In the UX research phase, you and your team talk to project stakeholders, observe users in their environments, analyze observational data, and generate insights and opportunities from data gathered. Here is one possible outcome for this scenario exercise: Devote 15 to 20 minutes to discussion. Show some examples of personas and explain that they should include demographics, but that the key to a useful persona is a focus on three elements: Keep students in the same groups and ask them to create a persona based on the analysis in activity #2 described above. 40% Explicitly choose anonymity or accountability. The Diverge-and-Converge Technique for UX Workshops, Parking Lots in UX Meetings and Workshops, Dot Voting: A Simple Decision-Making and Prioritizing Technique in UX, Generating Big Ideas with Design Thinking, DesignOps: Scaling UX Design and User Research, Journey Mapping to Understand Customer Needs, Effective Ideation Techniques for UX Design, Intranet Portals: UX Design Experience from Real-Life Projects. Definition: Landscape mapping is arranging groups of similar content (usually) sticky notes into a preassigned structure (such as a customer-journey map) so that we can understand relationships, interplay, and patterns across items, groups, and time. When: Playbacks can and should occur across the entirety of a workshop. 2. variety of investigative methods used to add context and insight to the design process Keep them in the same groups and give them 45 minutes to create a scenario based on the persona they created in activity #3. Contextual enquiry. What You Should Do Now. Copyright © 1998-2020 Nielsen Norman Group, All Rights Reserved. A heuristic evaluation involves reviewing a site or app to assess its adherence to recognized industry best practices for usability. Discovery stage. In 7 Great UX Workshops we described seven workshops for new and seasoned UX practitioners. The longer the workshop and the higher the number of participants, the more important it is to include playbacks. Think of affinity diagramming is often the next step of a postup. When: A the highest level, role play can be applied in two ways: participants can play the role of the system or the role of another person (someone with a different perspective or a user). Note: Activities #6 and #7 can be combined. A robust UX research strategy ensures proper planning for budgets and timelines for pre-launch activities and post-launch activities and future releases. Summary: A detailed UX research plan helps you keep your overarching research goals in mind as you work through the logistics of a research project. Patients must write it down or record it on their phone. Diabetics use these meters to take regular blood sugar readings. Both secondary and primary research activities have their place during a digital product development process or a design process. 1) To form a product that is genuinely relevant to users. Recall the scenario above about Pam the diabetic who needs to take a glucose reading on a long flight. Naturally, one branch will lead to one research type, so if you have several goals then you should split them and go through the tree several times. This structured, objective approach helps achieve consensus while satisfying the varied needs of the user and business. Or, should the form be divided over two or more Web pages? For example, a new driver might start the ignition, shift the automatic transmission into “Drive” and press the accelerator. This exercise is an abbreviated heuristic evaluation and serves to encourage students to think carefully about user needs and basic design principles. User-centered design focuses on satisfying the end needs of users. If you use the map to communicate and share conclusions, aim for a high-fidelity output. Refer to UX Workshop Activity #6 and explain that Pam has entered blood glucose levels that do not make sense. Secondary Research — UX Knowledge Base Sketch #98. UX workshop activities focused on research are important and should include identifying the best research method for a particular project, conducting stakeholder interviews, and planning and then conducting the research. March 1, 2020. Divide the class into groups of three or four. By understanding these, you can create almost any other exercise you need. UX design activities go hand in hand with UX research. Is it possible that we are all, in effect, tinkerers? Why: Landscape mapping helps us understand how items or categories relate to each other. These activities might sound familiar to my fellow UX researchers. Why: Divergence and convergence is a key characteristic of workshops. This activity works as a followup for postup and affinity diagramming. Role play is a technique used in workshops to challenge biases and assumptions. Q&As at events and demos. There’s a dizzying amount of UX research tools to choose from. 2020-03-01 They also enjoy discussion about how realistic a particular scenario seems. Definition: Affinity diagramming is the clustering of information, often sticky notes, into relational groups based on similarities or themes. Fig. Definition: Role play is the acting out another  perspective (e.g., user) or system (a set of known information or data) as a technique for exploration and discovery. Before we look at the reasons for doing user research, let’s talk briefly about what we mean by ‘user research’, or ‘design research’ as it’s sometimes called. Tell students that Pam has successfully filled out her contact information and must now complete a form with a brief health history including the glucose levels for her past three blood sugar readings. First, however, she must fill out a profile on the vendor’s web site. Contributions are then discussed, captured, shared, or used as input for a future exercise. ; Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and find out if UX is right for you. © 2020 UX UI Training Quantitative research is measurable, while qualitative is not. UX Research studies that get results. Assign one web site to half the groups and another to the other half. Complex projects will comprise significant user and competitor research activities, while small startup websites may skip all research activities … Would users understand the high-level task at hand? ; It saves time & money — Helps us to avoid designing or building things that do not resonate with our users. Help desk query analysis. If you miss the user research stage at the beginning of the project… She works at the intersection of design research, strategy, and user experience design. All Rights Reserved, 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, 5 UX Methods all Practitioners Should Master. How will it show where the error has occurred? Working together reduces the time it takes for UX Research. In this scenario, each team member is given a new role to play. How will Pam now how to correct the erroneous data entry? Forming a UX research strategy. By understanding these and how they can be combined with different constraints, you can create almost any UX workshop exercise you need. This article outlines these 7 fundamental workshop activities, discussing how to adapt them, tips for running them, and when they are helpful: This is the most common and fundamental workshop activity amongst the 7. Here’s a basic outline to help you map out your strategy and choose methods to uncover the insights you seek. During the UX research process, one of our big aims is to understand the user behavior when visiting a website or using a mobile application. The participant playing the system can only respond from a script of what the computer or system knows (even if she otherwise knows the appropriate information or response outside of character). In our experience at UI UX Training, students quickly grasp the value of scenarios. Others made similar comments. Understanding what the data is telling you impacts your information architecture, personas, user flows, interface design, and a variety of other aspects of the user experience. Data – both quantitative and qualitative – informs decision-making for design direction. 1. She needs a sturdy, accurate blood glucose meter with an intuitive user interface that allows her to store the reading on the device. By first working independently on a problem, then converging to share insights, teams can leverage progress made by others. ; Become a qualified UX designer in 5-10 months—complete with a job guarantee. Having multiple dimensions of data allows companies to innovate, and having a multidimensional strate… Meetings: What's the Difference? When: Postups are highly flexible and, thus, can be used at any point in a workshop. If the majority of students have never designed a form, dividing these exercises with a short break in between will give students a chance to absorb these critical design concepts. Divide students into groups of three or four and give them 45 minutes to: Devote 15 to 20 minutes to discussion to help students identify what about the exercise was challenging and whether they think the quality of the glucose meter would benefit from additional user research. Ask students to consider the following as they create an error message: Give students 20 minutes to complete this exercise and devote ten minutes to discussion. Each participant must then contribute to the activity at hand from the perspective she has been assigned. The content generated in a postup can be anything: words, ideas, features, sketches, questions, concerns, assumptions, users, hopes, fears, research insights, or next steps. It enables a shared understanding and language amongst the group members. Definition: A postup is an activity in which participants individually generate content on sticky notes, then post them up on a wall. UX Research can provide value throughout the product design and development process. While customer complaints are a good place to start, truly understanding users’ needs requires research. It provides focus & clarity — Clarifies who the users are and the problem that we hope to solve. “It’s very hard to read,” lamented one user. The meter does not store the reading. They serve to identify relationships, then create alignment and insight across the different ideas or themes. Users can’t tell when they are out of test strips. Agile teams are cross-functional, and aim to create working code in very short cycles called s… Think of these 7 fundamental workshop activities as ingredients for every workshop recipe. It encompasses a variety of investigative methods used to add context and insight to the design process. Scenarios set the stage by describing the high-level task a user needs to complete or a problem she needs to solve. If you took the categories obtained from affinity diagramming and determined the relationships they have to each other, you would be doing landscape mapping. It is the key component of Jeff Kelley’s Wizard of Oz technique and Edward de Bono’s Thinking Hats. A UI UX Training, we recommend beginning with a short task flow exercise based on something tangible such as the steps required to start a car and pull out of a parking spot on the street. Clustering can be done as a group (this works best if the number of items being clustered is under 20 and the themes are to be discovered through the diagramming) or, if the themes are predetermined, individually and then reviewed as a group (this works best for more than 20 items). Depending on the context, some rankings may have significant consequences (for example, they may impact future resources or release priorities). The role of a UX researcher. Give time before ranking. It shows non-researchers when and how they should get involved in UX Research. When based on real data, they can take the focus off our internal bias, help us understand what drives user behavior, and frame the experiences we create in a holistic way. Why: The benefits of affinity diagramming are twofold. Sarah Gibbons is Nielsen Norman Group's Chief Designer. Divide students into groups of three or four and assign the same task to all groups. The concept of User Experience (UX) has been around earlier than the abbreviation UX itself. For capturing and consolidating insights, keep your landscape maps low-fidelity. First, it helps us discover patterns across a wide set of ideas. Define your goals Many UX experts will have their own process for conducting research, but this is a basic skeleton of one that will work for you. For example, what should users do when the following error message appears? For example, at the beginning of a workshop, you may use a postup to generate workshop goals. The first thing you’ll want to do, before you begin the actual research, is identify your key goals you’re hoping your UX research will achieve. Definition: Playback is the activity of sharing progress, process, or insights gained by an individual (or a subgroup) to a broad group, either in an informal or formal way. on For this reason, at UI UX Training we offer workshops devoted exclusively to research. refer to an established source such as Nielsen’s well-known 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. Reasons for Doing UX Research. UX Activities and Research Methods to apply in Discovery to understand the users, investigate opportunities, and facilitate a shared vision amongst stakeholders. Do you need UX research or design workshops tailored to your organization? In the first case (participants play the role of the system), role play is used as a review mechanism to assess gaps within a designed system. The attribute “primary” and “secondary” refers to the research being first-hand or second-hand: 4 Steps to Getting Started with DesignOps, UX Practitioners Adjusting to Post-Pandemic World. However, few realize at the core of each of these exercises are the same 7 foundational activities. Use forced ranking after almost any activity or exercise, in order to decide which of its outputs will be the focus of your next activity. Search log analysis. The act of sharing in a workshop is an activity in and of itself and core to all workshops. Expert UX researchers also understand how to align user research strategy with product roadmaps. The discovery phase of UX research. By keeping the ultimate goal in mind throughout the process, the aim is to create alignment between the learning activities and the ultimate assessment. Contextual inquiry, personas, scenarios, & journey mapping are key activities to train yourself on for user research and UI UX design projects. In a recent project here at Blink, we used three research activities regularly (below in Tip #2), conducting the one that best fits the needs of that particular sprint. UX Workshops vs. In the second case (participants play the role of another perspective — such as user or project-budget manager ), role play is primarily used to encourage new perspectives and reassess priorities. The meter is hard to read in bright sunlight. They can also be done across subgroups, with each subgroup sharing its output to the workshop group. Definition: A storyboard communicates a story through images displayed in a sequence of panels that chronologically maps the story’s main events. They are helpful tactics for navigating dominating participants, unproductive conversation, and encouraging full participation. When conducting our UX research, we do exhibit these tinkering skills: problem framing —We make sure our stakeholders understand the problems our users encounter through problem framing. For this reason, at UI UX Training we offer workshops devoted exclusively to research. Here are three great reasons for doing user research: To create a product that is truly relevant to users. Subscribe to our Alertbox E-Mail Newsletter: The latest articles about interface usability, website design, and UX research from the Nielsen Norman Group. You’ll find a list of the top UX research conferences to attend in 2019 here, and can search for local UX research groups on Get a hands-on introduction to UX with a free, 6-day short course. As a facilitator, these core activities are should be familiar tools in your back pocket. The facilitator should assign a workshop participant (per group if the workshop is over 6 people) to play the role of the computer or system as it interacts with a user (either recruited into the workshop or played by another participant). Forced ranking can be as rigorous (tying specific scale or dollar amount to each item ranked) or as lightweight (basic dot voting) as needed. For example, it can be done by cutting up a list of other items such as customer-support calls or site queries and organizing the content from there. Below is one possible outcome for the blood glucose task flow. Storyboards can and should range in fidelity depending on how you are using them. Some of the common UX research activities that involve listening are: Social media monitoring. Usually the first stage of a design sprint, UX Research focusses on asking questions using a variety investigative techniques to deliver actionable insights which the team can then use to design a solution. UX research techniques follow one of … Give them 30 to 45 minutes to assess the site for adherence to best practices for: For a list of specific heuristics for each category (content, navigation, etc.) Playbacks can be as quick as 1-minute high-level shares or as formal as prepared presentations (skits or slideshows). Over the course of building this understanding, different types of documents and tool can be used to put us on the same page with the user goals and ensure that the suggested solutions are having the user in the heart of the developing process. When: Forced ranking is extremely flexible and can be applied in a multitude of ways and at a variety of times. UX Design Activities In this phase, the team generates design concepts and prototypes based on research findings, and hopefully validates concepts and prototypes with users. Affinity diagramming can be adapted as necessary. Which specific tasks would be associated with the scenario? There always some motives behind carrying out user research, such as the following ones. This same principle should be followed in research studies. As explained in 5 UX Methods all Practitioners Should Master a task flow refers to the specific steps a user takes to finish a task or solve a problem. When: Affinity diagramming should be used anytime you are converging after a postup. Explain that they work for a medical device manufacturer whose product lines include blood glucose meters. Thousands of workshop exercises exist. Why: Storyboards put context around ideas or users; they tell stories about our users. When students complete the exercise, devote 30 minutes to discussion. Second, when done collaboratively, it promotes a shared language. This is the stage where a stakeholder just has the vision of a new business concept or a product. This understanding ensures alignment and shared language across the whole workshop, not just within workshop teams. UX Research Activities. When: Landscape maps are best used after a generation-based activity (like a postup) to drive further insight and alignment. The 7 UX workshop activities described in this post can be used by UX instructors or in-house UX teams to re-visit the basics and identify areas for improvement. The main goal of design research is to inform the design process from the perspective of the end user. Think of this as a menu of recommended options. UX research newbies, keep reading. Similar to a postup, anonymity can be an advantage or disadvantage. This confusion is especially troubling in error messages because users must normally address the error before proceeding with the current task. Yet, the car does not move because he forgot to release the parking brake. Your process will vary and may include only a few things on this list during each cycle. Note that, even though the input for affinity diagramming is often a set of sticky notes generated in postup, it doesn’t have to be. User research It is especially useful when participants are working primarily in groups (which should often occur in workshops with more than 6 participants). The diagram lists potential UX research methods and activities that can be done as projects move through stages of design. When you conduct user research through methods like survey or interview, it is a process of user-centered design aiming to improve the experience of users for products and services. Ask students to imagine that they have conducted interviews and contextual inquiry and recorded the following findings: Users’ ages range from 20 to 80 but the median age is 40. Conversely, in some instances it may be helpful to surface participant’s rankings, whether to foster conversation or discuss expertise-related perspectives. Discuss and decide how to handling possibly contradictory findings such as the observation that the display is too small while the overall device is too large. You don’t need to have a dedicated UX research team to conduct UX research. Pam is a diabetic and an executive who travels internationally to visit various corporate offices. If the form includes technical terms that Pam does not understand, what is the best way to explain those terms? There’s no one way to do UX research. Forms are notoriously difficult to design because, at first glance, they seem straightforward. For example, use forced ranking to prioritize which of the ideas generated during an ideation session should be prototyped. The display is too small. Summary: There are 7 activities that act as a foundation for every UX exercise during a workshop or collaborative team meeting. Show students a few examples of scenarios. Can students identify visual cues that will draw Marcella’s intention to the field(s) where the error occurred. The chart below describes UX methods and activities available in various project stages. 1. Why: Postups are used to generate a wide set of ideas that represent diverse perspectives in a time-efficient, democratic manner. Compose a short list of research results and present them to the class. A seasoned UX research teams know which UX research method to use for specific results. In these cases, be sure to give time (anywhere from a day or week) for participants to do their due diligence and rank from an informed perspective. An iterative approach to concepts and prototyping while testing with users provides a vision of the UI moving forward, and begins analysis to set the team up for development. UI UX Training: Learn 4 UX activities for design thinking the user experience. UX researchers adopt various methods to uncover problems and design opportunities. These lively discussions set the stage for the more challenging task flow activity. Based on community feedback, we formed a group that is dedicated to teaching topics in UX research and strategy. This may reveal several different research activities, after which you can combine different methods or use them one by one. With the starting-car-exercise exercise firmly embedded in their memory, students will think more carefully about a second, more complex task flow. Agile practices vary from company to company and even team to team, but there is a shared set of valuesand principlesthat prioritises rapid, contiguous release of live code, collaboration across cross-functional teams and users, and a commitment to responding to changes. If the group is prone to groupthink or the HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) effect, then consider having individuals rank on their own and submit their rankings anonymously. Participants can identify and align on what a specific theme or pattern is comprised of, especially if the theme names are generated collaboratively in the workshop. Why: Role play in workshops forces participants to change how they think about something. Stakeholder Interviews UX Research and Strategy is a registered 501c3 organization, and was founded by three former co-workers who saw a gap in the local UX market. Discuss this exercise for 20 minutes and ask students to identify specific challenges such as how easy or difficult it was to divide the flow into distinct yet connected steps. Forms guru Caroline Jarrett has referred to a form as a conversation with the user. News and e-commerce sites tend to work well for these types of UX workshop activities because most people are familiar with such sites. Next, divide students into groups of three or four and give them 20 to 30 minutes to draw the task flow focused on taking a blood glucose reading on a long flight. More goals means more trips through the decision-making tree in UX Research Methods Selection Framework. Why: UX practitioners are often caught in a balancing act: user needs versus what is technically and organizationally feasible. ... Plan instruction and learning activities so that students can demonstrate that evidence. Playbacks can be done within a small group, with each participant sharing her ideas. After completing this UX workshop activity, students will have a better understanding of the complexity involved in designing even a single error message. Towards the end of a workshop, you may use a postup to generate next steps and action items. The key principles which formed this methodology are: 1. Slap a few labels and text fields on a page, done. Recently, customers have complained that the meter is hard to use and does not offer all of the features they need. The FAST User Experience Research framework. UX (user experience) research is the systematic study of target users and their requirements, to add realistic contexts and insights to design processes. Playbacks help converge insights across teams so that everyone within a workshop has an understanding of the outputs and the work of other teams. Below is one possible outcome for a persona. Third-party review analysis. Evaluating an existing form is an effective way to learn more about this “conversation” and micro-interactions such as data input. It is the base of almost all workshop exercises and has the broadest application. How many users visited your homepage is an example of quantitative research; determining why 500 people abandoned their carts at checkout is an example of qualitative research. This activity sounds straightforward, but when you remind students that the target audience has never driven a car, the importance of accounting for each step becomes apparent. Potential UX research methods and activities that can be done as projects move through stages of design What are some primary reasons for conducting a UX research. facilitating workshops,workshops,collaboration,design thinking,Design Process,Customer Journeys,service design, 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods, Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking, Between-Subjects vs. Within-Subjects Study Design, UX Mapping Methods Compared: A Cheat Sheet, User Control and Freedom (Usability Heuristic #3), Imagery Helps International Shoppers Navigate Ecommerce Sites, Flexibility and Efficiency of Use: The 7th Usability Heuristic Explained, 3 Steps for Getting Started with DesignOps, Error Handling on Mobile Devices: Showing Alerts, limit sketch space and use thick sharpies so sketches, 5 UX Workshops and When to Use Them: A Cheat Sheet.