Design Research For Everyday Projects - UX London

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Post on 21-Apr-2017




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  • design research for everyday projects

    UX London 09

    leisa reichelt


  • this is not really about user centred design

  • to solve a problem you must first understand it

    - kim goodwin

  • its about good design

  • who is this workshop for?

  • everyday projects?the design research projects you hear about most often are

    enormous, time consuming and expensive.

    most projects we work on cant bear that.

    research can/should be customised to suit the project requirements

  • what well coverPART ONE: Designing Design Research

    PART TWO: Conducting Design ResearchPART THREE: Analysing Design Research

    LOTS of hands on exercises. Lots of your questions & shared experiences

    Focus on QUALITATIVE Research (esp. interview format)

    Focus more on practical what you can actually do than best practice

  • part 1: designing design research

  • what is design research?

    activities that seek insight into user behaviour, goals and needs that might be supported by the

    design of products/services

  • we tend to project our own rationalisations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others

    - don norman, the design of everyday things

    why dodesign research?

  • why dodesign research?

    design research helps you uncover, understand and design for

    real user needs

  • real user needs

    = design for good usabilitybut also

    = insight for inspiration/validation

  • when to dodesign research?

  • generative research


    evaluative research

  • design research toolkitQualitative


    Depth Interviews (Customer&User)

    Snap Interviews

    Direct Observation (Ethnography)

    Longitudinal Research

    Group/Social Research



    Remote Testing ToolsUsability Testing

    Focus Groups

    Stakeholder Interviews

    Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews

    Competitive Reviews

    Contextual Inquiry

    Literature Reviews- diary study-twitter- flickr

    Co-design/Participatory Design

  • quantitative Vs qualitative

  • Quantitative research is the systematic scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.

    mathematics and natural sciencesstatistically sound, scientificlarge random samplesquestionnaires, surveys, testsQuantitative

  • Qualitative research ...aim(s) to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern human behavior. Qualitative research relies on reasons behind various aspects of behavior.

    Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, and when.

    social sciencesinsight gathering, exploratorysmall sample sizesparticipatory, observational, interviews, analysis of documents & materials.Qualitative

  • To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say.

    Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behaviour.

    - jakob nielson

  • choose qualitative for insight

    but ideally, combine quantitative and qualitative inputs

    quantitative can be great for problem identification & solution validation

  • how to choose?

  • stock standard / garden variety plan

    45-60 minute interviews 6-8 participants.


  • understanding the problem:what are you trying to learn?

    - the problem is not always what it first appears to be

    - define your research questions - what might be the best ways

    to answer those questions?

  • understanding the problem:

    what is the context for the problem?

    - care not to narrow the context early- are their multiple relevant contexts?

    - WHERE can we learn about the peoples behaviour in relation to this problem?

    - research as close to context as possible.

  • remember: the power of artifacts

    - memory aid / detail- cross check for accuracy

  • ...dont be afraid of getting a bit creative

  • ...ethical research

  • EXERCISE! Part 1Your client is a grocery store.

    They want you to do some research and make recommendations about how they can provide a

    better online grocery shopping experience for their customers.

    You have unlimited time & budget

    for your research.

    What research activities would you suggest?

  • design research toolkitQualitative


    Depth Interviews (Customer&User)

    Snap Interviews

    Direct Observation (Ethnography)

    Longitudinal Research

    Group/Social Research



    Remote Testing ToolsUsability Testing

    Focus Groups

    Stakeholder Interviews

    Subject Matter Expert (SME) Interviews

    Competitive Reviews

    Contextual Inquiry

    Literature Reviews- diary study-twitter- flickr

    Co-design/Participatory Design

  • squeeze to fitSTART:

    design the research project youd love to do if time/money/resources were no barrier

    THEN: work out what is achievable. Be creative!

  • ways to squeeze- fewer participants

    - fewer activities- shorter sessions

    - less proximate to context (use artifacts)- use technology (phone, web video, twitter)

    - less complex research activities- more readily accessible participants

    Even the smallest amount of data beats none.

    (yes, Im quoting Jakob again - Guesses vs Data as the basis for Design Recommendations)

  • lets take a break!

  • part 2: conducting design research

  • recruitment

  • who to recruit?persona hypotheses

    Think about:- the different user roles

    - factors most likely to affect behaviour

    Dont over complicate it!

  • how many?as few as possible.

    if given the choice to more research studies with few participants.

    why?- diminishing returns

    - speed to action (design)

  • In earlier research, Tom Landauer and I [Jakob Nielsen] showed that the number of usability problems found in a usability test with n users is:


    where N is the total number of usability problems in the design and L is the proportion of usability problems discovered while testing a single user. The typical value of L is 31%, averaged across a large number of projects we studied. Plotting the curve for L=31% gives the following result:

    (yes, Im quoting Jakob again - Why you only need to test with 5 users)


    The most striking truth of the curve is that zero users give zero insights.

  • how to find them?

    DIY vs Using Professionals- how much time/money do you have?

    - how easily accessible are participants?

    is using friends/family network really bad?

  • Incentives. Pay them.

  • CAUTION: researching young

    people & kiddies

  • logistics

    - where to research- timing your research

    - factoring in no shows (& floaters)- consent forms (privacy, their rights

    & incentive acknowledgement)

  • discussion guides

    -writing a discussion guide

  • discussion guide> define your research questions> start as wide as possible, narrow slowly> keep it contextual, not speculative> show, dont tell (observation = good) (show me how you do that?)

    > uncover mental models (if you clicked there, what do you think would happen?)

    > ask OPEN questions (ask questions to get them talking NOT yes/no answers)

    > take care not to lead (you can have leading questions AND leading structures)

    > dont outsource design to your participant! (remember, youre the designer!)

  • EXERCISE! Part 2a

    write a discussion guide for a depth interview for your grocery store client (who wants to design a better online

    grocery shopping experience)

  • interview technique

    getting the most from your research participants

    (quite possibly the most important part!)

  • capturing data

  • what to capture on sticky notes

    > *anything* interesting/relevant said in the course of your interview, in as close to direct quotes as possible.

    > your design ideas> questions for the future

    > capturing on the fly is a *real* skill. I still live transcribe to a text file then extract affinity notes from the transcription.

  • interview technique

    introductions & getting started

    - introduce yourself (and any colleagues)- what are we doing here?- what time will we finish

    - forms & incentives- ask permission to record

  • interview technique

    its not a test!

    - allay their nerves- distance yourself from the design

    - we only care about *their* opinion, not people they know or most people

    - theres no right answer or smart answer- their opinion counts - will really help shape the

    design of the product/service

  • interview technique

    building rapport

    *everyone* has something that makes them either very interesting or passionate.

    find it. talk about it.

    the investment in building rapport is repaid by the quality/quantity of insight given.

  • interview technique- Active Listening - nodding, smiling & paraphrasing

    - Focus - dont let yourself get distracted- Look for physical clues - additional information,

    and do they match the words? - Dont Rush - take time to get your thoughts

    together & prepare your next question- Keep it open - Who, What Where, When, Why, How

    and my favourite Tell me about...- Follow the flow - dont stick to your script, mix up

    the order if it flows better for that participant.

  • interview techniqueHave a great closing question.

    Some of my favourites are: - Do you know someone you might

    recommend this to? Who/Why- How would you rate it out of 10

    - What would you tell the designers

    Try to summarise the parting sentiment (notes that it is not more or less important than the initial sentiment)

  • interview techniquesay thank you.

    always remember the participant is HELPING appreciative.

  • research participants are like dangerous

    animals...theyre usually just as scared of you as you are of them.

    if youre feeling nervous, remember...

  • EXERCISE! Part 2bAn interview!

    in pairs, take turns to conduct a 10 minute interview using your discussion guide from

    the previous exercise

  • part 3: analysing design research

  • rule of thumb: allow at least a day of analysis

    for each day of research

  • start with single case analysis(the story of each participant)

  • eg. affinity sorting

    then move tomultiple case analysis

    (trends in the data)

  • a mind map can be a digital affinity sort

  • collaborativeaffinity sorting?

    Ive had great results with this but only if participants have observed the research

  • using research data in design: audience modelling

  • using research data in design: audience modelling

  • using research data in design: experience strategy & design


  • Commitmenthow much will I care next month?

    Proximityam I experiencing

    it right now?




    Today Im pissed at British Gas

    Im passionate about Education

    the more I learnthe more I care

    once my billing problem is fixed,

    Im fine.

    using research data in design: audience modelling

  • Keith

    32yrsJnr Mgr, Lloyds TSB

    Income approx 30K p..

    Keith is planning to pop the question soon - in about a weeks timeThe engagement ring will be his first big jewellery purchase.He knows virtually nothing about diamonds or jewellery. He doesnt want to become and expert, he just wants to know enough to buy well and wants to feel reassured that hes getting what hes paying for.

    He has a general idea of his girlfriends preferred style but is not really confident about choosing the right design. Some of his mates have been engaged recently and hes asked them a few questions about the process.

    He popped into Goldsmiths last week to tentatively start investigating his purchase and spent most of the time telling assistants he was just looking - he left quite quickly, not liking the pressure of the store experience. He doesnt know (but wants to) what makes one ring so much more expensive than another.

    I just want to know enough to buy well

    investment emotion

    100 2000

    novice expert

    for self for other

    need it quickly willing to wait


    knows that a potential purchase is on the cards, has heightened awareness of information that crosses his path but not actively seeking information.

    weeks/months in advance.possible sources: social networks, media/content

    actively seeking information to inform purchase (qualities of diamond and metal, price etc.) Gaining enough knowledge to buy well.

    10 days to weeks in advance in store, google for information

    find and purchase the ring

    the right ring at the right price from a company he can trust.

    approx. 1 week in advance of proposal

    using research data in models: personas

  • Recommended Reading:

    Designing for the Digital AgeKim Goodwin

    About Face 3Cooper, Reinman & Cronin

    Rapid ContextualDesignHolzblatt, Wendell & Wood

  • thank you :)Leisa Reichelt