      questionnaires, surveys, tests


Quantitative research is the systematic scientific
investigation of quantitative properties and
phenomena and their relationships. The objective
of quantitative research is to develop and employ
mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses
pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of
measurement is central to quantitative research
because it provides the fundamental connection
between empirical observation and mathematical
expression of quantitative relationships.
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_research
social sciences
                                                   insight gathering, exploratory
                                                   small sample sizes

Qualitative                                        participatory, observational,
                                                   interviews, analysis of
                                                   documents & materials.

Qualitative research ...aim(s) to gather an in-depth
understanding of human behavior and the reasons that
govern human behavior. Qualitative research relies on
reasons behind various aspects of behavior.

Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision
making, not just what, where, and when.
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualitative_research
‘To design an easy-to-use
interface, pay attention to what
users do, not what they say.
Self-reported claims are
unreliable, as are user
speculations about future
behaviour.’
- jakob nielson
choose qualitative for insight
 but ideally, combine quantitative
       and qualitative inputs
quantitative can be great for problem
 identification & solution validation
how to choose?
‘stock standard’ / garden variety plan

     45-60 minute interviews
         6-8 participants.
                but...
understanding the problem:
what are you trying to learn?
       - the problem is not always
        what it first appears to be
    - define your research questions
     - what might be the best ways
       to answer those questions?
understanding the problem:

    what is the context for the
             problem?
       - care not to narrow the context early
       - are their multiple relevant contexts?
- WHERE can we learn about the people’s behaviour
             in relation to this problem?
    - research as close to context as possible.
remember:
the power of ‘artifacts’
      - memory aid / detail
   - cross check for accuracy
...don’t be afraid of
getting a bit creative
...ethical research
EXERCISE! Part 1
         Your client is a grocery store.
 They want you to do some research and make
recommendations about how they can provide a
 better online grocery shopping experience for
               their customers.
      You have unlimited time & budget
             for your research.

What research activities would you suggest?
design research toolkit
Qualitative
Stakeholder Interviews             Co-design/Participatory Design

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews    Group/Social Research

Competitive Reviews                       Longitudinal Research
                                              - diary study
Literature Reviews                            -twitter
                                              - flickr
Depth Interviews (Customer&User)
                                          Focus Groups
Direct Observation (Ethnography)         Quantitative
Contextual Inquiry                       Surveys
Usability Testing                        Remote ‘Testing’ Tools
‘Snap’ Interviews                        Stats/Analytics
squeeze to fit
                  START:
design the research project you’d love to do if
   time/money/resources were no barrier
                   THEN:
  work out what is achievable. Be creative!
ways to squeeze
               - fewer participants
                 - fewer activities
                - shorter sessions
  - less proximate to context (use artifacts)
- use technology (phone, web video, twitter)
       - less complex research activities
     - more readily accessible participants
          Even the smallest amount of
                data beats none.
(yes, I’m quoting Jakob again - Guesses vs Data as the basis for
                  Design Recommendations)
let’s take a break!
part 2: conducting
 design research
recruitment
who to recruit?
     ‘persona hypotheses’
               Think about:
        - the different user roles
- factors most likely to affect behaviour


       Don’t over complicate it!
how many?
          as few as possible.
if given the choice to more research
    studies with few participants.

              why?
      - diminishing returns
   - speed to action (design)
(yes, I’m quoting Jakob again - Why you only need to test with 5 users)

 In earlier research, Tom Landauer and I [Jakob Nielsen]
 showed that the number of usability problems found in a
 usability test with n users is:
                            N(1-(1-L)n)

 where N is the total number of usability problems in the
 design and L is the proportion of usability problems
 discovered while testing a single user. The typical value of L
 is 31%, averaged across a large number of projects we
 studied. Plotting the curve for L=31% gives the following
 result:
The most striking truth of the curve
is that zero users give zero insights.
 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.html
how to find them?

   DIY vs Using Professionals
  - how much time/money do you have?
- how easily accessible are participants?

is using friends/family network really bad?
Incentives. Pay them.
CAUTION:
researching young
 people & kiddies
logistics
           - where to research
         - timing your research
- factoring in ‘no shows’ (& ‘floaters’)
 - consent forms (privacy, their rights
    & incentive acknowledgement)
discussion guides
-writing a discussion guide
discussion guide
> define your research questions
> start as wide as possible, narrow slowly
> keep it contextual, not speculative
> show, don’t tell (observation = good)
   (show me how you do that?)
> uncover mental models
   (if you clicked there, what do you think would happen?)
> ask OPEN questions
   (ask questions to get them talking NOT yes/no answers)

> take care not to lead
   (you can have leading questions AND leading structures)

> don’t outsource design to your participant!
   (remember, you’re the designer!)
EXERCISE! Part 2a
  write a discussion guide for a depth
interview for your grocery store client
 (who wants to design a better online
    grocery shopping experience)
interview technique
  getting the most from your
     research participants

(quite possibly the most important part!)
capturing data
what to capture on
    sticky notes
> *anything* interesting/relevant said in the
course of your interview, in as close to direct
quotes as possible.

> your design ideas
> questions for the future

> capturing on the fly is a *real* skill. I still live
transcribe to a text file then extract affinity
notes from the transcription.
interview technique
introductions & getting started
 - introduce yourself (and any colleagues)
         - what are we doing here?
         - what time will we finish
            - forms & incentives
         - ask permission to record
interview technique
              it’s not a test!
                 - allay their nerves
        - distance yourself from the design
- we only care about *their* opinion, not people
             they know or ‘most people’
    - there’s no right answer or smart answer
- their opinion counts - will really help shape the
           design of the product/service
interview technique
           building rapport
*everyone* has something that makes them
   either very interesting or passionate.
             find it. talk about it.
the investment in building rapport is repaid by
     the quality/quantity of insight given.
interview technique
- Active Listening - nodding, smiling & paraphrasing
        - Focus - don’t let yourself get distracted
  - Look for physical clues - additional information,
              and do they match the words?
     - Don’t Rush - take time to get your thoughts
          together & prepare your next question
- Keep it open - Who, What Where, When, Why, How
            and my favourite ‘Tell me about...’
 - Follow the flow - don’t stick to your script, mix up
     the order if it flows better for that participant.
interview technique
            Have a great closing question.

               Some of my favourites are:
           - Do you know someone you might
             recommend this to? Who/Why
            - How would you rate it out of 10
          - What would you tell the designers

       Try to summarise the parting sentiment
(notes that it is not more or less important than the initial sentiment)
interview technique
          say thank you.
  always remember the participant
          is HELPING YOU.
          be appreciative.
if you’re feeling nervous, remember...


    research participants
      are like dangerous
           animals...
they’re usually just as scared of you as you are of them.
EXERCISE! Part 2b
       An interview!
 in pairs, take turns to conduct a 10 minute
interview using your discussion guide from
             the previous exercise
part 3: analysing
design research
rule of thumb:
allow at least a day of analysis
    for each day of research
start with
single case analysis
(the story of each participant)
then move to
multiple case analysis
    (trends in the data)




 eg. affinity sorting
a mind map can be a
 digital affinity sort
collaborative
     affinity sorting?

       I’ve had great results with this but
only if participants have observed the research
using research data in design:
     audience modelling
using research data in design:
     audience modelling
using research data in design:
experience strategy & design
          principles
using research data in design:
     audience modelling
                      Today I’m pissed
               HI       at British Gas




                                            I’m passionate
                                           about Education
   Proximity
am I experiencing       once my billing                      the more I learn
 ‘it’ right now?       problem is fixed,                     the more I care
                           I’m fine.




              LOW                                              HI
                            Commitment
                    how much will I care next month?
Keith                        ‘I just want to know enough to buy well’
                                    Keith is planning to pop the question soon - in about a weeks time
                                    The engagement ring will be his first big jewellery purchase.
                                    He knows virtually nothing about diamonds or jewellery. He doesn’t want to become
                                    and expert, he just wants to know enough to buy well and wants to feel reassured

           using research data in   that he’s getting what he’s paying for.

                                    He has a general idea of his girlfriend’s preferred style but is not really confident
                                    about choosing the right design. Some of his mates have been engaged recently and


             models: personas
                                    he’s asked them a few questions about the process.
                                    He popped into Goldsmiths last week to tentatively start investigating his purchase
          32yrs                     and spent most of the time telling assistants he was ‘just looking’ - he left quite
   Jnr Mgr, Lloyds TSB              quickly, not liking the ‘pressure’ of the store experience. He doesn’t know (but wants
 Income approx £30K p..             to) what makes one ring so much more expensive than another.
investment              emotion     Purchase Lifecycle
                                    STAGE ONE - ‘RADAR’           STAGE TWO - ‘INTENSIVE RESEARCH’   STAGE THREE - MAKE PURCHASE
novice                    expert    knows that a potential        actively seeking information to    find and purchase the ring
                                    purchase is on the cards,     inform purchase (qualities of
                                    has heightened awareness      diamond and metal, price etc.)     the right ring at the right
for self               for other                                                                     price from a company he can
                                    of information that crosses   Gaining enough knowledge to buy
                                    his path but not actively     well.                              trust.
need it quickly   willing to wait   seeking information.
                                                                  10 days to weeks in advance        approx. 1 week in advance of
                                    weeks/months in advance.      in store, google for information   proposal
£100                      £2000     possible sources: social
                                    networks, media/content
Recommended Reading:



Rapid            About Face 3   Designing for
Contextual       Cooper,        the Digital Age
Design           Reinman        Kim Goodwin
Holzblatt,       & Cronin
Wendell & Wood
thank you :)
      Leisa Reichelt
    disambiguity.com
leisa@disambiguity.com
          @leisa

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Design Research For Everyday Projects - UX London

  • 1. design research for ‘everyday’ projects UX London 09 leisa reichelt disambiguity.com @leisa
  • 2. this is not really about user centred design
  • 3. to solve a problem you must first understand it - kim goodwin
  • 6. ‘everyday’ projects? the design research projects you hear about most often are enormous, time consuming and expensive. most projects we work on can’t bear that. research can/should be customised to suit the project requirements
  • 7. what we’ll cover PART ONE: Designing Design Research PART TWO: Conducting Design Research PART THREE: Analysing Design Research LOTS of hands on exercises. Lots of your questions & shared experiences Focus on QUALITATIVE Research (esp. interview format) Focus more on practical ‘what you can actually do’ than ‘best practice’
  • 9. what is design research? activities that seek insight into user behaviour, goals and needs that might be supported by the design of products/services
  • 10. why do design research? ‘we tend to project our own rationalisations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others’ - don norman, the design of everyday things
  • 11. why do design research? design research helps you uncover, understand and design for real user needs
  • 12. real user needs = design for good usability but also = insight for inspiration/validation
  • 13. when to do design research?
  • 14. generative research prototype evaluative research
  • 15.
  • 16. design research toolkit Qualitative Stakeholder Interviews Co-design/Participatory Design Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews Group/Social Research Competitive Reviews Longitudinal Research - diary study Literature Reviews -twitter - flickr Depth Interviews (Customer&User) Focus Groups Direct Observation (Ethnography) Quantitative Contextual Inquiry Surveys Usability Testing Remote ‘Testing’ Tools ‘Snap’ Interviews Stats/Analytics
  • 17. quantitative Vs qualitative
  • 18. mathematics and natural sciences Quantitative statistically sound, scientific large random samples questionnaires, surveys, tests Quantitative research is the systematic scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_research
  • 19. social sciences insight gathering, exploratory small sample sizes Qualitative participatory, observational, interviews, analysis of documents & materials. Qualitative research ...aim(s) to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern human behavior. Qualitative research relies on reasons behind various aspects of behavior. Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, and when. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualitative_research
  • 20. ‘To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behaviour.’ - jakob nielson
  • 21. choose qualitative for insight but ideally, combine quantitative and qualitative inputs quantitative can be great for problem identification & solution validation
  • 23. ‘stock standard’ / garden variety plan 45-60 minute interviews 6-8 participants. but...
  • 24. understanding the problem: what are you trying to learn? - the problem is not always what it first appears to be - define your research questions - what might be the best ways to answer those questions?
  • 25. understanding the problem: what is the context for the problem? - care not to narrow the context early - are their multiple relevant contexts? - WHERE can we learn about the people’s behaviour in relation to this problem? - research as close to context as possible.
  • 26. remember: the power of ‘artifacts’ - memory aid / detail - cross check for accuracy
  • 27. ...don’t be afraid of getting a bit creative
  • 29. EXERCISE! Part 1 Your client is a grocery store. They want you to do some research and make recommendations about how they can provide a better online grocery shopping experience for their customers. You have unlimited time & budget for your research. What research activities would you suggest?
  • 30. design research toolkit Qualitative Stakeholder Interviews Co-design/Participatory Design Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews Group/Social Research Competitive Reviews Longitudinal Research - diary study Literature Reviews -twitter - flickr Depth Interviews (Customer&User) Focus Groups Direct Observation (Ethnography) Quantitative Contextual Inquiry Surveys Usability Testing Remote ‘Testing’ Tools ‘Snap’ Interviews Stats/Analytics
  • 31. squeeze to fit START: design the research project you’d love to do if time/money/resources were no barrier THEN: work out what is achievable. Be creative!
  • 32. ways to squeeze - fewer participants - fewer activities - shorter sessions - less proximate to context (use artifacts) - use technology (phone, web video, twitter) - less complex research activities - more readily accessible participants Even the smallest amount of data beats none. (yes, I’m quoting Jakob again - Guesses vs Data as the basis for Design Recommendations)
  • 33. let’s take a break!
  • 34. part 2: conducting design research
  • 36. who to recruit? ‘persona hypotheses’ Think about: - the different user roles - factors most likely to affect behaviour Don’t over complicate it!
  • 37. how many? as few as possible. if given the choice to more research studies with few participants. why? - diminishing returns - speed to action (design)
  • 38. (yes, I’m quoting Jakob again - Why you only need to test with 5 users) In earlier research, Tom Landauer and I [Jakob Nielsen] showed that the number of usability problems found in a usability test with n users is: N(1-(1-L)n) where N is the total number of usability problems in the design and L is the proportion of usability problems discovered while testing a single user. The typical value of L is 31%, averaged across a large number of projects we studied. Plotting the curve for L=31% gives the following result:
  • 39. The most striking truth of the curve is that zero users give zero insights. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.html
  • 40. how to find them? DIY vs Using Professionals - how much time/money do you have? - how easily accessible are participants? is using friends/family network really bad?
  • 43. logistics - where to research - timing your research - factoring in ‘no shows’ (& ‘floaters’) - consent forms (privacy, their rights & incentive acknowledgement)
  • 44. discussion guides -writing a discussion guide
  • 45. discussion guide > define your research questions > start as wide as possible, narrow slowly > keep it contextual, not speculative > show, don’t tell (observation = good) (show me how you do that?) > uncover mental models (if you clicked there, what do you think would happen?) > ask OPEN questions (ask questions to get them talking NOT yes/no answers) > take care not to lead (you can have leading questions AND leading structures) > don’t outsource design to your participant! (remember, you’re the designer!)
  • 46. EXERCISE! Part 2a write a discussion guide for a depth interview for your grocery store client (who wants to design a better online grocery shopping experience)
  • 47. interview technique getting the most from your research participants (quite possibly the most important part!)
  • 49. what to capture on sticky notes > *anything* interesting/relevant said in the course of your interview, in as close to direct quotes as possible. > your design ideas > questions for the future > capturing on the fly is a *real* skill. I still live transcribe to a text file then extract affinity notes from the transcription.
  • 50. interview technique introductions & getting started - introduce yourself (and any colleagues) - what are we doing here? - what time will we finish - forms & incentives - ask permission to record
  • 51. interview technique it’s not a test! - allay their nerves - distance yourself from the design - we only care about *their* opinion, not people they know or ‘most people’ - there’s no right answer or smart answer - their opinion counts - will really help shape the design of the product/service
  • 52. interview technique building rapport *everyone* has something that makes them either very interesting or passionate. find it. talk about it. the investment in building rapport is repaid by the quality/quantity of insight given.
  • 53. interview technique - Active Listening - nodding, smiling & paraphrasing - Focus - don’t let yourself get distracted - Look for physical clues - additional information, and do they match the words? - Don’t Rush - take time to get your thoughts together & prepare your next question - Keep it open - Who, What Where, When, Why, How and my favourite ‘Tell me about...’ - Follow the flow - don’t stick to your script, mix up the order if it flows better for that participant.
  • 54. interview technique Have a great closing question. Some of my favourites are: - Do you know someone you might recommend this to? Who/Why - How would you rate it out of 10 - What would you tell the designers Try to summarise the parting sentiment (notes that it is not more or less important than the initial sentiment)
  • 55. interview technique say thank you. always remember the participant is HELPING YOU. be appreciative.
  • 56. if you’re feeling nervous, remember... research participants are like dangerous animals... they’re usually just as scared of you as you are of them.
  • 57. EXERCISE! Part 2b An interview! in pairs, take turns to conduct a 10 minute interview using your discussion guide from the previous exercise
  • 59. rule of thumb: allow at least a day of analysis for each day of research
  • 60. start with single case analysis (the story of each participant)
  • 61. then move to multiple case analysis (trends in the data) eg. affinity sorting
  • 62. a mind map can be a digital affinity sort
  • 63. collaborative affinity sorting? I’ve had great results with this but only if participants have observed the research
  • 64. using research data in design: audience modelling
  • 65. using research data in design: audience modelling
  • 66. using research data in design: experience strategy & design principles
  • 67. using research data in design: audience modelling Today I’m pissed HI at British Gas I’m passionate about Education Proximity am I experiencing once my billing the more I learn ‘it’ right now? problem is fixed, the more I care I’m fine. LOW HI Commitment how much will I care next month?
  • 68.
  • 69. Keith ‘I just want to know enough to buy well’ Keith is planning to pop the question soon - in about a weeks time The engagement ring will be his first big jewellery purchase. He knows virtually nothing about diamonds or jewellery. He doesn’t want to become and expert, he just wants to know enough to buy well and wants to feel reassured using research data in that he’s getting what he’s paying for. He has a general idea of his girlfriend’s preferred style but is not really confident about choosing the right design. Some of his mates have been engaged recently and models: personas he’s asked them a few questions about the process. He popped into Goldsmiths last week to tentatively start investigating his purchase 32yrs and spent most of the time telling assistants he was ‘just looking’ - he left quite Jnr Mgr, Lloyds TSB quickly, not liking the ‘pressure’ of the store experience. He doesn’t know (but wants Income approx £30K p.. to) what makes one ring so much more expensive than another. investment emotion Purchase Lifecycle STAGE ONE - ‘RADAR’ STAGE TWO - ‘INTENSIVE RESEARCH’ STAGE THREE - MAKE PURCHASE novice expert knows that a potential actively seeking information to find and purchase the ring purchase is on the cards, inform purchase (qualities of has heightened awareness diamond and metal, price etc.) the right ring at the right for self for other price from a company he can of information that crosses Gaining enough knowledge to buy his path but not actively well. trust. need it quickly willing to wait seeking information. 10 days to weeks in advance approx. 1 week in advance of weeks/months in advance. in store, google for information proposal £100 £2000 possible sources: social networks, media/content
  • 70. Recommended Reading: Rapid About Face 3 Designing for Contextual Cooper, the Digital Age Design Reinman Kim Goodwin Holzblatt, & Cronin Wendell & Wood
  • 71. thank you :) Leisa Reichelt disambiguity.com leisa@disambiguity.com @leisa