Little bit of discovery
Forming an idea Concrete designs
Little bit of Validation
Blend discovery and validation into a research session helps constantly
generation of new ideas and improving existing product
Example: Discovery + Validation
iPad Browser Experience
Let’s pretend you are ready to process payroll. You logged into HR
Passport and navigated to the payroll page as you normally would
by clicking on My Company. And this is what you see.
1. Show the dashboard:
○ Could you tell me what’s on this screen is and what
you can do with it.
○ Ask them about their payroll process and pay
groups to get some context.
○ Discuss key components: timeline, special payroll,
2. Task: Do payroll for salary employees in Sales
○ Once they get to the grid, ask them to talk through
what they see on the screen.
○ Discuss key components: Toggles, Filter, Grid
○ If they have salary and hourly employees, find out if
they process them separately or together.
3. Task: Give Nick Andre a Discretionary Annual Bonus of
○ Ask them to talk about what they see on the
keyboard and how they would use it to do this task.
○ Ask them what if they need to give the next person
in the grid the same amount of Discretionary
Annual Bonus, how they would do that with this
4. Task: Let’s pretend you’re done making changes to this
payroll, what would you like to do next? Show me how you
○ When they get to the preview screen, ask them
look around and talk through what they see on the
User introduces their phone/PC/tablet and demonstrates usage of the services they
This method has been utilized to understand how people interact with different kinds of services and tools: cell
phones, desktop computers and professional tools (e.g. mining drills, ﬁrewall management software). We are
able to pick up current usage patterns, task ﬂows, contexts of use, user frustrations and UX requirements out
of these sessions.
“Here I’ve picked up the apps I use
most often. But it took me 3
months before I learnt the home
screen can be edited.”
Tuuli, 23 years, ﬁrst smartphone
This method picks up usage patterns, use cases
and contexts of use. Often this method is performed
as a diary with additional room to share ideas for
new services or features.
Day in the life / Diary
User introduces a typical day in
their life. How is the phone
involved? What services are
used on the phone at what
times? For what purposes?
This method helps draw out UX requirements and useful UI elements out of existing services, and helps tune
in with the users mindset. This same method can be used with competing concept approaches.
“Oh, neither is good, but I prefer the list of
services over the step-by-step wizard. But
preferably I’d have the best of both worlds.
In the list I see all available options, and in
the wizard I get help knowing what is most
suitable for me.”
Tarja, 47 years
User compares existing services or concept ideas. Services score for the
characteristics that users value, and lose scores for annoying features. What is
valued? What is disturbing?
Example of a tablet game
sketched by a group of 3
users at Idean’s co-creation
With proper facilitation users can be equipped to sketch designs for themselves, or
debate design options with the Designer.
Designing together with the users helps designers draw out ideas from the users
- the goal is not that they do the designs but to start conversations to learn about
how the user thinks about things.