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Introduction to Empathy and Design Research

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Design thinking is a problem solving process geared for ambiguous situations. There are four principles of design thinking: empathize, visualize, co-create and iterate. This presentation gives tips and techniques for empathizing includes how to interview and how to analyze research data.

Published in: Design

Introduction to Empathy and Design Research

  1. 1. i Introduction to Empathy and Design Research Prepared for DT:DC Summer of Design, 2014 JULY 22. 2014
  2. 2. i Design thinking is a problem solving process ... What is? What if? What wows? What works?? $ EMPATHIZE framing interviewing observing analyzing VISUALIZE exploring brainstorming creating CO-CREATE building refining evaluating ITERATE experimenting testing implementing IMPACTWhat is? What if? What wows? What works?? $ EMPATHIZE framing interviewing observing analyzing VISUALIZE exploring brainstorming creating CO-CREATE building refining evaluating ITERATE experimenting testing implementing
  3. 3. ii ... best used with ambiguous problems (often called innovation). DESIGN THINKING is a problem-solving process optimized for ... INNOVATION which is becoming the predominant path to ... IMPACT
  4. 4. iii There are four core principles of design thinking. EMPATHIZE VISUALIZE ITERATE CO-CREATE EMPATHIZE
  5. 5. iv Today, we’ll dig into one. EMPATHIZE VISUALIZE ITERATE CO-CREATE EMPATHIZE
  6. 6. 1 SO, WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THIS PHOTO?
  7. 7. 2 ACTUALLY, THIS WOMAN IS A TOURIST IN BODIE, CA—A GOLD- MINING GHOST TOWN FROM THE 1880s. SHE IS PEERING INTO A HOUSE TO SEE THE PRESERVED ARTIFACTS.
  8. 8. 3 Describe, don’t prescribe Observation ›› Objective ›› Descriptive ›› Factual ›› Derived from your senses (sight, smells, sounds, feel) Interpretation ›› Subjective ›› Prescriptive ›› Emotional ›› Derived from your experiences
  9. 9. 4 Let’s cover the basics of design research Agenda ›› Overview of Design Thinking ›› The Design Research Process ›› Tips For Building Empathy & Conducting Interviews ›› Creating A Discussion Guide ›› Running An Empathy-building Activity ›› Debriefing Your Data ›› Reflection ›› Q&A
  10. 10. 5 HOW WOULD YOU FIND OUT WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON?
  11. 11. 6 Ethnographic interviews give you a peek into their world
  12. 12. 7 There are four steps in the design research process PLAN RECRUIT INTERVIEW DEBRIEF & DOCUMENT
  13. 13. 8 There are four steps in the design research process PLAN RECRUIT INTERVIEW DEBRIEF & DOCUMENT In this session, we’ll do a deep dive on these two
  14. 14. 9 There are four steps in the design research process PLAN RECRUIT INTERVIEW DEBRIEF & DOCUMENT 1 Research Plan When it comes to design thinking, our inspiration comes from data. And we’re looking for data on a very human scale—individual stories about people and their needs and how they relate to your opportunity. Take a moment to think about whom you might need to interview or observe in order to gather this kind of human-centered data. You can always come back later to add to or adjust it. Who or what will we study? Where will we find the people or information? What questions/issues will we explore? Number of observations, interviews, or inputs When will the research happen? Who on the team is responsible? 2 Research Recruiting 101 Recruit Both Current Users and Non-Users For Your Study You want a diversity of opinions on your subject, both posi- tive and negative. You’re trying to learn something new, not confirm your biases. Use Friends and Family, First It can be hard to find participants on short notice, reach out to your personal network to see if they can connect you with someone. Use social media as a way to get your requests out there. Screen Your Participants Before You Enroll Them If you’re looking for 4 participants total, contact 8-10. Talk with them for five minutes and choose the ones that tell you stories or aren’t afraid to share details of their lives. Diversify Your Participant Base Determine factors the demographic factors that are impor- tant to your study and then diverge from there. For example, is geographical location important? Choose a variety of loca- tions. If not, it’s fine to look to local sources for your research. Match Your Participants to Your Research Activities Asking your participants to complete a diary? Make sure they are comfortable writing and reflecting. Performing an inter- view? Make sure they enjoy talking and telling stories. There are some tools in your packet to assist you in first two steps
  15. 15. 10 STEP 3: INTERVIEW
  16. 16. 11 Never interview alone! DESIGN RESEARCH ROLES Lead Interviewer The person asking the questions and leading the discussion Participant The person asking the questions Documenter The person taking notes, photos and/video and ensuring that all areas of research are addressed
  17. 17. 12 Tips for ethnographic interviewing 1. Orient, but don’t prime 2. Ask short, factual questions 3. Get specific examples. 4. Walk backward, then forward 5. Ask attitudinal questions last 6. Document artifacts and tools 7. Record the interview 8. Listen for attitudes, values, beliefs
  18. 18. 13 HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO ASK?
  19. 19. 14 Create a discussion guide. 5 Discussion Guide Your Challenge Statement Introduction Main Questions Rapport Building Closing
  20. 20. 15 Create a discussion guide 4 Instructions for Discussion Guide Your Challenge Statement What is the challenge or issue you wish to explore in this project? Introduction • Give an overview of why you are here today (try to stay broad in your explanation) • Introduce your Documenters or others in the room • Clarify the amount of time for the interview • Set expectations of what they are going to be doing during the interview • Give them any incentives for participating in the interview Main Questions Write down some key topics and questions to address during the interview (from Research Plan). Try to encourage the participant to be authors as much as possible to draw or write down information. Format for 3-4 areas of exploration: Key Topic #1: • Broad Question • Follow up Question • Follow up Question Rapport Building Find something personal to talk about not related to the research (e.g. kids, family, an interest, food) or ask them to give you a tour of their space Closing Thank them for their time and explain next steps (if any). Introduction Rapport Building Main Question Closing Your Challenge Statement
  21. 21. 16 Now it’s your turn! Your Challenge Statement Design a solution to improve your participant’s daily commuting experience.
  22. 22. 17 Now it’s your turn! Fill out your Discussion Guide (5 min) Round One (7 min) ›› Partner A: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner B: Participant ›› Partner C: Documenter Round Two (7 min) ›› Partner C: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner A: Participant ›› Partner B: Documenter Round Three (7 min) ›› Partner B: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner C: Participant ›› Partner A: Documenter
  23. 23. 18 Remember: Be a better ethnographic researcher 1. Orient, but don’t prime 2. Ask short, factual questions 3. Get specific examples. 4. Walk backward, then forward 5. Ask attitudinal questions last 6. Document artifacts and tools 7. Record the interview 8. Listen for attitudes, values, beliefs
  24. 24. 19 Take your interview to a new level with an empathy-building activity
  25. 25. 20 Take your interview to a new level with an empathy-building activity Visual-based activities make ideas tangible and concrete ... ›› We experience pictures differently than we experience words ›› Visualizing is a pre-cursor to doing; it’s mapped to our motor skills ›› We understand pictures at a visceral level, the same as emotions … and reduce the risk of failure ›› Ensures we’re all working from the same mental model ›› Builds commitment to the idea
  26. 26. 21 You try it! Round One (5 min) ›› Partner B: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner C: Participant ›› Partner A: Documenter Round Two (5 min) ›› Partner A: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner B: Participant ›› Partner C: Documenter Round Three (5 min) ›› Partner C: Lead Interviewer ›› Partner A: Participant ›› Partner B: Documenter Ask your participant to draw a picture of his or her commute. There are no right or wrong answers here! Leave all decisions about how to represent their commute up to them.
  27. 27. 22 6 Interview Debrief After each ethnographic interview you complete, take a few minutes to perform an interview debrief with your fellow researcher(s) while the session is fresh in your minds. This ensures that key learnings and observations are not lost in the scramble of many interviews or long timelines. What did I learn that was new? What did I learn that confirmed what I already suspected? What do I want to explore further? What are some key quotes that I heard? STEP 4: DEBRIEF AND DOCUMENT 7 Instructions for 360 Empathy The sensing of unmet needs—especially unarticulated needs—requires deep empathy with users. One of the simplest methods to forge this emotional connection is through 360 empathy. You can use this analytic approach immediately after conducting ethnographic interviews or direct observation. AREA OF OPPORTUNITY Describe the challenge/opportunity. Keep this short (20 words or less). Use the design brief for reference. 1. SEEING Note the information that enters through the user’s eyes. What is he or she literally seeing in relation to the challenge? 3. DOING Note the key physical movements and behaviors that accompany the chal- lenge. The data from direct observa- tion will be the most insightful here. 5. FEELING? (GUESSES) Make guesses about what you believe the user may be feeling. Don’t worry if your guesses contradict each other; look for breadth of possibilities to explore. 6. LATENT NEED? (GUESSES) Create a short list of possible unmet needs that may exist for the user. Use the results of Step 5 to spur the discussion. The goal is not consensus among the team but a sense that there are intriguing possibilities to fuel the brain- storming sessions that will follow. The insights here will be essential to create a strong reframe. 2. HEARING What experiences occur to the user as sounds? In addi- tion to words he or she hears, include ambient sounds that are integral to the experience. 4. SAYING Summarize the most revealing verbatim words and phrases he or she uses when speaking about the challenge.
  28. 28. 23 7 Instructions for 360 Empathy The sensing of unmet needs—especially unarticulated needs—requires deep empathy with users. One of the simplest methods to forge this emotional connection is through 360 empathy. You can use this analytic approach immediately after conducting ethnographic interviews or direct observation. AREA OF OPPORTUNITY Describe the challenge/opportunity. Keep this short (20 words or less). Use the design brief for reference. 1. SEEING Note the information that enters through the user’s eyes. What is he or she literally seeing in relation to the challenge? 3. DOING Note the key physical movements and behaviors that accompany the chal- lenge. The data from direct observa- tion will be the most insightful here. 5. FEELING? (GUESSES) Make guesses about what you believe the user may be feeling. Don’t worry if your guesses contradict each other; look for breadth of possibilities to explore. 6. LATENT NEED? (GUESSES) Create a short list of possible unmet needs that may exist for the user. Use the results of Step 5 to spur the discussion. The goal is not consensus among the team but a sense that there are intriguing possibilities to fuel the brain- storming sessions that will follow. The insights here will be essential to create a strong reframe. 2. HEARING What experiences occur to the user as sounds? In addi- tion to words he or she hears, include ambient sounds that are integral to the experience. 4. SAYING Summarize the most revealing verbatim words and phrases he or she uses when speaking about the challenge. 360 Empathy helps us reflect on a research interview
  29. 29. 24 Now it’s your turn! On your own, fill out the 360 Empathy template for the person you documented (6 min) Round One (2 min) ›› Partner C shares with team Round Two (2 min) ›› Partner B shares with team Round Three (2 min) ›› Partner A shares with team
  30. 30. 25 What was it like to be a designer researcher? As a table, discuss the following: 1. At what point when you were interviewing did you feel it was going the best? 2. Which of the interviewing tips did you find most difficult to follow? 3. In what ways was using stimulus similar to or different from using only interview questions? 4. When did you feel most comfortable as a participant? Was there anything your interviewer did to make you feel that way? 5. What questions do you still have about conducting ethnographic interviews? 1. Orient, but don’t prime 2. Ask short, factual questions 3. Get specific examples. 4. Walk backward, then forward 5. Ask attitudinal questions last 6. Document artifacts and tools 7. Record the interview 8. Listen for attitudes, values, beliefs
  31. 31. 26 QUESTIONS?
  32. 32. 27 THANK YOU! JESSICA DUGAN Director, Design Strategy and Innovation jdugan@peerinsight.com | 312.532.8729 BREE GROFF Design Strategist bgroff@peerinsight.com

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