User Experience Design Fundamentals - Part 2: Talking with Users


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#2 in a 3-part series on UX Fundamentals: Talking with Users
Understand why you should talk to users to uncover, validate and/or understand their goals.

Learn how and when to talk with your users:
User research methods
Best practices for interviews

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  • User Experience Design Fundamentals - Part 2: Talking with Users

    1. 1. User Experience DesignFundamentals 2: Talking With UsersPeriscope | www.periscopeux.comWe design smart, usable digital productsLaura Ballay & Meghan Deutscher
    2. 2. A brief recap…•  What is a User?•  What are User Goals?•  Why are User Motivations important?
    3. 3. Today’s TakeawaysUnderstand why you should talkto users to uncover, validateand/or understand their goals.Learn how and when to talk withyour users:• User research methods• Planning• Best practices for interviews
    4. 4. Why Talk With Your Users?How well user goals are understood Why you should talk with your usersI don’t know my users’ goals. Uncover user goals by questioning their behavior.I have an idea of what my users’ goals Validate user goals by observing theirare. behavior.I know what my users’ goals are. Understand how users fulfill their goals; what their behaviors, attitudes and challenges are.Does my product help users Validate whether or not your productaccomplish their goals? helps the user and how likely it is they’ll use it.Can my product be better? Continuously learn more about your users and how they use the product.
    5. 5. What is UserResearch?“Design research describes anynumber of investigative techniquesused to add context and insight to thedesign process.It’s also used to combat the naturaltendency to design for ourselves (orour stakeholders) rather thandesigning for our target audience.Without design research we tendtowards a self-serving, uninformeddesign process.”– UX Booth
    6. 6. Three principles for gooduser research protocol:1. Understanding why2. Studying users in context (environment) and see any other influencing factors3. Biases/behaviors that you have to work around
    7. 7. 1. Always Ask “Why”Empathy: “What happensto us when we leave ourown bodies...and findourselves eithermomentarily or for a longerperiod of time in the mindof the other. We observereality through her eyes,feel her emotions, share inher pain.” –Kehn Lampert
    8. 8. 2. Consider User BiasesWhen we perceive our ownbehavior, we put more weightinto our thoughts than actions.When perceiving the behaviorof others, we put more weight inactions, less in thoughts.
    9. 9. 3. Study User in ContextA user’s environment containsclues to their goals andbehavior. You’ll learn thingsthey can’t tell you.
    10. 10. User Research MethodsPersonasTask AnalysisUser InterviewsUsability TestingParticipatory DesignDiary StudiesFocus GroupsHallway TestingSurveysAnalytics & Log ReviewA/B and Beta TestingStakeholder InterviewsUser ObservationsCard SortPaper PrototypingSME InterviewsAutomated Testing (
    11. 11. “The Good” PROSPersonasTask Analysis •  Model design on real usersUser Interviews •  Thoroughly understand userUsability Testing needsParticipatory Design •  Validate ideas before goingDiary Studies “live”Focus GroupsHallway Testing •  Prioritize effortsSurveys CONSAnalytics & Log ReviewA/B and Beta TestingStakeholder Interviews •  Can take a lot of timeUser Observations •  Can be expensiveCard Sort •  Need “lab rats”Paper Prototyping •  Requires significant planningSME InterviewsAutomated Testing (
    12. 12. “The Cheap” PROSPersonasTask Analysis •  InexpensiveUser Interviews •  Some can be automatedUsability Testing •  Some produce more numbers;Participatory Design stats can be comforting toDiary Studies stakeholdersFocus GroupsHallway TestingSurveys CONSAnalytics & Log ReviewA/B and Beta TestingStakeholder Interviews •  No understanding of “why”User Observations •  Can be misleadingCard Sort •  Often opinion-based ratherPaper Prototyping than behavior-basedSME Interviews •  Feedback may come afterAutomated Testing ( product is already complete
    13. 13. “The Fast” PROSPersonasTask Analysis •  Can be done quickly and inUser Interviews small teamsUsability Testing •  Can show visual concepts andParticipatory Design get feedback early onDiary Studies •  Limited planning requiredFocus GroupsHallway TestingSurveys CONSAnalytics & Log ReviewA/B and Beta TestingStakeholder Interviews •  Limited understanding of “why”User Observations •  Users may still be kept atCard Sort arm’s lengthPaper Prototyping •  Feedback may be limitedSME InterviewsAutomated Testing (
    14. 14. An Example: Personas
    15. 15. To DIY or not to DIY?A user research study can be along, involved process.Running a study smoothly andsuccessfully takes practice andmight be better left to theexperts.But, there’s still a lot to gain bysimply learning how to talkwith your users.
    16. 16. User Research Planning•  Setting research goals•  Recruiting participants•  Logistics•  Open interview questions
    17. 17. Types of QuestionsBackground “Tell me about yourself…”, “How did you come to work here?”Goal oriented “What makes a good day?”, “What wastes your time?”Workflow oriented “What did you do when you came home from work?”, “How often do you do this?”System oriented “What do you most often do with the product?”, “What do you like most about this product?”Attitude oriented “What do you enjoy the most about riding the bus?”, “What do you procrastinate on?”
    18. 18. Good questions are openA closed question:“Can you find the ‘About Us’ section?”Rephrased as an open question:“If you wanted to learn more about this company, wherewould you look?”With a follow-up if they can’t find it:“Where do you expect to find this? What are you lookingfor?”
    19. 19. Good questions don’t leadA leading question:“Would this feature help you?”Rephrased to not lead:“How might you use this feature?”Another leading question:“Did you find this form easier to fill out?”Rephrased to not lead:“Can you tell me what you liked about both of these forms?”
    20. 20. Good questions avoid technical jargonJargon:“Is there anything else you’d expect to see in the TaskDetails Pane?”Lose the jargon:“Is there anything else you’d want to know about this task?”
    21. 21. Good questions follow a conversation“How often do you watch TV?” “Not very often. A few nights a week. It depends if there’s something I want to watch.”“How do you find shows to watch?” “Friends, or I’ll watch shows I’ve seen already. Sometimes I look at some websites that review TV shows to see if something looks good.”“Can you show me the websites you go to?” (…)
    22. 22. An exerciseCreate a list of questions to ask yourtarget users concerning the main usergoal your product is trying to support.
    23. 23. Interview Best Practices•  Use a script•  Start with small talk•  Explain the study•  Ask open-ended and non-leading questions•  Pause after asking a question and after a participant responds•  Avoid interrupting, even if it’s just to agree•  Find out ‘why’•  Record the session
    24. 24. Interview practiceFind a partner and interview them withthe questions you’ve written down.(They can pretend to be your user.)
    25. 25. More Hints & Tips for Interviews•  Be impartial – see if you can barter services if this hard•  Small creative incentives can land you participants•  Do a dry run to practice•  Create a checklist so you don’t forget anything•  If you’re asking them to show you how to do something, create believable & realistic scenarios for your users•  Encourage honesty•  Ask a friend or colleague to take notes for you•  Some tools can help (Excel, video recorder, Silverback, etc.)
    26. 26. What you can do now•  Jot down questions you’d like to ask your users.•  Practice your questions with friends and family.•  Go talk with your users.Next workshop: We’ll teach what to do with whatyou’ve learned from users.
    27. 27. HomeworkFill out the interview plan template.Talk to a couple of users.
    28. 28. Questions?
    29. 29. Thanks!…and thank you to all the awesome people who share their photos on Flickr: Stephen Bowler Eva Ekeblad Simon Law Katia Strieck Johnathan Hoke Peretz Partensky -JvL- Dipanker Dutta Mark Roy Alan Cleaver Brian Moore Sancho McCann Abbey Hendrickson "Carbon Arc" See-ming Lee "Fracking" Andrea Hernandez Courtney McGough Devon Shaw
    30. 30. Another User Research Example: Observation & Participatory Design Two Samsung designers wanted to make the mobile experience easier for older users – read what they did in The Value of Empathy (scroll halfway) uploads/2011/05/429px-Questionmark.svg_.png Designers Designers Participatory Designers then asked, “How to watched older design with redesigned the design mobile people the “out older people, “How to use” that’s easier to of the box” using bananas manual based adopt by older experience as “prototype” on what they people?” phones learnedLink: