How To Conduct Great User Interviews

Researching your audience is imperative to developing a successful, ‘needed’ product or service.

To create something people want and need, you first must find out what they want and need. After all, creating a product or service without that vital information is like getting into a car and saying, “Go!”

In the book Pain Killer Marketing, researchers Chris Stielhl and Henry DeVries found that one-on-one interviews can generate around 80% of all possible pain points for your target market. That’s some seriously helpful information!

Of course, you can’t just rock up to anyone in the street with a pen and paper. And you can’t just make it up as you go along. To get the right information, you must prepare the right questions.

That’s where user interviews come in!

A man conducting a user interview with another man
User Interviews are critical to building great products and features
read more… “How To Conduct Great User Interviews”

How to Create an Affinity Diagram for UX Research

People doing an affinity diagram with sticky 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.

read more… “How to Create an Affinity Diagram for UX Research”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 33 with Kate Towsey on ResearchOps, User Research Repositories and Strategic Impact

Episode 33 highlights with Kate Towsey:

  • Kate’s background and how she got into user research and ResearchOps
  • What it was like to “research the researchers”
  • The global ResearchOps community and how it all began
  • Research repositories and libraries
  • Leading research operations at Atlassian
  • How and why the ResearchOps community grew to what it is now
  • Kate’s definition for #WhatisResearchOps?

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 33 with Kate Towsey on ResearchOps, User Research Repositories and Strategic Impact”

Organize and Share Your User Research with a Central Repository

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.

read more… “Organize and Share Your User Research with a Central Repository”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 32 with Gregg Bernstein on User Research and Strategic Impact

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

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 32 with Gregg Bernstein on User Research and Strategic Impact”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 31 with Hana Nagel on Building Confidence Through User Research in Your Organization

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

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 31 with Hana Nagel on Building Confidence Through User Research in Your Organization”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 14 with Steve Portigal on User Research, Analysis and Learning from Customers

Episode 14 highlights:

  • Why you should be doing [more] user research
  • How to convince your stakeholders that user research is important
  • 3 approaches to building brilliant products and features (and which one is best)
  • Convincing your stakeholders and leaders to do (more) user research
  • What is a user research process to make sure you’re learning the right things
  • The difference between research analysis and research synthesis

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 14 with Steve Portigal on User Research, Analysis and Learning from Customers”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 16 with Andy Vitale on Applying User Research and Gaining Business and Stakeholder Trust

Episode 16 highlights:

  • What makes experiences valuable?
  • Getting a “seat at the table” with design…and then what to do with it
  • Growing from a designer to a design leader
  • Speaking the language of the business to sell your vision and ideas
  • How to tie design decisions to business metrics

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 16 with Andy Vitale on Applying User Research and Gaining Business and Stakeholder Trust”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 15 with Indi Young discussing Empathy, User Research, Synthesis and Thinking Styles

Episode 15 highlights:

  • Non dominant thinking styles, diversity in product design and user research
  • Difference between problem space research and solutions research and why it matters
  • The concept of “thinking styles” in research and how to apply them in UX design
  • How machine learning and AI can create emergent experiences in the future
  • Different types of empathy (cognitive and emotional), what they are and how to use each one
  • A brilliant, tactical example of how to make sense of what you learn from user research

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 15 with Indi Young discussing Empathy, User Research, Synthesis and Thinking Styles”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 10 with Jeff Patton on Product Discovery and User Research

Episode 10 highlights:

  • What product discovery is and how to do it
  • The wrong way to do user research and how to avoid it
  • A process to make sure you’re building products and features that solve real problems
  • When product discovery starts and ends
  • 4 steps to conducting product discovery
  • The importance, and dangers, confidence level in design or product ideas

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 10 with Jeff Patton on Product Discovery and User Research”