A Qualitative, Behavior-Based Approach to Conducting User Research
You’ve probably heard a lot of discussions around the fact that User Interface and User Experience Design (often referred to as “UI/UX”) is a key element to developing successful technology products.
We wholeheartedly agree.
All too often, however, companies neglect to actually include any real-world research with users before developing those products. In fact, many of today’s “UX Designers” may have never even seen a user-centered research plan, let alone have a history of successfully implementing them.
So whether users are sitting at their office desks, on the road using their mobile devices, or in the comfort of their own homes, our goal is to more completely understand how users actually work, play, and live with technology.
We believe that it is only through gaining this deeper understanding that one can truly call a design approach “user centered.”
We emphasize a qualitative, behavior-based approach to conducting user research – interviewing and observing users interacting with technology in the context in which they would normally use the product.
The results from that research are used to drive product strategy, helping prioritize features and functions that are going to be the most valuable to users.
In-depth, critical evaluations of existing or prototype desktop and mobile software applications and websites; finding out what happens when real users try to use what you’ve created.
Context/location-specific interviews and discussions with users – intended to uncover real needs, goals, expectations, and behaviors that help inform feature and functionality decisions.
Card Sorting & Affinity Mapping
Collaborative exercises designed to help users explain how they think information should be organized and presented in a product so that it’s intuitive, learnable, and easy to remember.
Idea Discovery and Concepting
‘Co-creation,’ ‘Gamestorming,’ ‘Participatory Design’ … whatever you want to call it, there are activities and exercises designed to get all stakeholders involved in the design process to make sure the product designed meets their needs.
Observing and analyzing users perform their tasks, either online or off, can provide valuable insight as to workflow and process deficiencies that can be addressed with technology.
A moderated, guided discussion (about a product, service, or branding idea) intended to understand user opinions and impressions while still in the easy-to-modify conceptual stage of development.
Repeatedly we've taken Bill on customer visits to help us surface unmet, unspoken customer needs, and he has consistently helped us refine the concepts and themes uncovered in that research into significant new product offerings - not just incremental improvements, but new-to-our-industry capabilities. He excels at ideation and rapid concepting, and was quick to learn the domain knowledge necessary to empathize with our diverse customer base... Bill is best-of-breed at what he does and a great strategic collaborator within a product management organization.Doug Render, Vice President of Product Management at SpotXchange