design validation guerrilla technique observation user testing

Revolving door studies validate designs each sprint

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.

focus groups user testing

Focus Groups – what do they tell you?

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. 

methods personas

Thumbnail personas make users real

“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.

methods personas scenarios

Scenarios are your product ideas

“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.

design charrette methods

Design Charrette

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.  

experience map methods

Experience Mapping

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.  

field visits site visits user testing

Getting to intent – listen, probe, validate

Users will make lots of feature requests during research sessions. Listen, Probe and Validate to make sure you solve the underlying issue.

guerrilla technique user testing

Work backwards to create good research questions

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.

market research companies participant recruiting recruiting study gratuities

Recruiting usability participants

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.

field visits observation site visits

Site visits show you real user pain

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.