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Understanding users Qualitative Research

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding users Qualitative Research"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding users Qualitative Research
From: About Face 3: Essentials of Interaction Design

2 How do we gather info? Interviews Focus Groups (not covered)
User Observation Literature Review/Market Research Product and Competitive Audits

3 Who do we interview? Subject Matter Experts

4 Who else do we interview?
Customers What are their goals? What frustrates them? What is the decision process for purchasing/using?

5 What do we ask? Goal-oriented questions System-oriented questions
What activities currently waste your time? What is most important to you? What helps you make decisions? System-oriented questions What are the most common things you do with the product? What parts of the product do you use most? What are your favorite aspects of the product? How do you work around problems? What shortcuts do you employ?

6 How do we interview? Interview where the interaction happens
Avoid a fixed set of questions Focus on goals first, tasks second Ask for show and tell I want to collect money owed me. I want a list of people with open balances.

7 More interview tips Avoid making the user a designer.
Avoid discussion of technology Guide the interviewee towards examining problems and away from expressing solutions (e.g., not “Would this feature be useful…”) Encourage storytelling about experiences with a product. Encourage both typical cases and exceptional ones.

8 Example Interview Questions: EECS Website
Why do you come to the website? What do you primarily use the site for? Is there anything on the site that prevents you from doing what you need to do quickly and efficiently? Is what you need present? What sort of information do you expect when searching for a school? Did anything on our EECS website convince you to do your graduate work here? Is the current color theme of the EECS page appealing?

9 Identifying Users to Interview
Persona Hypothesis. What different sorts of people might use the product? How might their needs and behaviors vary? What ranges of behaviors and environments need to be explored? May also identify behavioral and demographic variables.

10 Example Persona Hypothesis: EECS Website
Students Potential Students High School students Transfer International Continuing Education Graduate Current Undergraduate Students Non-EECS EECS Current Graduate Students Parents Potential students Existing students Faculty CSM Faculty Collaborators Job Candidates Prospective Employers

11 Example Behavioral Variables: EECS Website
education level (high school, undergrad, grad, faculty, etc) aesthetic preference (simple-> pictures -> flash/more dynamic) level of interest (quick browsing, casual search, focused search, detailed reading) persistence (easily frustrated, tolerant) skills (basic website navigation, comfortable, expert navigator) familiarity with department (no knowledge, alumni, current major, current non-major, parent) frequency of use (never, seldom, occasional, frequent)

12 User Observation Most people are incapable of accurately assessing their own behaviors.  You can talk to users about how they think they behave, or you can observe it first-hand.  The latter route provides superior results.  Technological aids such as audio or video recorders may be used, but should not be too obtrusive.

13 Example Ethnography/Usability: EECS Website
Task: Find out what classes are going to be offered next semester. Observation: First went to course home pages but couldn't find the info there. Then went to course descriptions and found it, but took two minutes or so of looking around the page to find the information. It is hidden at the bottom of the page kind of out of the way.

14 Example Ethnography: Programming IDE
Lots of sitting and staring at screen. Frequent switch to explanation of assignment Looking for specific details as opposed to rereading assignment Lot of time reading lab description for insight. Frequent switching between .h and .cpp without adding code to either. Lot of confusion about what goes in each section. No textbooks in sight Lots of warnings, errors that won’t go away. Compile, receive error, remove line, recompile, still have error. Rely on error messages from IDE, but often don’t understand the message. Lots of looking at neighbor’s code.

15 Continued Observations
No one googled errors Students not making much use of resources like chapter notes. Many students have difficult time typing, which slows them down significantly Users seem to spend more time navigating around code that actually writing code. Some students who appeared to be lost spent time messing around with Visual Studio interface.

16 Market Research* Identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition Not Marketing Research (how to market a product effectively) * from Wikipedia

17 Competitor Analysis – Why?
“Competitor analysis is an essential component of corporate strategy. It is argued that most firms do not conduct this type of analysis systematically enough. Instead, many enterprises operate on what is called “informal impressions, conjectures, and intuition gained through the tidbits of information about competitors every manager continually receives.” As a result, traditional environmental scanning places many firms at risk of dangerous competitive blindspots due to a lack of robust competitor analysis.”* * Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2007

18 How? Competitor Array Define your industry - scope and nature of the industry Determine who your competitors are Determine who your customers are and what benefits they expect Determine what are the key success factors in your industry Rank the key success factors by giving each one a weighting - The sum of all the weightings must add up to one. Rate each competitor on each of the key success factors Multiply each cell in the matrix by the factor weighting.

19 Example Key Industry Success Factors Weighting Competitor #1 rating
Competitor #1 weighted Competitor #2 rating Competitor #2 weighted 1 - Extensive distribution .4 6 2.4 3 1.2 2 - Customer focus .3 4 5 1.5 3 - Economies of scale .2 .6 4 - Product innovation .1 7 .7 Totals 1.0 20 4.9 15 3.7

20 Literature Review White papers Journal articles Web searches

21 Product & Competitive Audits
Examine competitor products Usability analysis (more later….) Useful features What’s missing

22 Example Literature Review: CONNECT
Poken Poken is used for social networking, personal identification communication. It uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to exchange social data between two keychains. An individual is identified with a ‘poken’, a keychain. The primary data exchanged is a ‘social business card’. Which the digital mirror of your business card. Contact information on a ‘poken’ their website. Crowd Vine This product creates profiles for people that contain their contact information. There doesn’t seem to be a way to exchange contact information with people other than sharing your address or profile name. A profile contains the user’s social networking profile information. The site is like a social business card for finding ways to interact with people. The basic functionality is very similar to LinkedIn.

23 Handling the Interview Data
Identify expectations Map behavioral variables to interview subjects Create personas

24 Example Expectations: EECS Website
Primary persona (current undergraduate) expectations… I expect that the website will: Help me plan my schedule for next semester Help me contact my professor(s) Help me decide whether to continue for a master’s degree Help me find job opportunities in CS/in the department Secondary persona (prospective student) expectations… Help me decide whether to attend CSM Help me figure out how much it will cost Help me determine if the research relates to my interests 

25 Example: Map Subjects to BV EECS Website
Frustration Tolerance Level Low frustration tolerance High frustration tolerance User1 User2 User3 User5 User4 Exploring/bored Specific task Reason for visiting site User2 User5 User3 User1 User4 Amount of time spent on site Barely any time spent on site Spent lots of time on site User3 User2 User4 User1 User5 K-12 Student Status Non-student (or graduate) User3 User4 User1 User2 User5

26 Personas Based on real interview subjects (not stereotypes) – but not one exact subject Given a name for reference, easier for designers to relate to Resolve 3 user-centered design issues: Elastic user - generic “user” bends and stretches the design Self-referential - developers project their own goals, motivations, skills and mental models onto a product’s design. Design edge cases must be programmed for, but they should never be the design focus.

27 Example Persona: EECS Website
Persona: Alex (Non-Macs major) Doesn't want to spend a lot of time on the site -- in and out mentality Not very experienced with the site -- infrequent visits Wants to find either course home page and bookmark it or professor contact info -- probably won't come back till next semester Would like an easy to navigate site, overcomplicated is bad. Familiar with mines, knows that EECS classes generally have course home pages. Not particularly interested in non class or professor related information.

28 Example Persona: EECS Website
Persona: Laura (transfer student) New to Mines, in need of EECS related information Visited the site just a couple times, not sure where everything is yet Critically needs EECS degree information to decide on a major at mines Needs info like flowcharts and course descriptions Would like to see current and up-to-date information on the site so she can get a feel for the department Hopes to be able to find the desired information without issue.

29 Example Persona: EECS Website
Persona: Robert (Computer Science Major) (Primary Persona) Familiar with the site -- visits it once or twice a month Wants easy access to course homepages and professor contact information Would like to see frequent updates on upcoming important events (such as group advising for registration) Needs course flowcharts, course descriptions Needs graduate school info

30 Persona Expectations Expectations for a product and its context of use are informed by the persona’s mental model of the product. Identify behaviors expected or desired from the product Think about: what do subjects mention first, what action words do they use, and what intermediate tasks they don’t mention.

31 Persona Expectation: EECS Website
Website will help me plan my schedule Website will allow me to contact my instructor Website will tell me what I need to know to become a CS major at Mines Website will help me be part of the Mines CS community

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