Today we’re going to talk about conducting effective research.
Borrow from Erika Hall’s Just Enough Research
Exploratory phase you ask what am I making? What are the problems I’m trying to solve?
Generative, as the name implies generates ideas.
- Share how to conduct stakeholder interviews
Talk about Stitch
Prepared a script and asked all stakeholders the same questions
Who will use this?
Why is it important?
What problem is it trying to solve?
Found out quite a few people weren’t on the same page as everyone else, this research helped bring product and engineering teams up to speed
For example for generative research you can use flexible modeling to create quick designs.
For the onboarding for this project, I used a wireframing tool called Balsamiq.
We had brainstorming sessions where we simple moved stuff around Balsamiq and quickly iterated on our proposed designs
Similarly, you can do the same with paper print-outs, graph paper, etc.
The key to each to these steps is to have focus, don’t try to do too much
Formal: remote moderated testing, using an online service like usertesting.com to run through wireframes or prototypes,
Informal: Quick guerilla testing meeting participant in coffee shop and asking potential users to give feedback, like speed dating, except testing
There are many methods, but they all share some basic principles
Test with REAL potential users of all abilities – your grandma is not your user
Look at personas for guidance if you have them. You should know who your general audience is, so start there.
Recruiting the correct participants for a study is as important as the content of the study.
Let’s hop into the heuristic review! It’s a good place to start.
Borrowing from Farkas’s slides
What are those criteria?
There are a few general ones
Nielsen Norman Group’s heuristics
1. Status page
2. Shopping carts – sliding a product into it, being able to view a mini cart
3. Allow people to easily remove something or opt out. Blue Apron and Treehouse example on making former users pay without offering plans.
It can be your own or you can use a favorite one online
For the sake of this exercise, I picked three heuristics to focus on (explain each one), although feel free to use others
Focus on one part of your application. Use the heuristic evaluation to find possible problems users might be running into.
Create a spreadsheet or presentation with screen shots and description of the proble
Let’s go back to the 6 steps that need to happen in each research phase
Who are your customers? Go by personas
Write your script and stick with it – we’ll look into what to put into it on the next slide
Try to eliminate variables in your test by keeping the tasks and questions consistent
Once you have your participants, ask them to sign an NDA or agreement to record and how the recording will be used before the session
Try to put your participants at ease by prepping a test that’s realistic
WHAT TO ASK?
Now we know WHAT to ask, but HOW do we ask it?
For task: sign up for a service or look for a certain product, add it to cart, and proceed to purchase it
Facilitators: try to let the groups figure this out, encourage rotation and engage everyone in the group. Give constructive feedback