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User Insights Start the Design Process

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Slides from my presentation to Chrstina Wodtke's General Assembly class.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education
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User Insights Start the Design Process

  1. User Insights Start the Design Process Steve Portigal1 @steveportigal
  2. Portigal We help companies discover and act on new insights about their customers and themselvesSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  3. Coming soon!!! A book by Steve Portigal The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/user-interviews/Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  4. Be a methods-polygamist Choose, mash-up, or create methodology based on the problem Integrate (triangulate) with other methods Create a library of methods and artifacts Screeners, interview guides, stimuli, storyboards, etc.Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  5. Different Methods Work Together Music Application Usage 55% Windows Media Player 55% 55% 38% RealPlayer 33% 35% 18% iTunes 23% 28% 18% MusicMatch Jukebox 17% 20% 7% Winamp 7% 16% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  6. Different Methods Work Together Music Application Usage 55% Windows Media Player 55% 55% 38% RealPlayer 33% 35% 18% iTunes 23% 28% 18% MusicMatch Jukebox 17% 20% 7% Winamp 7% 16% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  7. Innovation means getting beyond pain points Diving deep is essential if we want to use the information we’ve gathered to do moreSteve Portigal than solve known pain points. @steveportigal
  8. Pain points may not really be that painful anyway! Satisficing (coined by Herbert Simon in 1956) refers to our acceptance of good-enough solutions These can drive engineers and designers crazy…but the real problem isn’t always what it appears to beSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  9. Use fieldwork throughout the development cycle Take a fresh look at people Use existing ideas as hypotheses What to Refine & Launch make or do prototype Iterate & improve Explore new ideasSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  10. Fieldwork leads to refined beliefs about customers Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange “You are not your user” is a powerful empathic takeaway…but it doesn’t always tell the whole storySteve Portigal @steveportigal
  11. Fieldwork highlights unmet organizational goals Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange Weblogs show where people are clicking but interviews revealed what people didn’t know about the organizationSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  12. Sometimes it can do both Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange Intranet home page real estate devoted to management goals but not actively used functions Anticipated knowledge- sharing functionality was a critical mismatch with how Project was not for SocialText; this is just a suggestive intranet image! people believed they should be workingSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  13. Problem Formulation What do we know and what do we want to know? Business goals • What the result will be This project was not actually the “Smart Fridge” but another inevitable technical innovation that we’ve been hearing about for years Research goals • What you want to learnSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  14. Planning and executing a design research study Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefsSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  15. Planning and executing a design research study Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefsSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  16. Recruiting criteria: Relationship to product What is the desired relationship to the product/service/brand? • Typical user • Non-user • Extreme user Triangulate through multiple • Peripheral users perspectives • Expert user • Subject matter expert By creating contrast, you • Wannabe user reveal key influencing • Should-be user factors that you wouldn’t • Future user otherwise see • Past user • Hater • Loyal to competitorSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  17. Recruiting criteria: Type of user There may more – or different – “users” than you initially think Think about the whole system: the chooser, the influencer, the user, and anyone who is impacted by those roles Challenge assumptions about who the organization is implicitly/explicitly designing for • Is that everyone? • Do they even exist? This will surface a broader sense – even prior to Is your “typical customer” real or aspirational? research – about who is affected by the product and who is being designed forSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  18. Recruiting criteria: Demographics Gender Occupation Age • From outside the industries in question Lifestage/lifestyle • Married • Stage of family Income • Retirement • Can afford the product in question • Not in the middle of a major life- change (unless that’s of interest) Dwelling • Suburban/urban/rural • Apartment/living alone/ Demographic factors are roommates/single family home typically secondary when Race defining the sample • Reflect the population • Reflect the user baseSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  19. Recruiting criteria: The softer side Whatever their relationship with the product/brand/service, you want the person to be engaged, have a point of view, care about the thing, and be articulateSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  20. The screener Screeners are very formal, linear documents Screeners have two purposes… • Figure out if the person fits your criteria • Convince them to participate …and three main sections • Introduction • Checking off criteria • Invitation to participateSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  21. Creative recruiting Outside of the traditional method of working with a recruiting agency, there are other approaches • Friends and family/Social networks • Snowball recruiting (participants find more participants) • Craigslist • Intercepts • Etc. Pros and cons • Cheap but time-consuming • Quick but harder to control and manage (tempting to sacrifice process for results) • Likely to find “pure” participants but they might be too close to you (talking to yourself)Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  22. Planning and executing a design research study Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefsSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  23. Use a range of methodsInterview “Tell us about how you’re using this product…”Tasks “Can you draw me a map of your computer network?”Participation “Can you show me how I should make a Whopper?”Demonstration “Show us how you update your playlists.” “I’ll be the customer and you be the receptionist, and youRole-playing show me how they should respond.” Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  24. Use a range of methods Participant takes regular digital photos or fills out a bookletLogging documenting their activities Participant saves up all their junk mail for two weeks toHomework prompt our discussionStimuli Review wireframes, prototypes, simulations, storyboards What’s in your wallet? What’s in your fridge?Exercises Sketch your idealized solution Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  25. Ask how they would solve a problem Participatory design Engage people in the non-literal Doesn’t mean we implement the through games and role-playing requested solution literally Uncover underlying principles and “I wish it had a handle” explore areas of opportunity that don’t Many ways to solve the underlying yet exist need (“I need to move it around”) Designers work with this data to generate alternativesSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  26. Show people a solution Consider the difference between testing and exploring Avoid “Do you like this?” Don’t show your best guess at a solution; instead identify provocative examples to surface hidden desires and expectations Image from Roberto and Worth1000.com Make sure you are asking the right questions What does this solution enable? What problems does it solve? Especially for new products, needed before getting into specifics of your implementationSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  27. The interview guide (or field guide) A detailed plan of what will happen in the interview • Questions, timing, activities, tasks, logistics, etc. Transforms questions-we-want-answers-to into questions-we-will-ask Share with team to align on issues of concern • Especially with multiple teams in the field Helps you previsualize the flow of the session • Include questions as well as other methods that you’ll use Prepping an interview guide means that you may not need to use the interview guide • This is counter-intuitive • It does come in handy during freeze-up moments – scan it over to see what else you want to coverSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  28. Minimalist field guideSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  29. Detailed field guideSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  30. Planning and executing a design research study Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefsSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  31. Fieldwork principles Check your worldview at the door Embrace how other people see the world Build rapport ListenSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  32. Check your worldview at the door Before you start doing interviews, do a team- wide brain dump of all your assumptions and expectations • Get closely-held beliefs out of your heads • You needn’t go back to verify your assumptions; goal is to make assumptions explicit Make the interview about the interview • As a transitional ritual, agree explicitly that you are going to Learn about Paul rather than Identify NextGen Opportunities for RoadmapSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  33. Embrace how other people see the world Go to where your users are rather than asking them to come to you Nip distractions in the bud • Eat! • Leave plenty of time so you aren’t rushed when you arrive • Find a bathroom beforehand Be ready to ask questions you (think you) know the answers to • Think about: “When are your taxes due?” • What do you know? What are you afraid they’ll say? What might you learn?Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  34. Build rapport Be selective about social graces • Just enough small talk • Accept what you’re offered Be selective about talking about yourself • Reveal personal information to give them permission to share • Otherwise, think “OMG! Me too!” without saying it Work towards the tipping point • From question-answer to question-story • You won’t know when it’s coming; be patient Acknowledge the interview as something…unusual • “What I want to learn today…” over friendly chatSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  35. Listen You can demonstrate that you are listening by asking questions! • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up • “Earlier, you told us that…” • “I want to go back to something else you said…” Signal your transitions: “Great, now I’d like to move onto a totally different topic” This level of listening is not how we normally talk to each other • Remember that you are interviewing, not having a conversation • This is really hardSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  36. Listening body language Yes! Not so much.Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  37. Silence defeats awkwardness After you ask your question, be silent • Don’t put the answers in the question After they’ve answered you, be silentSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  38. Use natural language Talk like your subject talks!Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  39. If you want to fix something, wait until the end It’s frustrating to watch users struggle with your product • Remember, you are there to learn from them You will lose the interview if you start taking their questions When it’s time to go, show or tell them only what will help themSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  40. We learn from mistakes and mishaps Collect and share war stories with other interviewerswww.portigal.com/series/WarStoriesSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  41. Planning and executing a design research study Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefsSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  42. AnalysisSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  43. Typical timelines 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Methodology, Interviews, self- Screening Analysis, field guide, reporting, criteria, recruiting synthesis, design stimuli debriefs When working in tighter timeframes, consider where you want to cut back. Be mindful of the tradeoffs!Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  44. Going rogue 1 day?! 1 day?! 2 days?!! Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Who can you Small sample, get? Co-workers, Wide-eyed massively intercepts on the observation, Debrief parallel data street or in the winging it gathering mall, etc.Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  45. An example of delivering research findings http://www.portigal.com/blog/reading-ahead-research-findings/Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  46. Documentation: audio, video, notes Essential to capture exactly what is said Difficult (impossible) to maintain eye contact, manage interview, and write down everything • Potentially a role for a second interviewer Taking notes – not as the definitive record – can help you process, notice, think about follow-ups, etc. • I strongly recommend privileging being in-the-moment (e.g., eye contact, listening) over trying to capture everything yourselfSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  47. Interviewing Exercise Get in groups of 3 Use the field guide handout • Imagine you are in a startup looking for opportunities in (news, food, media) • Treat it as a guide, as a starting place • Let yourself follow-up Three rounds of interviews, X minutes each • One interviewer, one interviewee, one observer • Each person plays each role once • Stay in the exercise! Group debriefSteve Portigal @steveportigal
  48. I’ve got a tip (that you didn’t cover) that works Yeah, I’ve well for me… got a question for ya… One new thing I learned today is…48 - #DeepDive Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  49. Click to edit Master title style Thank you!@steveportigal Portigal Consultingsteve@portigal.com www.portigal.com+1-415-894-2001 Lift11 49 Portigal

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