The Power of User Culture Immersion

       Let’s say you’ve created a new digital tool that allows users to find and review gluten-free restaurants and brands in one place. So far, you’ve identified your target audience; gluten-free individuals. That’s a great start! Now, what do you know about how these gluten free individuals live their lives? What makes them tick? How do they make food purchasing decisions? How would you go about finding that information?

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Do's and Don'ts of Diary Studies

       A diary study is a research method that consists of collecting data about user activities, behaviors, and feelings over a certain time period, ranging from a few days to a month or more. During a diary study, participants will self-report their experiences and activities on a diary (or digital diary such as Dscout, Experience Fellow, Revelation or just Google Form). Participants will self report their interactions, thoughts and feelings in regards to a product or organization. Diary studies are useful to understand long-term behaviors and potentially create Customer Journey Maps through being able to document the customer's interactions with the product or an organization. 

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Three Superpowers that Make Up a Great Ethnographic Researcher

Trifecta of UXR super powers needed to excel in Ethnographic Research.  

 

In this day and age, User Experience Researchers (UXRs) are expected to deliver actionable insights that can meet the demands of teams in agile environments. This means less time spent “in the field” collecting data and more “bite-sized takeaways” that can be quickly disseminated among cross-functional teams. These forces are juxtaposed to traditional ethnographic/exploratory research which can be incredibly valuable when done properly. Considering the financial and human capital investment of conducting in-country or observational research, UXRs and stakeholders have been forced to think critically about how they maximize their ROI (return on investment) on research.

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Methods for Running a Successful Diary Study

Diary studies are a proven method for capturing the habits of your users over a longer period of time compared to in-lab studies.  A diary study is a form of qualitative research that allows participants to self-report their activities, feelings, and thoughts over a period of time.   Diary studies have a data collection period as short as 2-3 days to 30 days; there are outliers of course (such as studying the usage of medical products over time).   In the past few years, we’ve seen an uptick in diary studies being used to help understand the end-to-end customer journey (from awareness to advocacy). 

New tools are available that make it easy for participants to record their daily lives and for you as a researcher to monitor and analyze their entries. While diary studies are relatively straightforward to implement, there are important steps that should be taken to ensure that you are getting the most insightful entries from your participants. Here are methods for running a successful diary study.

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Consumer Testing in a Mobile World

Shopping, for me, has taken on a whole new form.
I've been browsing bridal registries at Pier 1 while waiting in the dentist office and purchasing new running shoes from Zappos while on the train. Lately, I've even taken the opportunity to update my home grocery delivery list on my mobile phone while cooking dinner! It’s been fantastic – more efficient shopping decisions supported by in-app reviews, free shipping offers and most importantly less time at the store…which translates to more time for other things.

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