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Understand people to design great experiences: An introduction to user research

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An introduction to user research for those who want to start doing user research or work with researchers. Covers how research can save you time and money, the dimensions of user research, and an overview of research methods. The presentation also includes tips on how to work with researchers and how to ensure your findings have impact on your product or service.

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Understand people to design great experiences: An introduction to user research

  1. 1. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Understand people to design great experiences: An introduction to user research Ming Lee User Researcher and UX Designer
  2. 2. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Contents • Introductions and definitions • Reasons for doing user research • Dimensions of user research • Overview of research methods • How to work with researchers • Driving change through user research
  3. 3. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Ming Lee - 12 years in User Experience - Research & Design 5 years in IT: Databases and Programming Studied: Information Technology and Humanities
  4. 4. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com User research definitions User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations...it is the process of understanding the impact of design on an audience. usability.gov User research comprises multiple methods for gaining insight into user needs and behaviours from real end users. uxpa-uk.org User research is the systematic study of the goals, needs and capabilities of users so as to specify design construction or improvement of tools to benefit how users work and live. Schumacher, 2010, Handbook of Global User Research What is missing from these definitions?
  5. 5. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Context
  6. 6. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Why do user research?
  7. 7. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Happier users
  8. 8. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Save time and money
  9. 9. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com The cost to fix keeps growing • Concept • Hand drawn design • Digitised design • Prototype • Service that is implemented • Service that is in pilot • Service that has been launched
  10. 10. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com When is user research not required? A very small scope project and the development team themselves are the users. E.g. Software engineer making tools for themselves to automate build process.
  11. 11. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Legal requirements Sometimes user research is required by law, e.g. Medical device regulation.
  12. 12. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Research Dimensions
  13. 13. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Research dimensions • Academic – product service/development • Quantitative – qualitative • Market research – user research • Local – global • Project lifecycle
  14. 14. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Academic – Product/service development Objective Output Academic research Qualify for Master or PhD. Answer a research question. Complete research project goals. Peer-reviewed paper following the scientific method, submitted to academic journal and/or conference User research for products/services Information to guide product/service development. Reports, presentations, Answers to specific design questions, ideas for improving the product/service.
  15. 15. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Qualitative - Quantitative Qualitative Quantitative “Words”, I feel... “Numbers”, On a scale of 1-5... Generally requires manual analysis (language processing) Analysis is easier to automate (numeric processing) Generally direct Generally indirect Example method: Interview Example method: Questionnaire
  16. 16. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Market Research - User Research Market Research User Research What people say What people do What people will buy How people use a product/service Mass demographics Individuals Broad insight Deep, focused insight Adapted from: HFI, UX Research and Market Research, 2012
  17. 17. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Market Research - User Research: conflicts • Market research is more widespread • Limited resources and turf wars • Trustworthiness of qualitative information • Respect and understand what each team brings to the project
  18. 18. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Products people are interested in Market Research - User Research: synergies Market size Competition Market trends Pricing Feedback on concepts and designs Goals and needs Social context Information context Device context and capabilities Personal knowledge, capabilities and preferences Location and physical context Actual behaviour
  19. 19. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com 汉语 español English suomi Local - Global Much more than this!
  20. 20. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Project lifecycle Image: designcouncil.org.uk
  21. 21. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com User research method landscape Chart: Nielsen Norman Group
  22. 22. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Expert / Heuristic evaluation
  23. 23. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Expert / Heuristic evaluation • One or more UX experts • Checklists • Can be scenario based • Quick • Location independent Checklist: userfocus.co.uk
  24. 24. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Summary of results Raw score # Questions # Answers Score Home Page -1 20 19 47% Task Orientation -9 44 16 22% Navigation & IA 0 29 0 Forms & Data Entry 0 23 0 Trust & Credibility -1 13 9 44% Writing & Content Quality 0 23 0 Page Layout & Visual Design 0 38 0 Search 0 20 0 Help, Feedback & Error Tolerance 0 37 0 Overall score 247 44 38% Checklist: userfocus.co.uk
  25. 25. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Usability testing
  26. 26. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Usability testing • Recruit and schedule representative users • Lab/artificial environment vs. on-site • Option of remote usability testing Image: Danny Hope
  27. 27. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Exploratory / contextual inquiry research
  28. 28. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Why • To discover ways to improve or add to existing services • To discover completely new services • To understand how your service will be used  input for design and development
  29. 29. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com
  30. 30. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com What you can learn • Personas • Communication flows • Workflows – sequence of steps • Physical layouts • Findings – built from the bottom-up
  31. 31. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Steps • Plan and design study • Field work – researchers visit users – apprentice/master relationship – Observe – Interview • Analyse results – with the rest of the team • Share findings
  32. 32. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Communication flow Two projectors Affinity diagram Physical models Artifacts
  33. 33. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Affinity Diagram
  34. 34. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Communication Flow
  35. 35. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Concept testing - AXE Anticipatory eXperience Evaluation
  36. 36. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Why? Evaluate concepts and prototypes very early in the development process  Lower development costs
  37. 37. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Steps • Plan and design study • User visit – Concept briefing – Concept evaluation • Analyse results – step-by-step process using a spreadsheet • Share findings
  38. 38. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Concept briefing • Description and narrative • Optionally: illustrations, paper prototypes
  39. 39. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Concept evaluation Unlabeled image pairs stimulate thoughts and conversation
  40. 40. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com AXE – Further information http://www.allaboutux.org/axe-anticipated- experience-evaluation A user guide will be published soon.
  41. 41. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Working with researchers
  42. 42. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com How to work with researchers Initial brief • Project objectives, roadmaps, business objectives, risks, success factors • Stakeholders • Project timelines • Who are the end-users, locations – primary and secondary • Previous research / what do you already know • What do you need to find out • What will you do with the research results?
  43. 43. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com How to work with researchers The best research plans are built up through discussion and collaboration  look for this in your research partner. A good researcher will ask you questions to understand what you need before preparing the research plan
  44. 44. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com How to work with researchers • Focus, focus, focus • Learn about research or work with an experienced researcher • Integrate research with the rest of the development process
  45. 45. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Driving change We want better products/services, not rotting reports. • Close collaboration between the researcher and design team • Involve stakeholders in the research, e.g. managers and programmers observing users first hand. • Present findings in a constructive way – How to Deliver a Report Without Getting Lynched, Nielsen Norman Group
  46. 46. © Ming Lee 2014, amisox.com Understand people to design great experiences: An introduction to user research Ming Lee User Researcher and UX Designer www.amisox.com www.linkedin.com/in/minglee

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