User research notes are the building blocks of customer insights. Without useful and effective note-taking, we can’t hope to uncover true user needs and deliver an experience that solves their problem or meets those needs.
This post is a recap of our webinar with special guest Bethany Stolle, Design Research Lead at Blackboard. Read the post below to view the slides and full recording of our session!read more… “The Essential Guide to User Research Notes”
What is an Affinity Diagram?
An affinity diagram is a tool often used to organize data and ideas. Affinity diagrams help you organize information into groups of similar items to then analyze qualitative data or observations.
Business and design teams have used affinity diagrams for a long time to organize ideas, complex information and even customer feedback into themes or groups. For UX researchers, affinity diagrams are often used for analyzing and synthesizing user research findings by patterns and themes. In this case affinity diagrams are sometimes referred to as the KJ method or an affinity map. Also in other broad application like business brainstorming or idea generation it may be called a cluster map.
Episode 36 highlights with Natalie Hanson on Sharing and Communicating User Research:
- Differences between in house and external UX teams and the unique challenges of each
- Tips for collaborating with others on your user research work
- How to encourage non-designers and non-researchers to collaborate on user research and insights
- Tips for working with stakeholders who believe they already know what needs to be designed
- Effectively communicating user research insights to inspire action from executives, developers and more
Create Company Wide Empathy with a User Research Repository
Creating insights to share and act on is the most important work you do as a UX or user research professional.
Your research must create a sense of empathy for the people you’re designing for with your team and company. This means your insights and findings must be clear, findable and actionable.
With rapidly changing expectations and methods for communication and sharing knowledge, it’s critical to start building a sustainable research practice right away that builds institutional knowledge of your customers.
Doing so generates better intuition and decision making, as well as wide spread empathy at your organization.
Investing in a user research repository to organize, search and share everything you learn from customer research early helps you accomplish these things and build true customer empathy in your organization.
Gregg Bernstein On User Research – Aurelius Podcast Episode 32 Highlights:
- How Gregg and his team are doing user research at Vox Media
- Doing user research for broad audiences and industries
- Using smaller research projects to lead to larger more strategic research
- How to most effectively share your user research findings with stakeholders and your team
- Thoughts on UX research repositories and libraries
- Tools and tips for setting up your ResearchOps and process for taking in, conducting and sharing user research at your company
- Making user research more strategic to influence company focus and direction
- Avoiding the pitfalls of overthinking in the user research process
Episode 31 highlights with Hana Nagel:
- How the President of the United States did “user research” and what you can learn from that in your work as a UX designer, researcher and product maker
- Doing user research…about user research, so that you can see much more success with your organization adopting a more user centered mindset
- Focusing on the outcomes of research to create a greater impact with user research at your company
- Learning the behavior of your teams and company in order to sell user research internally
- How to empower other teams to do user research themselves in order to scale user research at your company
- How to turn user research and findings into action and recommendations
- Giving your team and company confidence in doing the right things
Episode 30 highlights with Dave Malouf:
- What is ResearchOps and DesignOps?
- Challenges of operationalizing research and design in growing organizations and how to overcome them
- Dave’s tips and insights in how to grow design and research in your company more efficiently
- Who owns “ResearchOps” and what does that person(s) do?
- How to determine when you should be thinking about DesignOps and ResearchOps
Listen to Episode 27 for highlights with Brianna Sylver including:
- The difference between user research and market research
- Using both market research and user research to build a better design strategy
- Why market research may not be what you think it is
- How and when you should think about doing user research more like a market researcher
- Project mindset vs. product mindset
- Tactical vs. strategic UX design
Episode 25 highlights:
- Product management at Intercom
- Choosing the right problems to solve for your customers
- What user research looks like at Intercom
- How Michelle and the product team at Intercom chooses which projects to work on
- Where does UX design start and Product Management end?