3 Tips to Writing Better Survey Responses


In collaboration with Annabell Ho.

     Surveys are often regarded as being easy ways of collecting large amounts of data. You put together your questions, design your survey and boom- it can be distributed and accessed online by hundreds upon thousands of participants. While it seems easy enough, there is actually a great deal of design thinking that goes into the creation of a well-designed and efficient survey. In order to make sure that once your survey goes live you generate the best possible results, there requires a hefty amount of thought, design and care that goes into the construction of a survey. A bad survey design can lead to bad data through causing participants to be unsure of how to answer questions, or not providing enough options to accurately capture the participants true experience.

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Pre-Work for Usability Studies


       
In collaboration with Jasmin Joseph.

       The goal of a user research study is to better understand users behaviors, desires, needs, frustrations and attitudes through using varying feedback and observation based research methods. Therefore, it is critical that we as researchers are able to understand and capture the user experience to the best of our ability. This relies in the researchers ability to listen, as well as the participants ability to articulate themselves. Sometimes, participants may find it difficult to think of things in the moment, or know what to tell researchers. In these instances, it could be helpful for researchers to add an extra step of “pre-work” for the participants to help ensure that the research study is able to illustrate their experience in the most accurate way possible.  

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Participant Recruitment: What Not to Do


In collaboration with Jasmin Joseph.

         Recruitment, whether it be internal or external, is a necessary part of the research process. Part of being able to carry out an effective UX research study is being able to recruit participants who are right for the study, as well as making sure to recruit enough of them. There are several articles (including our own) that provide various different tips and tricks in order to try to help the recruitment process run more smoothly and efficiently. But what about what not to do when trying to recruit participants?

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3 Steps to Effective Moderation While Conducting Qualitative Research

       How confident are you in moderating conversations and discussions with research participants? In my experience, there is nothing worse than a participant speaking to a researcher for an hour that is monotone and deadpan. It only makes for frustrated and fatigued participants. During a session, the user’s shut down emotionally and become unwilling to share details because they just want the interview to be over. Effective moderating is the art of building rapport instantaneously with a user, resulting in a more holistic and robust data-driven story for your stakeholders.

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How Data Storytelling Builds Empathy

March, 13 2019 | Research Methods

        Imagine being tasked to uncover and deliver findings on a niche topic that is new and uncharted among your audience. Let’s say you have been tasked, as a researcher, to explore the behaviors and attitudes of people living with Celiacs Disease for the product development of a new gluten detector. Although your audience is familiar with gluten-free food, they are unaware of the nuances that separate gluten-free ‘fadist’ from people living with an autoimmune disease that requires a gluten-free lifestyle. How will you illustrate the differences between the lifestyles once uncovered? How will you distinguish the lifestyle of a person living with Celiac from other dietary limited lifestyles?

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Prototyping and UX Research

March, 04 2019 | Design, Research Methods, Prototyping

     In collaboration with Ryan Stratton.

     Delightful and effective user experiences don’t usually happen by chance. More often than not, they’re the result of following a methodical design process that includes research, ideation, testing, analysis, and iteration. Prototyping is a critical practice that adds value throughout the process and helps to ensure a good user experience. In this article, we review what prototyping means and why it is so important for the field of UX design and user research.

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Company Branding Through the Art of Effective Storytelling

February, 20 2019 | How-To, Research Methods, Emerging Trends

      Effective storytelling is simple, unexpected, credible, concrete, and emotional. Simplicity breaks the story down into a digestible piece. The unexpected and emotional elements leave a mark on the viewer’s brain and heart, making it memorable. If a story isn’t credible and concrete, it lacks merit and loses its value. A great story leaves a memorable impact on potential customers and keeps your brand at the forefront of their minds when looking for the services you offer. It begins with your company’s purpose, then how to solve a customer’s problem.

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Wondering Which to Use? A Comparison of Quantitative vs. Qualitative UX Research Methods

February, 17 2019 | How-To, Research Methods

In collaboration with Mina Rohani.       

     User experience research aims to be able to provide information that seeks to provide insight to the user, provide context for usability, and asses potential problems while creating solutions. In short, the aim of user experience research is to gather information. This information can be used to identify facts or patterns, highlight problem areas, and reach conclusions about users and the usability of a product. Research teams then are tasked with deciding which types of research methods, tools, and techniques they are going to utilize to try to obtain their information. Typically, research methods are split into two categories: qualitative and quantitative. In this article, we elaborate on the differences between the two methods, their individual uses, and benefits in user experience research.

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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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Contextual Inquiry Part 2: Defusing Objections to Using Contextual Inquiry

Contextual Inquiry is a method adapted from ethnographic research which combines interviews, observational research, and task learning sited within the operational (work) environment. In our previous post, we defined what the method is, when it is best used (exploratory user research) and why (rich detail around context-of-use). 

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Contextual Inquiry Part 1: The Power of Being in the Room Where it Happens

Imagine your design team has a great new idea for a product that you think has the potential to be a real game-changer in the marketplace. For the sake of discussion, let’s say it’s a new app that will let small business owners manage their supply chain, so they know when their products will arrive, when they need to restock, and so on. Now, if your design team already works in the supply chain space, they might already know a lot about the user requirements. But what if all of your previous products are corporate enterprise-level software, and you don’t really have a good idea of how that scales down - which features your typical small business owners need, and which ones they will never touch?

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