This class topic was methods for collecting data for your user research:
- contextual inquiry
- focus groups
These are not ALL the methods, just some of the more popular ones. They are all qualitative in nature, meaning you collect in-depth, open-ended information rather than numbers. Quantitative methods can be used, too, although they do not provide the type of in-depth understanding and empathy that’s needed in UX. Some quantitative methods are surveys, and analyzing patterns of current usage from server logs.
In class today, you met Aaron – here he is on Twitter.
Check out the Twitter lists he’s been put on – there are lists there of more than 4,000 UX designers. So, there are plenty of people out there you can find and follow. If you want to get started on Twitter, see some of my older posts with advice on how to enter Twitter culture.
In terms of who I recommend following, see my list of UX people. The blogs and magazines I follow on a regular basis are:
- UX mag
- UX booth
- UX movement
- Measuring Usability
- Six Revisions
- Smashing Magazine (also UI programming)
They all have Twitter and RSS feeds that you can subscribe to.
Many UX designers and developers blog on medium, but usually the best stories get tweeted by your network so you don’t have to worry about discovering them yourself.
The goals for today’s class were for you to be able to:
- Explain the role of formative user research in the UCD process
- Set appropriate goals for user research
- Plan user research for various problems
1. Explain the role of formative user research in the UCD process
I told you about a project I’ve been working for and how important user research was for figuring out what the problem was, who the users were, and what to do about it.
2. Set appropriate goals for user research
We practiced together to write goals that tap into our users’ deeper motivations and life goals rather than only accomplishing tasks. We used these slides.
3. Plan user research for various problems
We worked through a total of 3 problems and you determined research goals, data collection methods, sampling strategies, etc. Please remember that the general goals of the project are not the same as the goals you set for the user research part of the project. So, while the general project goals can be “to create a better smart watch,” the goal for user research is always to understand something about people. For example, what about their watches/phones currently makes their life simple or complicated? For the problem with designing a game to teach 2nd graders math, a good goal for user research would be simply to find out what is fun for 2nd graders, and how they learn best.