O Danny Blog Entries  

User Research: Questioning the Answers

Notes from Ash Donaldson's talk at Oz-IA 2006.

Most of the time, people gather poor requirements. We typically understand tasks, but we also need to understand the mental models, motivations, goals, and behaviors of users.

How we think.
Don Norman's layers: reflective, behavioral, and visceral.
Metaphors. We conceive of the world in metaphors. It's the only way we can understand how everything works.
Memory. We know how it doesn't work: it's not a filing system. Memory only remembers points and makes up the gaps between the points. Every time you remember something, you remember it differently.

Personal perceptions.
"I know what people want!" The transfer of assumptions. You see things in your own frames of reference. The Echo chamber.

How do I ask you how do you behave when you can't tell me?
"Draw me an animal that represents X" People get distracted by embarrassment. Drawing provides a metaphor for them. "Why did you draw that animal? What is it about this animal?" Able to articulate their feelings. It's a good way of getting people's feelings out.

"If I see it, I can believe it." But you aren't going to see everything.

Field Studies
Pick a focus. Observe and take notes on that. Observe in pairs.

It's not just talking. Symbolic (55%), verbal (only 7%), and non-verbal (38%). It's not just what is said, it's who said it and how it was said.

It's an inexact process. The sender and receiver have their own perceptions, values, knowledge, expectations. There's also problems with message and feedback: encoding, decoding, noise, vibration, etc.

The problems with self-reporting: interviewer bias, idealization, rationalization. An interview is an unnatural thing. Things you don't want to ask: So what would you do now? and So if we did this, what would you do?

Contextual Inquiry
Master/apprentice relationship: let's them do their job, and can explain it in context ("situated recall").

Making research more valid
Triangulate your data. Use other sources of data like web analytics, market research, metrics, feedback.

Originally posted at Friday, September 29, 2006 | Comments (0)

Previous Entry
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Every IA Should Know

Notes from Donna Mauer's talk at Oz-IA 2006.


Recent Entries
New Book: Designing Gestural Interfaces

An Interaction Designer's Thanksgiving

Missing Britpop

Presentation: Gaming the Web: Using the Structure of Games to Design Better Web Apps

Connecting07: Rethinking Product Design: Why We Can't Wait

Connecting07: Medical Device Design: 10 Things You Need to Know

Connecting07: Brand, Design, and the Brain

An Open Letter to the Producers of the new Bionic Woman

Review: The Reflective Practitioner (Part IV)

Presentations on Slideshare

November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
  O Danny Boy is About Me, Dan Saffer, and has my Portfolio, Resumé, Blog, and some Extras. It also has the blog I kept of my graduate studies and ways to Contact Me.  
  Blog RSS Feeds
Blog Excerpts
Full Entries
Design Entries Only
Atom Feed