User Research

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The following is the How to make user research important recommended by And this article belongs to the classification: User Research.

The author of this paper shares his own views on how to make user research really be valued within the company. The simple summary is to let the stakeholder participate in the whole process of your research, from the formulation of research problems to the implementation of research problems, and contact users directly as much as possible.

However, in China, it seems that this way is very difficult to work. It may be difficult to invite you to participate in the workshop again and again. If you want to pay attention to user research in the company, first ask yourself what is the value of user research? Basically, I rely on two ways: 1) let the results of user research really help the business side, do not be an information collector and information processor when doing user research, and combine user feedback with product improvement direction; 2) apply user experience indicators to the business side’s performance, so that he can pay attention to the benefits of user experience. Starting from the company’s system, we can’t rely on colleagues forever The self driving force of.

Welcome to discuss with you!

Text opening:

User experience research sometimes feels like an impossible task. Although we spend countless hours writing interview outlines, we make complaints about users’ Tucao and carefully study massive data to find answers. But when it is presented to the stakeholders, we have to decompose the previous efforts into their “digestible” format, which makes them feel that it is too simple.

We completed the final stage of the research and presented the research results to the stakeholders. They nodded their heads and appreciated the inspiration we brought to them on this important topic. We felt a full sense of achievement. However, the next step was to wait and nothing happened so far.

If you are familiar with the above situation, the research methods I collated are likely to benefit you a lot. These methods will make your colleagues really pay attention to your research. I’m here for real. It’s a way to go beyond platitudes and change.

Research question generation

It’s easy to be understood in the company’s basic research (or implementation) with high maturity. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most of the companies I have worked for.

So when I worked for fanduel, I had an opportunity to start a new project. I want to focus on “right” basic research. But I don’t know where this research should start, and I don’t even know what basis I don’t know.

This is a big bet for me. I need to show everyone the value of basic research, so that I can have the opportunity to do this kind of research many times. But how can we ensure that everyone can listen to the research results and recognize them from the bottom of their hearts?

The answer is simple, I realize. I just need to ask everyone what they care most about? In the context of our project.

I invited every stakeholder of the project (up to the top decision-maker) to the workshop. This prospect is daunting. Before that, I will try my best to shorten the time for my research review (periodic review), and often make use of the existing meetings to make people who need to listen to like the research as much as possible.

But if you don’t send the signal that “what I’m doing is very important and needs everyone’s time and attention”, you can’t blame others for treating your research as just “spiritual food”.

The format of the workshop itself is simple. I set up a five minute timer and asked everyone to ask as many questions as possible on a specific broad topic. I discussed with them what is a good research question (such as “how to…” “What…” And so on, instead of “can…” Or “to do…” At the beginning).

Figure 1: research question generation Trillo board

The team has raised so many questions, which makes me both surprised and happy!! There are so many questions that need to be sorted out one by one. Let’s group them by topic and delete the repetitive ones. Then I ask everyone to elaborate on the questions he wrote down.

In the process of discussion, we added new questions to the question board, and then voted on all the questions one by one to select the question we most want to ask.

This list of questions became my priority. I am able to draft a research plan that everyone is fully committed to, because this is everyone’s co creation!

Collaborative research insights

Planning is only the first step. Then I had to implement the research and analyze the results.

I decided to cluster users’ original voice according to the routine operation of affinity mapping, create video clips at critical moments in user conversation, and compile research insights.

But instead of presenting it directly to my team as usual, I decided to take a different approach.

I played each video clip to the team, showed them the user soundtrack of each group, and asked everyone to write down their insights. Everyone presented their insights to the team and explained how they arrived at them. Finally, I revealed my initial idea, and then we finished the summary together.

Figure 2: screenshot of keynote: “what’s your insight?”

To some researchers, the concept may sound adventurous, a bit like research by community. Of course, this approach does not work in all cases. It needs a team that has enough access to research playback and is presented by full-time researchers like you. It needs people to trust you and value your work. It requires you to maintain control of the meeting and be the deciding vote in the event of any disagreement.

The value of contributing to this approach is that people are more likely to remember research beyond playback, which prevents your playback from becoming an opportunity for a pleasant afternoon nap, or a break away from all email and code lines, and turning it into a team activity that really motivates people to take action.

Persona improve

If you have successfully participated in the planning and implementation of user research, I salute you! This is an achievement. The next step is to help colleagues really understand users and really “empathize” with users.

I didn’t expect a simple idea when I was locked at home because of the epidemic, which later developed into one of the most fulfilling things in my career!

I have done a lot of basic research on how to help you empathize with users, and decided to use persona as the main communication tool to summarize the differences in motivation and habits of users.

Figure 3: a user role for the fanduel product

Instead of presenting these user roles, I called all stakeholders to another workshop. Again, this includes the top decision-makers of the project. This time my bet is even bigger because it’s far from a typical business meeting.

First of all, I will divide you into several groups to ensure that at least one person in each group (such as product designer, user experience copywriter or content designer) is an advocate of user research, so as to ensure that the workshop can continue. Each member of the group is given a different persona and corresponding user journey. I’ll give you about 10 minutes to get familiar with the roles they get.

Then, I assigned different responsibilities to each member of the group: one was responsible for interviews, one was responsible for taking notes, and one was responsible for playing the characters in the user roles he got. The team members will take turns interviewing like a real user interview until they have an understanding of each user role.

Then, I assigned each group a different new function process. These models were created by me and the designer. I asked the team members to “walk” while maintaining the character characteristics “Through” process, when they feel that there is a lack of function or experience frustration, voice for their role, add notes in the process, describe any problems they encounter or lack of function.

The purpose of this workshop is not to directly optimize these processes. My secret plan is to let everyone know and remember the needs of users, so that their feedback and ideas in the whole project will be more user-centered.

This method really works. Even now (about a year later), there are still executives who mention the names of user roles and talk about users’ needs and frustrations in meetings. Every few minutes, I don’t need to relax! (I’m kidding. The revolution has not yet been successful. How can user experience researchers rest!)

When using user roles for improvisation, it is important to remember the following:

It can’t replace real user research!

This method needs a lot of basic research and analysis in advance. Improvisation is a communication tool, not a research method. Please don’t let your colleagues be confused about the reliability of this method if they are not sure about their needs.

Tracking the progress of your research recommendations

An important part of this methodology process is to track what actions have been taken by the relevant departments on your proposed research results. At fanduel, we use the JIRA tool for tracking. So JIRA is the development tool we can use to track issues until we create them.

Some teams use research databases or tools such as Aurelius or dovetail for this purpose. I recommend finding the best tool for you and your team, and making sure that your research results are easy to access and retrieve so that your team can take action on them as easily as possible.

These methods are not everything

The approach I describe requires a basic understanding and trust between you as a full-time researcher and the team and stakeholders you work with. But not everyone works in such an environment.

But the good news is that you can start creating and nurturing the environment yourself!

1. Develop persuasion skills

As an introvert, the word “persuasive” makes me feel a little nauseous. When I hear this word, I think of some great speakers in history, speaking to the crowd, exuding extraordinary leadership and personal charm.

What I really know about persuasion is that it’s not who has the biggest voice and doesn’t need to be outgoing. Of course, it’s not all a mental game.

Persuasion begins with what you know about the person to be convinced. Apply your user experience research skills to your colleagues and try to understand their motivations. What pain points do they encounter in achieving their goals? If they are not interested or believe in your research or user research at all, why?

Find out the connection between your goals and their goals. Tell them you know what their concerns are and you know where their concerns come from. Then show them the consistency of the goals for improving the user experience and how your suggestions will help them achieve them. Use metaphors and comparisons to help them see things from your perspective.

2. Learn to use hard facts

Look for other data to enhance your confidence in user research results. It’s natural to use Google’s analytics tool to add context to all qualitative research results, but you can also use existing research, academic reviews, statistics and articles outside the company to reinforce your findings.

In UX reviews or design feedback, it is particularly important to use facts to speak. Learn to support your point of view with data to show that you are not just expressing your subjective opinions.

However, if you find yourself looking for numbers and quantitative data just to appease skeptical colleagues, you need to stop and think about how to spend some time to justify and validate your methodology.

3. Be open and honest

Why does Nielsen say testing five users is enough?

Do you think it’s true?

How did he know that?

Why can’t users tell us how they feel about the interface and why they use it or not?

Can we use the same batch of testers to test multiple designs? Why and why not?

These are the questions I’ve been asked a lot in my career. When they questioned me, my initial reaction was to stare at them in silence. Who gave them the courage? Do they ask developers why they write code in Python?!

But in fact, I would only answer like this:

This is a very basic user experience research principle, and every experience researcher will conduct research in this way.

And the truth is, I don’t know what the right answers to these questions are.

As mentioned above, user experience research is still a relatively new field. It is not a coincidence that many of us enter this career planning career when we have the opportunity to study.

This means that many experience researchers learn through work practices, experience and books written by user experience experts. Books teach us how to do it and which methods to use, but books often fail to explain why we prefer to use these methods in the first place.

You can make up some truth to please your colleagues, or insist strongly that you know the answer, which all sounds good. But in fact, I think the best coping strategy is to be honest with your ignorance.

When you don’t know the answers to the above questions, please be honest with your colleagues. You can come back and tell him when you find the answers to these questions. To understand the history of experience research and why we do things in this way, I suggest that you start by reading David travi’s book “think like a UX researcher.”. Keep a good attitude, please regard these questions as naive curiosity, rather than questioning your professional ability.

4. Encourage face-to-face contact with the users

The more contacts your colleagues have with users, the less time you need to convince them before you start, no doubt. But you may need to be creative to motivate your team to watch your conversations, at least initially.

The most efficient design team keeps in touch with users for 2 hours every 6 weeks.

——Jared spool

Sometimes, some colleagues are unable to participate in a whole group of user interviews due to meeting conflicts. You can record the content of the user’s conversation, and then make a meeting again when your colleagues have free time to play the full video of the user’s interview.

Compared with sending video links to colleagues to see freely, I found that the effect of unified video playing in invitation conference is much better. (no one will really watch it because they send videos to others.)

Arranging more user interviews and video playback can often convey more background information to the team, which they can’t get from the research insights and suggestions we provide.

5. Use videos

Try to use video clips in the video playback of the user session as much as possible. I used video clips to prove that the insights I reported were not fabricated, but were actually said by users (see!). I’ll sift through hours of video and create a super clip of the same thing repeatedly expressed by different users (friends, now you know how serious the problem is?).

Although video clips work well in some cases, on the whole, I find that this method is counter intuitive, because what you get is a monotonous video. If you keep repeating the same question, you are likely to lose the audience, let alone convince them.

Instead, what I’m doing now is looking at the conversation video as a way to save my voice and allow users to express their ideas directly to my team. I only choose the most important moments from my research, and I’m very picky about quick cut videos. I’ll look for those that surprise my colleagues, those that they will remember and think about in the future.

Figure 4: an email records my colleague’s response to the user’s sharp comments

“How many times have you visited that page?”

“Never visited“

Oh, my God! He used the coupon at random! That’s interesting, isn’t it!

On the other hand, when I ask usability questions in a process, I often ask my team to sit down and watch users struggle to use what they develop. During the whole process, I would not say a word and let the video continue to play, even if I saw everyone fidgeting, embarrassed, and deep inside, as if shouting “we know we’re wrong! Turn off the video

6. Be patient

In fact, I never joined a team that fully understood my work and trusted me from day one. I think that part of the job as experience researchers is to educate others about our values. This can sometimes make people feel belittled and frustrated, but this is the reality in the field of experiential research.

In my opinion, one of the things that is often left out in describing the work of experience researchers is to be a good teacher. I never mind introducing user experience to my colleagues. I really enjoy it.

For some stakeholders, it’s really difficult for them to immediately understand the value we can bring, which is understandable, especially when they are used to a fixed mode of doing things. Experiential research doesn’t necessarily provide tangible outputs, such as code or design, and we don’t have the time to write lengthy research papers like academia (even if we do, who has time to read them?).

When I first started my career, I didn’t have the three qualities of patience, tenacity and perseverance. But over the years I’ve learned and grown.

However, there is a clear line between educating others about the value of user experience and striving for our right to do experience research.

I think that in today’s era, we need to be skeptical when consuming information, and I don’t think my research is an exception to this rule.

But it’s not your job to convince those who are aggressive, strong and refuse to communicate. Mutual respect is absolutely necessary. If you don’t feel you’re getting enough help or resources to do user experience work, that’s another topic.

When you work in a company with low maturity of user experience, you need to evaluate whether your environment is conducive to the further development of user research or you must fight a hard battle to defend user research. If you can’t make use of the existing resources to improve the maturity of user experience, then change jobs! There are a lot of companies that will value your skills, so don’t affect your enthusiasm for user experience.


Implementing high quality user experience research is only the first step. Communicating research findings with colleagues and persuading them to take action is undoubtedly the most important part of your work. It’s useless to spend a lot of time on hard research if your users don’t see any benefits of product improvement in the end.

Caroline Jarett summed it up perfectly

Fallacy of user research practitioners: my job is to understand users.

The truth is: my job is to help the team understand the users.

I hope you can use these methods and suggestions to take user research to a new level and make it really important to your team.

Translated by: Mr. Guan proofread by: Baozhu uxren translation group

By Yasmin amjid

Original title: how to make your user research matters

Source: (2020.10.25) read more: Baidu data research: 2010 Chinese cosmetics Internet users characteristics analysis Baidu data research: 2010 Chinese men’s cosmetics market analysis Baidu data research: 2010 Chinese cosmetics brand classification analysis Baidu data research: 2 2010 China cosmetic product classification analysis Baidu data research: 2010 China cosmetic industry general analysis report user research method guide how designers use user research to optimize a / B test user research method selection and use time Pew: 2016 January October U.S. user media usage survey UX Marters: how do you hold your mobile phone? 49% hold UFIDA with one hand: what kind of APP do 4G users like to use when they are not WiFi connected? Common sense media: American teenagers spend nearly nine hours on all kinds of media Microsoft: 39% of teenagers have received malicious or harassing information in the digital world

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