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Engaging Users in Design… Early & Often.Natalia A. FramilLeader of Design, IBM Smarter WorkforceDirector of User Experienc...
SummaryThe WhysWhy do designers need frequent access to users, and whatare common barriers?The DosWhat can you do to ensur...
The WhysWhy do designers need frequent accessto users, and what are commonbarriers?
It’s a no brainer – engagingusers in design leads to:Increased UsabilityIncreased AdoptionIncreased ProductivityUncovered ...
We also know how we canengage with usersContextual InquiryUsability TestingParticipatory DesignCard SortingDiary Studies
“Payattention towhat usersdo, notwhat theysay.”Jakob Nielsen
… but when did you actuallydo user research last?• This week• Last week• Last month• Last year• (Never?)
“Know Thy User”It’s easy to acknowledge the need to reallyunderstand ”the other” in a movie… but howabout in real life?
How often do we hear:“As a user, I’d want to do X”“Our market research shows what our users want”“They’ll be trained to us...
And how about:“We don’t have the time to do user research”“Our budget doesn’t allow for user testing”“I am not sure how us...
The DosWhat can you do to ensure that thevoice of the user is heard loud, clear,and often?
Find and engage with your internalstakeholdersProduct ManagementClient ServicesSalesTrainingCustomer SupportFind out who h...
Have a ready-to-use overview of UX goalsfor user engagementDevelop simple, actionabletemplates that you can use torecruit ...
Develop a customer board & cultivate itcontinuouslyBuild up a pool ofcustomers / users soyou can reach out tothem quickly ...
Share your success stories with other teams& departments to increase adoption“Much better, veryclean and organized.”“Id ta...
Better yet, adopt a design way of thinking.IBM Design Thinking.5
Better yet, adopt a design way of thinking.IBM Design Thinking.5
The Don’tsWhat are some things that don’t helpwhen trying to set up a userengagement program?
Don’t confuse market research withbehavioral user research1GOALFOCUSSAMPLEMETHODUnderstand what users do & how they do itB...
Don’t create overwhelmingly long, wordyresearch findings2Personas & Mental ModelsStory TellingVideo Reel
Don’t limit research sessions to researchersand designers3… but don’t overcrowd users either.
Don’t separate research from design4Introduce designconcepts to usersearly and often,sketch!
Don’t believe thatengaging users in design is luxury!5
Thank You
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Engaging Users in Design

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Engaging Users in Design

  1. 1. Engaging Users in Design… Early & Often.Natalia A. FramilLeader of Design, IBM Smarter WorkforceDirector of User Experience, IBM
  2. 2. SummaryThe WhysWhy do designers need frequent access to users, and whatare common barriers?The DosWhat can you do to ensure that the voice of the user isheard loud, clear, and often?The Don’tsWhat are some things that don’t help when trying to setup a user engagement program?
  3. 3. The WhysWhy do designers need frequent accessto users, and what are commonbarriers?
  4. 4. It’s a no brainer – engagingusers in design leads to:Increased UsabilityIncreased AdoptionIncreased ProductivityUncovered OpportunitiesLowered Costs
  5. 5. We also know how we canengage with usersContextual InquiryUsability TestingParticipatory DesignCard SortingDiary Studies
  6. 6. “Payattention towhat usersdo, notwhat theysay.”Jakob Nielsen
  7. 7. … but when did you actuallydo user research last?• This week• Last week• Last month• Last year• (Never?)
  8. 8. “Know Thy User”It’s easy to acknowledge the need to reallyunderstand ”the other” in a movie… but howabout in real life?
  9. 9. How often do we hear:“As a user, I’d want to do X”“Our market research shows what our users want”“They’ll be trained to use this”“Our users are experts and will get it”“I like this too! Looks easy enough”“If we go to users, they’ll ask too much”“Amazon <Apple, etc.> does it like this”Designing for yourselfAssuming you know your usersRelying on “help” or “training”Designing by committeeOverestimating their ability / attentionFear of “opening a can of worms”Relying on “best practices”Implicit Avoidance
  10. 10. And how about:“We don’t have the time to do user research”“Our budget doesn’t allow for user testing”“I am not sure how useful this would be”“The sample size is small, I can’t trust the findings”“I already showed it to customers, they like it”“It’s hard to find participants”“We don’t have the skillset on our team”Research time > time to fix bad designCost of testing > cost of bad designQuestioning qualitative valueUsing “what do you think” approach with buyersQuestioning the size of researchAssuming too expensive to trainming the customer / user isn’t interested in participatingExplicit Rejection
  11. 11. The DosWhat can you do to ensure that thevoice of the user is heard loud, clear,and often?
  12. 12. Find and engage with your internalstakeholdersProduct ManagementClient ServicesSalesTrainingCustomer SupportFind out who has access to clientsin your organization, and canconnect you with the clientstakeholders.1
  13. 13. Have a ready-to-use overview of UX goalsfor user engagementDevelop simple, actionabletemplates that you can use torecruit for user engagementinitiatives.2
  14. 14. Develop a customer board & cultivate itcontinuouslyBuild up a pool ofcustomers / users soyou can reach out tothem quickly toobserve, collaborate,and validate designs.3
  15. 15. Share your success stories with other teams& departments to increase adoption“Much better, veryclean and organized.”“Id take this in black and white if Icould have it today!”“I like it, it looks nice and clean.I really like the map view.”150%4
  16. 16. Better yet, adopt a design way of thinking.IBM Design Thinking.5
  17. 17. Better yet, adopt a design way of thinking.IBM Design Thinking.5
  18. 18. The Don’tsWhat are some things that don’t helpwhen trying to set up a userengagement program?
  19. 19. Don’t confuse market research withbehavioral user research1GOALFOCUSSAMPLEMETHODUnderstand what users do & how they do itBehaviorSmall(4-12 per role)Observation-based(contextual inquiry, field research…)Inform designQualitativePURPOSETYPEUnderstand what customers wantOpinionsLarge(500+ per segment)Opinion-based(surveys, focus groups…)Inform opportunityQuantitativeMarket Research Behavioral User Research
  20. 20. Don’t create overwhelmingly long, wordyresearch findings2Personas & Mental ModelsStory TellingVideo Reel
  21. 21. Don’t limit research sessions to researchersand designers3… but don’t overcrowd users either.
  22. 22. Don’t separate research from design4Introduce designconcepts to usersearly and often,sketch!
  23. 23. Don’t believe thatengaging users in design is luxury!5
  24. 24. Thank You

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