how to present ux research findings

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So today we want to cover a few creative ways to present our research findings, so nobody gets bored and nothing gets lost! Another useful technique for grouping and understanding your research data is affinity mapping. Feel free to duplicate your sticky notes if they fit into more than one cluster. Here is an interview with CareerFoundry alumnus Jeff Buchanan who, after working as a pastor for almost twenty years, retrained as a UX designer. I have a Tinder account, but I only log in once every few months or so. Your audience (the users of your research!) I’m William, a course specialist here at CareerFoundry. Research such as interviews, observations, diary studies, surveys and so on. The next step is to group similar codes together into broader categories, or themes. From this finding, you might derive the following insight: “There is currently no all-in-one solution for budgeting, so users need to rely on multiple apps.” Can you see how the insight hints at a possible solution? In any effective presentation, the designer must consider how to best present findings and optimize their impact on the end product. In the world of UX research, the term “deliverables” refers to any tangible document or presentation that shows a record of the work that has taken place. Easy to understand. You can also check out these example user journey maps. When you’re ready, identify all the most crucial insights and list them in a document. If you want to find out more about personas take a look at Getting the most out of personas; Why there’s still life left in personas and Minimum viable personas (MVPs). Eventually, you’ll end up with an entire wall or whiteboard filled with sticky notes and, most importantly, themes. For today’s task, you’re going to get hands-on with codes and themes. You should also checkout out Boon Yew Chew’s Visual thinking workshop and these rich picture guidelines from Peter Checkland – the rich picture granddaddy of them all. This week I’ve been working on producing a UX report for an iPhone game, and have been thinking about the best method to present your findings to a client. All these efforts are only valid if we act on the findings, right? In this article, we discuss five effective ways to present research data concerning UX, ... You can organize and present your findings to the stakeholders in many forms. Before we look at how to synthesize your data, let’s first define the difference between findings and insights. Time for step two! Intrigued by a career in UX design? When analyzing your research data, you’re essentially asking: What does the data mean? While codes serve to highlight interesting information, themes require you to actively interpret the data. Let’s go back to our budgeting app example. For example, you might show the journey that a customer undertakes when buying a new car, going on holiday or eating out at a restaurant. If you’d like a few pointers, then take a look at Nick Bowmast’s excellent article about Visualising UX research. The Qualities of Effective UX Research Reporting So, what exactly makes for an effective UX research report? Thus far, we’ve considered all the practicalities of user research, from techniques and tools to recruiting participants and actually conducting user research. You’ll write each point on a separate sticky note and then pick one sticky note as your starting point, which you’ll place on a blank wall or whiteboard. That brings us to the end of tutorial seven, which means you’ve almost completed your UX research short course—way to go! Can you see how we’re effectively labelling different elements of what the user has said? They are fictional profiles of your users, but should very much be based on fact and can help teams and stakeholders to build a shared and concrete understanding of who the users are. For each stage of the journey a map will typically call out what the user is doing, thinking, feeling and experiencing, along with any current pain points. That’s it—synthesis complete! They can be a great spring board for thinking about how the current user journey can be improved and for identifying problems to tackle, along with opportunities to innovate. While there may be other interesting information in there, it’s not necessarily relevant if it doesn’t relate to your research objective; that’s how you’ll dig out the real gems! In the case of user research, this means turning your themes into something meaningful; you know what your themes are, but what are they telling you? In fact, some even say that those who have studied anthropology are already well trained for being a UXer. What codes might you come up with for the following snippet of text? Synthesis can be defined as the process of creating spontaneous concepts and ideas based on the facts you’re analyzing. You might also turn your insights into “how might we” questions, rephrasing a problem as a design opportunity! Here are six tips for adapting and sharing your research findings. 5 simple ways to drive research engagement. Well sketchnotes are a more recent cousin of rich pictures. How you organize your themes, findings, and insights is up to you—we find that the sticky note and whiteboard system works well! These forms of documentation are often better at conveying the information and bringing your research findings to life. Your research objective is to understand who your target users are and what their motivations might be for using your app, so you’ve conducted several in-person interviews. They can therefore be a very useful means of communicating UX research, especially where something a bit quick and dirty will suffice. Rich pictures are typically cartoon like sketches visually showing a complex problem or domain. Once you’ve coded all your data—so, in this case, all of your interview transcripts—what you’ll have in front of you is a rather messy collection of different codes. If you’ve got audio recordings, video clips or hand-written notes, you’ll first need to transcribe them or convert them to a digital format. A popular turn of phrase in the UX design world is that the project dictates the process, and this is certainly true of UX research. Very useful if you’re trying to get to sleep at night, not so useful if you’re now dribbling and snoring like a steam train at your work desk. Before you do, it’s important to refer back to your research objectives. Here are some tips most important for presenting UX research findings, so that you don’t leave the results to fend for themselves in an inbox. Ultimately, how can you use the data you’ve gathered to inform the design process? For a good structure and organization of your research, keep in mind these aspects: 1. As a researcher, your role is to present back the findings but not to come up with solutions. Tutorial 7: How To Analyze Your UX Research Findings, “Hi there! Appropriate codes for these bold phrases might be “doesn’t like online dating”, “Tinder” or “dating app”, “frequency of usage” and “online dating doesn’t work”. So how do you go about analyzing your user research data? However, the earlier you do it, the more impact it will have on the final product. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about user research and that you now feel equipped with some useful UX research techniques. A well thought out and executed presentation is a great way to communicate UX research insights, but don’t think that you can rely on a presentation alone – you need multiple modes of communication. This is where your big blank wall will come in handy! The codes “dating app”, “online dating” and “speed dating” could all be grouped under the theme “dating services”. You could present formally to your company’s leadership team if the research will inform a key business decision. When analyzing the data you’ve collected, read through the notes carefully looking for patterns and be sure to add a description of each of the problems. This helped to highlight the fact that choosing and booking a holiday is invariably a multi-step process, so allowing retail staff to easily pick up an enquiry part way through that journey is very important. User journey maps not only help to show the bigger picture, but can also help to outline the quality of the current experience, and the kind of approach that users take. Putting your UX researcher hat on, can you code one or two paragraphs of the interview transcript and organize them into themes? Here you’ll find articles and presentations I’ve written covering UX, product design and product management. Let’s demonstrate the coding method with a simple example. The design principles helped to not only communicate the UX research insights, but more importantly guide the design of a new holiday booking system for retail staff. You’re interested in finding out what kinds of dating services your audience has used in the past, how often they use dating services, and how they feel about them in general. Personas are great for communicating UX research insights because they help to relate insights back to the users. As a user experience professional, you’ll need to communicate the extensive and often complex findings you uncover in your research. Start your research results section by restating the purpose of your research, so that your readers can re-focus on core of your academic article 2. Lesson 2: Ideation How to use ideation to solve design challenges ... How to analyse and present your data effectively. You may choose to simply share your insights via a Google doc, or you might present them in person; as long as all key stakeholders understand what research you conducted, why you did it, and what you learned, it’s up to you how you choose to share your work. This is especially useful for structuring long pieces of text, such as interview transcripts. John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin call these sorts of maps, ‘reality maps’ in their excellent book, The Persona Lifecycle. To make sense of your qualitative research, a good first step is to assign codes to the data. One way to keep your presentation objective is to simply list each hypothesis, with the findings … For example, you can use personas to outline identified user needs and pain points, you can outline user behaviours and characteristics and even include quotes that users said during the research. You might also find these example storyboards useful. Expanding your knowledge of the UX research field. How to present research findings Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Print. 2. And the only way to do that is to present findings strategically, in multiple layers of prioritized context. All you’re doing at this stage is labelling different sections within the transcript. Let’s find out. Ready to learn all about UX research analysis? One of the really nice things about task models is that you can not only outline the current task process, but take a model and identify how you could better support that process. How you analyze your research data will depend on the type of research conducted—qualitative or quantitative—and the techniques you used. You might be familiar with sketchnotes, a style of visual note-taking that can be very effective for capturing information. Establish and implement an overall research strategy. If you’re analyzing the data gathered from interviews, it might be useful to create a folder for each participant. Analyzing quantitative survey data is quite different from analyzing qualitative interview transcripts! A good report should: In the interview, Jeff shares what it was like to make a career change a bit later on in life, as well as some of the challenges and joys he encountered along the way. One finding might be that “users tend to use a mixture of different apps in order to track their budget”. I’m also one of the people who works on admissions for our UX Design Program—get in touch with me if you think UX design could be your calling!”. So, if your goal is to find out more about your target users, you’ll start with those themes that are likely to contain key user insights. CXPartners task model cheat sheet Let’s go! What does it tell you about the product you’re designing and the people you’re designing it for? So if you want to make sure your results will be seen, are taken note of, and taken into consideration when the future of the tested product is discussed, you need to present them accordingly. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: qualitative research is messy business! Include helpful and quality tables, figures, graphs that can synthesize your research 3. For each quadrant—or each focus area—you select the relevant quotes and images, or you synthesize the appropriate insights based on … need to understand what you’ve found as quickly as possible. At this stage, it’s worth writing all your codes and themes onto sticky notes which can be easily moved around. You should also take a look at Luke Wroblewski’s guide to Developing Design Principles, the CXPartners guide to Design Principles and the Stanford d.school design principles method guide. But have you thought about how you’re going to present your data to your stakeholders? For some help and advice delivering UX focused presentations take a look at my 10 ways to improve your UX presentations article. If you want to find out more about using storyboards in your work then I can certainly recommend reading the excellent Storyboarding and UX articles (part 1, part 2, part 3) on Johnny Holland. Codes such as “difficulty finding local matches” or “lack of replies and engagement” could be thematized as “pain points”. We’ve now covered the user research process from top to bottom! So findings need to be designed to be as usable as possible. Coding long bodies of text will help you to identify key themes in your user research (more on that later!). Also consider recording presentations so that new team members and those that were unable to attend can catch up. Ultimately, the insights you uncover through user research and subsequent analysis will guide the next steps in your design process, showing you what you need to focus on and why. User research is valuable at every stage of the design process. A finding is a fact or statement that simply tells us what is happening. Scenarios and scenario maps (see examples of both below) show the steps that a user will go through for a given scenario. Read as much as you can on the topic, network with people in the field, and either shadow or volunteer on projects in order to build a portfolio that you can later present to prospective employers. People don’t ‘buy’ things they don’t understand. However, the most impactful of all were the design principles that I created. It just doesn’t seem to work for me.”. This article shows the process of condensing a 2 week UX sprint in General Assembly into a pitch that is both user- and business-centric. Part one contains a summary of your findings in an engaging way – this could be in a presentation, via personas or user scenarios. Or gather around a computer with your agile teammates to share results that inform specific design iterations. This is why a presentation coupled with some engaging documents like the ones listed below are a great approach. 1. An insight, on the other hand, describes an aspect of human behaviour or user motivation. Let’s look at … Rich pictures are a great way to help communicate the complexity of a problem in an engaging and non-complex way. There really are no real rules when it comes to rich pictures so a great way to start using them is simply to have a go at creating some of your own. A warm glass of milk before bedtime, counting sheep (very impractical unless you’re a shepherd), or reading a UX research report. At the end of usability testing you will have collected several types of data depending on the metrics you identified in your test plan. Without UX research, these kinds of questions and statements would go unheard and unaddressed in future iterations of a website’s design… Subscribe to our Alertbox E-Mail Newsletter: The latest articles about interface usability, website design, and UX research … As you synthesize each of your themes and their subsequent findings, you should start to see a range of useful insights emerging. A rich picture might show the actors, the different artefacts, the relationships and the issues that currently exist within a domain. Often, your research insights will become your problem statement—in other words, the user problem that you will aim to solve. With your research objectives firmly in mind, you’re ready to get hands-on with the data. They are likely to be busy, and are most interested in your findings, with your methodology and data as a secondary concern. Through the process of coding, you can work through the transcript line by line, highlighting phrases or sections of interest and assigning a relevant label. They are a great way to build a shared understanding of the problem being tackled and can be a fantastic spring board for considering solutions to a problem. 1. For example, by providing information to help answer user questions, or a feature to better support a crucial step of the process. CXPartners have put together a very useful Task model cheat sheet. It’s important to bear in mind that grouping your data into themes is a highly iterative process. Are you ready to tackle one last practical exercise? You should also take a look at their Task modelling workshop material. So what happens next? They are therefore great for bringing UX research insights to life by helping to tell some of the stories that came out of that research. Mega-megaphone by John W. Schulze User research walls are a great way to get you into the habit of communicating your findings visually, and showing the rest of your coworkers the constant evolution of your work. UX research has borrowed a lot from the fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Here are 8 of them to try out (just not all on the same project). These included principles such as: Remember customers and allow them to pick up where they left off. Arrange a call with your Career Advisor today to find out if UX design is a good fit for you—and how you can become a UX designer from scratch with the full CareerFoundry UX Design Course. You’ll need a dedicated area to work in (aside from your computer) and plenty of room to spread out, so clear your desk, have a blank wall or whiteboard at the ready, and make sure all your research artifacts are within reach. This enables you to start considering your research insights in terms of a concrete user problem and, eventually, a solution. It’s also a good idea to create a quick profile document for each user; this way, you’ll have the person in mind as you explore their research data. It enables us to see how we might go about solving a particular user problem. While this interview wasn’t conducted as part of user research, it will get you thinking in terms of codes, themes, findings, and insights—all key components of qualitative user research analysis! In this first step, you’ve organized all your research data so that it’s easily accessible and ready for analysis. The final step in the analysis phase is to share your insights with your team. Present the hypothesis followed by some findings that either confirm or conflict with it. Scenarios tend to read almost like a narrative story, whereas scenario maps are much more paired back, showing simply the high level steps. The insight “There is currently no all-in-one solution for budgeting” could be turned into a how-might-we question as follows: “How might we enable users to satisfy all their budgeting needs in one place?”. Let’s explore coding in more detail now. I’ve written a number of articles about personas – I really do love them that much! Like a break-through actor that has suddenly themself the darling of Hollywood, storyboards have flown in from the world of comic books and movies and made a real splash in the UX scene (believe it or not storyboards for movies were first used in the 1890s). Imagine you’re designing a budgeting app for students. To create an empathy map based on the findings from your interviews, you go through the notes and other materials that you have from your qualitative user research. When it comes to research analysis, qualitative data tends to be a bit more tricky; it can take many different forms (interview transcripts, observation notes, diary study entries, etc.) With that in mind, let’s return to the task at hand: synthesizing your research data. In this lesson, we’ll show you how to analyze your user research data in order to turn it into valuable, actionable insights. Present design research findings to the larger team in a clear and organized fashion. “I’m not a fan of online dating. If you want to find out more about user journey maps I recommend that the first thing you do is take a look at Adaptive Path’s excellent guide to experience mapping. We’ll lay out a clear step-by-step guide for conducting research analysis and introduce some useful techniques such as data coding and affinity mapping. Stories are a fantastic way to communicate research insights, and user journey maps (sometimes called experience maps) are a great way to tell these stories from the user’s perspective. The presentation can serve to communicate key insights to stakeholders and the team, and the documents can help to retain and radiate this information. Other ways of describing and visualizing user research findings include scenarios, personas, workflow diagrams—like that shown in Figure 6—task analysis diagrams, customer journey maps, and experience maps. Long, dull, detailed reports are a terrible way to communicate those all important insights that come out of UX research. I haven’t tried any other dating services. In the next step of your user research analysis, you’ll use these themes to draw meaningful insights from your data. Bear in mind that a code is just a description or summary of what’s being said; it’s not an interpretation. Don’t expect your audience to remember much from a presentation so focus on the key insights and use stories, quotes, videos, images and anything else that can help to bring the research insights to life. If you’d like to learn more about user research and the UX field in general, be sure to check out the following resources: Take the quiz below to make sure you've learned all the important information—and that it really sticks! The different types of research you can conduct How to analyse and share your findings with your team. For example, finding out some information, or carrying out a particular task. However, you could also accomplish this goal in the same way if you weren’t using the VDC method. Head down, lights out, sleep time. There’s just one more step needed to get you across the finish line: don’t forget to take our final UX research quiz! A UX report needs to consider the client’s needs. We’ve highlighted some potentially “codable” phrases in bold. This way, your co-workers are more likely to absorb and address your findings. You can simply write your codes next to the relevant text, and remember: they don’t need to be highly sophisticated! The vast majority of the time I’m a very good sleeper. Ready to further develop your UX design skills? Here is an interview with CareerFoundry alumnus Jeff Buchanan, UX research as a specialist role: The rise of the UX researcher, What does a UX researcher do? These are your themes, and they should start to give you an idea of what information was most prevalent or useful across your user interviews. They help to show the kind of mental model that someone applies, and the decision making process that he or she goes through. I have the honor of accompanying you on the final stretch of this UX Research for Beginners Course. Be prepared to go back and forth between your original interview transcripts, your codes, and the emerging themes. The transcription process can be extremely time consuming, but it will help you get familiar with your data, so stick with it! No matter what research methods you use, the next step is to turn your raw data into valuable insights. For examples of design principles, you can’t beat the awesome Design Principles FTW site (FTW is apparently short for ‘For the win’ – a new one to me). I think the point about screenshots and other visual/audio examples are very true. I’m lucky in that respect. Why did you conduct user research in the first place? Repeat the process with new clusters and themes until you feel like you’ve exhausted all avenues. I’ve used user journey maps before on lots of projects and I simply love them, love them, love them. Personas (see example below) are basically individual profiles for users. Rail Europe Experience map by Adaptive Path For example, when I worked within the UX team at TUI, Europe’s largest package holiday company I carried out some UX research to investigate how retail staff assist customers to find and book their holidays. User research is only truly valuable if everyone can learn from it, after all! I’ve never had to resort to the sort of sleep tactics that insomniacs might have to employ. Design principles, Personas, Scenarios, User journeys, UX research, UX tools. During this phase of analysis, you’ll comb through all your research looking for relevant themes, patterns, and stories. Sometimes, first time visitors may have different thoughts, such as, ‘Where am I supposed to go to find X?’ ‘How do I do Y?’ ‘I don’t get what this webpage is about,’ and so on. In fact, it influences not only separate products, but whole businesses based on their relationships with clients. You can use the approach I’ve described in this column to present your UX research findings in a way that delivers meaning with the VDC method. I have also put together a step by step guide to scenario mapping. and often ends up being rather lengthy in nature, meaning that the most valuable insights are not always immediately apparent! To be effective, UX research reports must meet the needs of both executives and product teams alike. With your research data organized into some kind of logical system, you’re almost ready to jump into the analysis itself. Next, you’ll find similar notes and stick them around the first, creating a cluster of Post-its that all share a particular theme. No one ever reads them, if they do they will have forgotten most of it within 5 minutes and usually they just gather dust on a shelf somewhere. They graphically show a user’s story, using sketches, illustrations or photos to help to bring that story to life. They can also provide context  and can be great characters for telling stories that came out of the UX research (more about this later). Make sure you include details about your data analysis and interpretation, as well as statistical significance tests 4. Did you want to develop empathy for your target users, or did you want to find out if an existing product is meeting your users’ needs? Imagine you’re designing a dating app. It has to be said that whilst both scenarios and scenario maps are not as engaging as storyboards (after all, it’s always easier to watch the movie than read the book) they do take less work to create. They have been used for well over 25 years, the term first being used by Peter Checkland as part of his Soft Systems methodology (a kind of precursor to service design). Learn how to measure the impact of your words with qualitative and quantitative research. At the same time, think about how you’ll organize your files. Businesses are so close to their own websites that the online experience can seem clear and straightforward – even when it isn’t. It’s a step that many skim over, but it can be crucial in making presentations that drive stakeholder action. Her research findings and recommendations are informed by her background in information theory and design, as well as her development experience. Remember that people generally have terrible memories. Quantitative UX research also tends to involve attitudinal measures, gauged by questionnaire ratings of satisfaction with the experience and various aspects related to it. In other words, how can you use the data you’ve gathered to inform the design process? They show the end-to-end journey that a user takes in the pursuit of a particular goal. Improve your UX skills today! Find out more, ABOUT | ARTICLES | PRESENTATIONS | RESOURCES | CONTACT, 10 ways to improve your UX presentations article, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, Adaptive Path’s excellent guide to experience mapping, rich picture guidelines from Peter Checkland, storyboards for movies were first used in the 1890s, TUI, Europe’s largest package holiday company, Gov.UK – Government Digital Service Design Principles, Luke Wroblewski’s guide to Developing Design Principles, Stanford d.school design principles method guide, Rail Europe Experience map by Adaptive Path, Digital Learning Environment rich picture by Dan Zen, Mastering Agile UX – Part 2: Cross-team collaboration, Mastering Agile UX – Part 1: Managing your work, Why filter bars are better than left-hand filters, 10 tips for a better login page and process, Dealing with design debt (UCD Gathering 2020), Agile, design systems and the great railway gauge war. I used quite a few of the tools listed in this article to help communicate the insights from this research, including personas, storyboards and user journey maps. It doesn’t tell us why, or provide us with a meaningful solution. Follow these five tips, and you will reap the rewards of your UX research efforts! How to make your UX Research findings resonate with stakeholders. Having shared your insights with the team, you’ll then turn them into something actionable. Its usually a powerpoint deck in my work as a user experience research associate at a UX consultancy. In a previous article (Getting the most out of personas) I described personas as the best thing since sliced bread – a bold claim indeed, but one that I still stand by. That’s what you call making smart design decisions! I really like this term because it reminds everyone that what they’re seeing is the reality of what actually happens today, rather than what could happen (future ‘to be’ maps are referred to as ‘design maps’ in the book). Previous Tutorial Final ... You may choose to simply share your insights via a Google doc, or you might present them in person; as long as all key stakeholders understand what research you conducted, why you did it, and what you learned, it’s up to you how you choose to share your work. You’re now going to comb through all your themes and clusters from step three in order to pull out findings that can potentially be turned into insights. Presenting and distributing UX research in a way that actually reaches the relevant teams and decision makers can be quite the challenge.

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