No method is more effective than simply speaking to your users. The best way to understand what they may do and any expectations they may have, is to put them in the real-life situation and watch how they behave and react.
Interviews for individuals or workshops for groups allow us to collect qualitive information on users’ habits, opinions, frustrations or individual requests. During workshops, the group dynamic encourages creativity and research about new products or services to flourish. We run interview sessions for internal stakeholders, as well as for external clients; this helps us establish general expectations and create a vision document which defines and outlines the company’s UX strategy.
Contextual observation means observing user behaviour directly in their environment- at work, in their sitting room, in a shop- or when on the move – in public transport, in a road. This method allows us to understand the users’ thought process and their activities, whilst taking the cultural dimension into consideration within the context.
An ethnographical study also allows you to collect qualitative information on your users, but over longer periods of time- from a few days to a few months. For the “diary study” method, participants are asked to write down their experience through a diary logbook. Smartphones have made this method easier as they can now include photo, audio and video content.
Personas are archetype users, who have been created based on the research from interviews and/or workshops. Here we can represent the different types of users, products or services that we design.
The user journey describes the path that a customer will follow, based on their relationship or interaction with the services of a business or organisation. We’ll present the user experience visually through an experience map, where we’ll map out all touchpoints and pain points for the user. This representation method allows all of the user’s activities to be presented in one image on all of the brand channels.
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Before designing a product, it’s vital that you outline the UX strategy: evaluating the existing situation, defining the overall vision, establishing objectives and planning actions to accomplish.
During the design phase, we focus on data from the user research to suggest potential designs, involving target users as early and as often as possible.