Design validation is not a phase, it’s a continuous part of the process. Testing your designs tests your assumptions and lets you make quick course corrections.
It’s hard to uncover behavioral qualities during a focus group session, so the technique suffers from “what I say isn’t what I do” syndrome.
“The user” is a nebulous term. Everyone on the team has a different picture in their head when they say those words. Thumbnail personas use site visit data to focus the whole team on the same key individuals.
“Turn that frown upside-down” – Take the pain points that you discovered in your user research and re-write them as positive experiences for your customers. These scenarios provide you with new product ideas.
Get everyone on the team involved in interface design and be prepared to be surprised with the creativity you unleash. You are guaranteed to uncover better design ideas than if you did it all yourself.
Quickly turn a pile of site visit observations into a visual story about users’ tasks and pain points. Use experience maps – affinity diagrams on steroids.
Users will make lots of feature requests during research sessions. Listen, Probe and Validate to make sure you solve the underlying issue.
The way to create good study questions is to work out what you want to be able to say before you even think about the methods you’ll use to find the answer.
Recruiting sucks. If you can afford it, hire a recruiting company. If not, here are some tips to make it hurt less. Big lesson: make sure participant fidelity is proportionate to prototype fidelity.
To improve how people use your product, watch the tasks they perform. To get people to love your product, find and fix the small annoyances.