That my team — a design team — does research, has at times confused colleagues unfamiliar with design methods. Some expect that customer research is produced solely from the market research team and that any design findings only come out of the usability lab. So, to set the scene on our latest field study I presented an introduction about how ethnography has played a part in the product design and innovation of many brands we are familiar with.
There are several sites I go to again and again for their original content and comprehensive resource lists of methods and tools. And who doesn’t love a list?
Monday 23rd March was the fourth installment of the Sydney chapter of the Jobs to be Done meetup, and the first co-organised by me. That’s right, after so many years of attending meetups I’ve finally stepped up to help Christian keep the ball rolling. As always we were wonderfully and generously hosted by Brainmates who also host and sponsor Product Mavens and Product Talks Sydney. I’ll be getting along to one of those very soon.
Are you recording enough after customer research encounters?
Noting behaviours, attitudes, and context during research encounters uncovers rich findings and helps to tell compelling customer stories. Just recounting what was said misses important data.
It’s fascinating to hear about the decision making process of customers when they decide to buy a product. Its more interesting still to think about the reasons they may be leaving another product for this to happen. What may on the surface seem perfectly rationale ends up being haphazard, circumstantial, and even highly emotional.
I’ve been meaning for the longest time to do some reading on Jobs to be Done framework, but like so many little jobs it had remain undone. Until Monday night that is when Christian Lafrance organised the first Sydney meet up at the Trinity Bar in Surry Hills. Christian has presented on Jobs to be Done at UX New Zealand with ABC colleagues Justin Sinclair and Raymond van der Zalm and he has been incorporating the method into UX and product strategy and design projects at the ABC.
There are some great UX/UCD resources online — my favourites to date have been Service Design Tools and more recently UX Mastery. But today I was knocked out by the phenomenal effort to define and encapsulate design research activities in a cohesive project framework. It was all revealed by a rather innocuous tweet that did not quite foretell the brilliance ahead.
Earlier this year I was on a project where I had to re-purpose another team’s design research. My job was to make a set of task models. I had the following available to me:
While I was a student I worked in retail. At one store we were encouraged (forgive me if you hate sales assistants) to ask open questions to invite conversation. It’s harder that it sounds. Years later while being trained in user research we were encouraged to ask why. Not only why, but as many whys as we could … and you know why … to get to the root cause, that deep fundamental driver of behaviour. Of course this too is not as easy as it sounds. Unless you’re a charming 5 year old asking why can sound pretty obnoxious and being asked why can make anyone feel quite defensive. I’m guessing advice like this has its roots in the famous 5 Whys, which I take to be a tool of analysis, not a script. If you disagree with anything here, or have more to add please say so in the comments.
Debriefing as soon as possible after your research encounter is vital. Push yourself beyond first impressions with these 10 questions.
I have a BUNCH of notes from books and articles I have read on design research. I had reason to revisit them all recently when I was writing a training course and thought to share them as a set of reference tools for others, you dear reader, and as a memory boost for me on our next field trip.