Summary: Understanding and getting the right tasks represented in your design is critical to all UX. Usability and ease of use are measured by successful task completion. Supporting context of use is equally as critical because tasks live within user contexts of use.
User Research MasterClass October 23rd 2020 (6AM PDT; 9AM EDT; 2pm UTC); 3 hours
To access the Masterclass, join Frank's www.uxinnercircle.com
Video transcript: Frank Spillers, CXO at Experience Dynamics explains the importance of User Research
User Research triggers learning by challenging assumptions
User Research, possibly one of the most important types of activities your organization carries that your organization carries out. Why? Because user research is where we gain the technique that brings us the insight that challenges assumptions. And anything that challenges our internal assumptions with our design, with our organization, with the product or service itself-- anything that challenges assumptions-- is an opportunity to be enlightened, and to be inspired and to gain confidence in your decision making.
Summary: Frank Spillers' UX Inner Circle is a new space to get access to monthly MasterClasses, Online Workshops, and a digital library of Frank's past two decades of training topics ranging from Accessibility to Service Design, VR/AR UX Design, UX Management, and more.
Whether you are new to UX, changing jobs or roles, continuing your UX learning, or building a Center of Excellence...staying ahead of the curve is critical. Having a trusted and accessible guide to help you along the journey is also key. Frank Spillers has worked for hundreds of organizations over the years and lead UX teams across diverse and complex projects and challenges. He has been conducting UX training for over 20 years and has provided online UX training to over 50,000 students globally with his classes at the non-profit Interaction Design Foundation.
Summary: Getting to the bottom of your desirability criteria is more important than understanding usability. Since usability metrics are based on successful task completion, they come second after first clearly representing user tasks, needs, and goals. Desirability criteria should be defined first, then usability considered and tested next. Understanding desirability and what users truly want and need can differentiate a design, product, or value proposition fundamentally, with impacts on business results like conversion, engagement, and user adoption.
Summary: When doing Customer Journey Mapping, you have five options for representing the journey. The choice depends on your intention going into the mapping process; your business goals for the journey effort and how much impact you need to generate with your Journey Map deliverable.
How to represent Journey Map data
Journey Mapping is a UX process for visually documenting how your customer or user moves across an experience over time. It involves understanding defects in the customer experience and highlights opportunities for healing those breakpoints in channel and touchpoint interaction.
Summary: Inclusion is critical as a concept because it is at the heart of all UX activities and intentions. Including user behaviors, needs, and desires in design decisions is core to good UX Design. Including users with disabilities when improving or designing for Accessibility is critical. Finally, including target users in regions your product is used is vital for localization UX. Inclusive design is important to understand because it starts with understanding what is important to your audience, not your company or organization alone.
What is the basis of excluding users from a product development process?
There is a stronger tradition in software engineering of excluding users than there is of including users in the design and product development process. This stems from a few root causes:
1. Historically engineers were responsible for user interface design. "We don't use designers let alone talk to users!"
Summary: Big design shifts can have strategic value over tactical changes or little shifts if done right. When updating or enhancing a UI, it is important to evaluate the true magnitude of your changes. Users get notoriously upset at having to learn new designs, though not all design changes are equal. Adjusting your UI 'change-shock' so users can adapt and adopt easily is critical. Managing interface change can help lower the risks and mitigate user adoption.
Evolutionary or Revolutionary design changes?
Evolutionary changes make tactical improvements, feature by feature. Revolutionary changes blow everything away and change the Interaction design paradigm from the ground up. Both cause changes which cause users to learn.
Summary: Getting personas right can save you a lot of time and avoid common approaches to generating persona nonsense. Personas should point to behaviors, not individuals. Using 'Associating Adjectives' can help ground you and reinforce observed behavioral patterns and roles. More importantly, grounding your team will help them navigate this often not-quite-understood qualitative research deliverable.
Summary: The MVP is a double-edged sword in that it focuses your engineering and product management priorities, but might steamroll user priorities. An MVP that misses 'desirable' will risk the unintended consequence of poor user adoption. Instead, MVP's should focus on what constitutes priority, need, and desire from an understanding of user context, behavior, and scenario.
Where MVP went wrong
The MVP concept comes from the Lean Startup (book by Eric Ries). Ries emphasized meeting user needs and failing fast. For Ries, this meant quick prototypes and rapid user testing. Unfortunately, like many Silicon Valley UX teams (and authors), his definition excludes the important user needs discovery process that is part of the ISO and industry-standard Human-centered Design method.
Let's face it, the fun factor in being online and being in consumer spaces has disappeared.
Is social distancing the new social norm for the foreseeable future? If it is, we need to understand the problem space we are designing for with regard to what we know about social user experience, including collaboration, privacy, space, and expectation-setting. Already we have seen problems with adherence to post-COVID attempts to regulate social behavior. Without good user experience, this situation could lead to more COVID infection waves or the use of authoritarian rules, or "bad for the brand" methods of channeling consumer behavior in retail and public spaces.