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Unfinished Business Workshop: Working with user research data

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In this workshop, Steve will show you how producers of "stuff" (products, services, and beyond) - can work with user research data to identify new businesses opportunities. One of the most persistent factors limiting the impact of user research in business is that projects often stop with a cataloging findings and implications rather than generating opportunities that directly enable the findings. As designers (in the broadest sense of the word) increasingly become involved in using contextual research to inform their design work, they may find themselves holding onto a trove of raw data but with little awareness of how to turn it into design.

The emphasis in this workshop (including an exercise in the days and weeks beforehand) will be on strengthening the creative link between "data" and "action." By the end, participants will have developed a range of high-level concepts that respond to a business problem and integrate a fresh, contextual understanding of that problem.

Published in: Design

Unfinished Business Workshop: Working with user research data

  1. 1. Working with user research data<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />10:00 – 12:00 Turning field data into insights<br />Introduction 15 minutes <br />Observation Process 15 minutes <br />Fieldwork Exercise 60 minutes<br />Storytelling 30 minutes <br />Lunch!<br />12:30 – 3:00 Turning insights into solutions<br />Synthesis Process 15 minutes <br />Synthesis Exercise 45 minutes <br />Ideation Process 10 minutes <br />Ideation Exercise 65 minutes <br />Wrap Up 15 minutes <br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />
  4. 4. Typical development lifecycle<br />What to make or do<br />Refine & prototype<br />Launch<br />Iterate & improve<br />
  5. 5. Where we work<br />Take a fresh look at people<br />What to make or do<br />Refine & prototype<br />Launch<br />Iterate & improve<br />
  6. 6. Where we work<br />Use existing ideas as hypotheses<br />What to make or do<br />Refine & prototype<br />Launch<br />Iterate & improve<br />
  7. 7. Where we work<br />Is it working like we hoped?<br />What to make or do<br />Refine & prototype<br />Launch<br />Iterate & improve<br />
  8. 8. Where we work<br />What to make or do<br />Refine & prototype<br />Launch<br />History provides context to explore new ideas<br />Iterate & improve<br />
  9. 9. Synthesis & ideation process<br />Fieldwork<br />Synthesis<br />Ideation<br />Development<br />
  10. 10. Analysis<br />Synthesis<br />Ideation<br />Solutions<br />Strategies<br />Opportunities<br />Detailed solutions<br />Insights<br />Synthesis & ideation process<br />
  11. 11. Cultural data from fieldwork<br />Case study: iPod accessories<br />
  12. 12. Observation<br />
  13. 13. Homework Check-in<br />Your mission: Dedicate at least half an hour to walking around and observing people in your neighborhood<br />Who was able to do the assignment?<br />Was this anyone’s first experience doing observational fieldwork?<br />Is there anyone who has not done user or observational research in the field?<br />Props to Evi!<br />
  14. 14. Methods & inputs (not today…)<br />Generally we integrate methods, aka triangulation<br />We choose, mash-up, or create methods based on the problem. Today we’re doing an abbreviated version of observational fieldwork<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Observing<br />Notice what… people, places<br />Notice how… processes, sequences, interactions<br />Suspend your point of view<br />Avoid conclusions<br />Allow confusion<br />Do it “out loud”<br />Steve, practicing his “noticing.” You can tell because he looks like he may be a little confused.<br />
  16. 16. You’re observing people within their culture. Notice how cultural artifacts reflect and define the environment; and reveal what is “normal”<br />Normal isn’t “right or wrong” – it’s the set of background rules that define much of what people choose or ignore<br />Media<br />Products<br />Advertisements<br />Street Culture<br />Trends/Fads<br />Cultural context<br />What are they selling?<br />
  17. 17. Cultural context<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Cultural context<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Cultural context<br />
  20. 20. Synthesis naturally begins inthe field<br />Resist meaning (for now)<br />Focus on observations<br />Get the detail<br />Create time to talk after each fieldwork experience<br />Over multiple sessions and participants, over time<br />Write up real-timesummaries for the team, ASAP<br />In-field debriefing (not today…)<br />Fieldwork highlights captured in the wild.<br />
  21. 21. Your mission: Imagine you are working on a project for Gentrific8, looking for ideas to redevelop Dunbat/Alexandra Park.<br />Form groups of 2 – 3. Mix it up<br />Wander and observe people, interactions and environments<br />Do it out loud!<br />Capture (photos, notes)<br />What, who, where, when?<br />Why, how?<br />This is not a design audit of signage or merchandise displays<br />Exercise: Explore! <br />Image: Sanderson Public Library, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from stqcb'sphotostream<br />http://www.rapdict.org/Alexandra_Park<br />
  22. 22. Neighborhood observations: Noe Valley, San Fran<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Neighborhood observations: Noe Valley, San Fran<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Neighborhood observations: Montara, California<br />Portigal<br />Unfinished Business<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Be back by 11:30 to share some stories!<br />Exercise: Explore! <br />
  26. 26. What happened? What did you see? What did you feel?<br />Tell stories<br />
  27. 27. Synthesis<br />
  28. 28. Sense-making through an iterative process of refining gathered data<br />Early, Informaldata in your head<br />First, process the experience you had collecting data<br />Refer to debriefs and conversations<br />Articulate and identify themes<br />Outcome: Topline Report<br />Process-based, Formalheavy lifting<br />Then, process the data itself<br />Individual and group analysis<br />Pattern-identification, clustering, models, frameworks<br />Outcome: Opportunities<br />What is synthesis?<br />Review, Refine, Rinse, Repeat<br />
  29. 29. After fieldwork, collate reflections and quickly externalize a starter set of 5 to 10 thematic areas based on<br />Pre-identified areas of inquiry<br />Refer to debriefs and conversations from the field<br />New patterns that we observed<br />Identify interesting areas; acknowledge that you don’t understand details yet, identify questions<br />Outcome: Topline Report<br />This sheds light on what excites the team and the stakeholders; brings focus to the next stage of synthesis<br />All right researchers… what did you see?<br />Early, informal synthesis (data in your head)<br />
  30. 30. Go back through your raw data very closely to move beyond the Topline Report <br />Individually (heads-down) and collaboratively (heads-up) develop clusters, identify patterns, collate and refine findings<br />Process maps, eco-systems<br />Frameworks, models<br />Design implications<br />i.e.: What did other public announcements in the study look like? What are the layers of information and cultural context? What form factors are favored? Why?<br />Process-based, formal synthesis (heavy lifting)<br />
  31. 31. Heads down!<br /><ul><li>Video
  32. 32. Photos, field artifacts
  33. 33. Transcripts</li></ul>Transcript analysis<br /><ul><li>Make marginal notes on patterns, quotes, or what seems interesting
  34. 34. Ask yourself questions; give labels; propose solutions
  35. 35. Don’t worry about implications, be descriptive and reactive</li></ul>Individual analysis (not today…)<br />
  36. 36. If you can’t get transcripts, watch video (even sped-up) and in near real-time jot down the rough narrative of the session<br /><ul><li>When you make an observation in your own voice, do something typographic to call it out (ALL CAPS, highlight, etc.)</li></ul>Individual analysis (not today…)<br />
  37. 37. Heads up! <br />Tell stories, narrate highlights, give each its due. Use notes, transcripts, and other artifacts <br />Voice and document reactions, a-has, support and questions<br />Clustering<br />White-board notes<br />Develop a new shared point-of-view, beyond “findings”<br />Outcome: Opportunities<br />No discussion of the synthesis process would be complete without a reference to Post-It ® Notes<br />Collaborative analysis<br />
  38. 38. Opportunities are not <br />A reporting of “interesting findings” <br />A list of solutions<br />Opportunities are<br />Change we can envision based on what we heard and observe<br />About people<br />In the context of but reframing the business questions<br />Generative, inviting many solutions<br />Keep the human touch in communication<br />Allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />Developing opportunities<br />What should we do?<br />
  39. 39. Topline Collaborative Analysis Opportunities<br />10 minutes 10 minutes 15 minutes<br />Keep the human touch in communication<br />Allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices & systems<br />Summary of synthesis exercises<br />Externalize the data in your head<br />Share the heavy lifting<br />Determine generative directions<br />
  40. 40. After fieldwork, join forces with another group<br />Quickly review what happened (today and from your homework) and what you saw. Collate reflections. Resist the urge to move too far towards conclusions<br />Don’t refer to notes or photos yet<br />Keep your own experiences, existing hypotheses, cultural clichés, etc. in the background<br />Develop 3 - 5 themes as a “Topline Report” sketching out the big takeaways, leading into further synthesis<br />Don’t fuss over exact wording<br />Exercise: Develop a topline (10 minutes)<br />All right researchers… what did you see?<br />
  41. 41. Evolve your “Topline Report;” flesh out and enrich themes<br />Write your themes and put them up<br />Leave space for new ones too<br />Now (!) tell stories from the field (from your neighborhood and today), using photos, notes and memory<br />Rethink the relationships between the themes, pick your strongest themes and write a sentence with a point of view<br />Go from “Graffiti everywhere” and “Teen gangs hanging out” to “Public spaces in the neighborhood are used to communicate identity and belongingness”<br />Exercise: Develop findings (10 minutes)<br />
  42. 42. Build on your findings<br />Start each opportunity with a verb<br />Opportunities are not <br />A reporting of “interesting findings” <br />A list of solutions<br />Opportunities are<br />Change we can envision based on what we heard and observe<br />About people<br />In the context of but reframing the business questions<br />Generative, inviting many solutions<br />Exercise: Identify opportunities (10 minutes)<br />Keep the human touch in communication<br />Allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />Keep the human touch in communication<br />Allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />What should we do?<br />What should we do?<br />
  43. 43. Exercise: Pitch it back!<br />
  44. 44. Ideation<br />
  45. 45. A simple step moves you from Opportunities to Ideation Questions, reframing them into actionable language <br />How can we<br />keep the human touch in communication<br />allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />How can we<br />How can we<br />Ideate!<br />Ideation questions<br />
  46. 46. Scope of solutions<br />Solutions exist across many different business areas <br />Functionality<br />Visual design<br />Marketing<br />Architecture<br />Public Services<br />Partnerships<br />Events<br />Software<br />Form factor<br />Packaging<br />Policy<br />Retail design<br />Even if you are unlikely to impact certain business areas, it’s crucial that you set that constraint aside for ideation<br />How many business and civic areas to impact can you spot in this picture?<br />
  47. 47. Developing strategies<br />Responses to any ideation question can lead in different strategic directions<br />Finding:Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet <br />Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke<br />Ideation Question:How can we improve the experience of students who smoke?<br />Support underlying needs and behavior by embracing the finding<br />Question needs and behavior, seek change by challenging the finding<br />Create a protected environment for smoking<br />Eliminate smoking<br />
  48. 48. Strategies can inspire solutions<br />Finding:Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet <br />Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke<br />Ideation Question:How can we improve the experience of students who smoke?<br />Strategies<br />Create a protected environment for smoking<br />Eliminate smoking<br />Solutions<br />FacilitiesBuild a pavilion<br />AdminAllocate interior room<br />PartnersAlign with nearby cafe<br />OnlineSmoking cessation games<br />AdminBan smoking<br />PartnersStop smoking coaches<br />
  49. 49. Solutions can suggest strategies<br />Finding:Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet <br />Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke<br />Ideation Question:How can we improve the experience of students who smoke?<br />Strategies<br />Create a protected environment for smoking<br />Eliminate smoking<br />Solutions<br />AdminAllocate interior room<br />AdminBan smoking<br />
  50. 50. Collaborative generation<br />This is a collective, out-loud activity! Talk, listen, build on each other’s ideas<br />Don’t worry about a “bad” idea… it may lead to a “good” idea<br />Don’t correct; generate alternatives<br />“Yes, and…”<br />This is a visual activity! Sketch, draw…<br />Quantity over quality; go quickly<br />Individual ideas matter less than what the collective produces overall<br />How can a sour lemon help keep things working smoothly?<br />
  51. 51. Stuck?<br />Come up with bad ideas<br />Immoral<br />Dangerous<br />Bad for business<br />
  52. 52. Summary of ideation exercises<br />Questions Business Areas Ideation and Sharing<br /> 2 minutes 3 minutes 45 minutes<br />How can we<br />keep the human touch in communication<br />allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />How can we<br />How can we<br />Ideate!<br />Shift to “How can we…?”<br />Figure out where we can play<br />Remember, “Yes, and…”<br />
  53. 53. Exercise: Ideation questions (2 minutes)<br />Apply How can we…? to each of your Opportunities<br />How can we<br />keep the human touch in communication<br />allow people to move seamlessly between places<br />allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems<br />How can we<br />How can we<br />Ideate!<br />
  54. 54. Exercise: Business areas (3 minutes)<br />Let’s collectively list possible business areas to design for<br />Think about whatever Gentrific8 could do or affect<br />Use this list as a starting point<br />Functionality<br />Visual design<br />Marketing<br />Architecture<br />Public Services<br />Partnerships<br />Events<br />Software<br />Form factor<br />Packaging<br />Policy<br />Retail design<br />Incentives<br />How many business and civic areas to impact can you spot in this picture?<br />
  55. 55. Exercise: Ideation (45 minutes)<br />Use your ideation questions to generate strategies and solutions<br />Out loud<br />Visual<br />Collaborative<br />Consider the range of possible business areas<br />Bounce back and forth between generating strategies and solutions<br />Most ideas will not turn out to be winners; the goal is to practice connecting research data to solutions<br />Apply lemon as needed.<br />
  56. 56. Exercise: Prepare to share (2 minutes)<br />Rapidly align on your team’s best ideas and message<br />Choose a messenger<br />The wise team will choose a bold, expressive spokesperson<br />
  57. 57. Exercise: Pitch it back! <br />
  58. 58. Wrap it up<br />
  59. 59. Coming in 2012!<br />A book by Steve Portigal<br />The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing<br />http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/user-interviews/ <br />
  60. 60. I’ve got a tip (that you didn’t cover) that works well for me…<br />Yeah, I’ve got a question for ya…<br />One new thing I learned today is…<br />
  61. 61. Thank you!<br />Portigal Consulting<br />www.portigal.com<br />@steveportigal<br />steve@portigal.com<br />415-894-2001<br />

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