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We’ve done all this research, now what?

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One of the most persistent factors limiting the impact of user research in business is that projects often stop with a catalog of findings and implications rather than generating opportunities that directly enable the findings. We’ve long heard the lament, “Well, we got this report, and it just sat there. We didn’t know what to do with it.”

Ongoing acceptance of (and demand for) user research has increased the ranks of practitioners of all stripes who feel comfortable conducting research. But analysis and synthesis is a more slippery skill set, and we see how easy it is for teams to ignore (more out of frustration than anything malicious) data that doesn’t immediately seem actionable. This session describes a process to take control over synthesis and ideation by breaking it down into a manageable framework.
In this session, you'll:

Learn how to move from data to insights to opportunities.
Get techniques for generating ideas and strategies across a broad scope of business and design concerns.
Explore how to prioritize findings and create new opportunities.

Veröffentlicht in: Design
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We’ve done all this research, now what?

  1. 1. 1 We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? Steve Portigal @steveportigal
  2. 2. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 2 Click to edit Master title style Interviewing Users (and resources) rosenfeldmedia.com/books/interviewing-users/ Interviews with in-house user research leaders portigal.com/podcast/ Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries rosenfeldmedia.com/books/user-research-war-stories/
  3. 3. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 3 Click to edit Master title style Fieldwork Development Synthesis Ideation Why a process?
  4. 4. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 4 Click to edit Master title styleAvoid jumping to conclusions
  5. 5. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 5 Click to edit Master title style Synthesis: From data to insights
  6. 6. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 6 Click to edit Master title style Detailed solutions SolutionsStrategies Insights Opportunities Analysis Synthesis Ideation Synthesis & ideation process
  7. 7. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 7 Click to edit Master title styleAnalysis vs. Synthesis Analysis Break large piece(s) into smaller ones in order to make sense e.g., interviews, transcripts into anecdotes, stories
  8. 8. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 8 Click to edit Master title styleAnalysis vs. Synthesis Synthesis Combining multiple pieces into something new e.g., developing themes, implications, opportunities Analysis Break large piece(s) into smaller ones in order to make sense e.g., interviews, transcripts into anecdotes, stories
  9. 9. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 9 Click to edit Master title styleAnalysis vs. Synthesis Synthesis Combining multiple pieces into something new e.g., developing themes, implications, opportunities Analysis Break large piece(s) into smaller ones in order to make sense e.g., interviews, transcripts into anecdotes, stories The process gradually moves from one to the other
  10. 10. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 10 Click to edit Master title styleAnalthesis???? Synthesis Combining multiple pieces into something new e.g., developing themes, implications, opportunities Analysis Break large piece(s) into smaller ones in order to make sense e.g., interviews, transcripts into anecdotes, stories
  11. 11. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 11 Click to edit Master title style Sense-making through an iterative process of refining gathered data Early, Informal data in your head First, process the experience you had collecting data • Refer to debriefs and conversations • Articulate and identify themes • Outcome: Topline Report Process-based, Formal heavy lifting Then, process the data itself • Individual and group analysis • Pattern-identification, clustering, models, frameworks • Outcome: Opportunities More narratively, what is synthesis? Review, Refine, Rinse, Repeat
  12. 12. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 12 Click to edit Master title style Synthesis naturally begins in the field • Resist meaning (for now) • Focus on observations • Get the detail Create time to talk after each fieldwork experience • Worksheet to facilitate the debrief Write up real-time summaries for the team, ASAP In-field debriefing
  13. 13. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 13 Click to edit Master title style After fieldwork, collate reflections and quickly externalize a starter set of 5 to 10 thematic areas based on •Pre-identified areas of inquiry •Refer to debriefs and conversations from the field •New patterns that we observed Identify interesting areas; acknowledge that you don’t understand details yet, identify questions Outcome: Topline Report All right researchers… what did you see? Early, informal synthesis (data in your head)
  14. 14. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 14 Click to edit Master title style This sheds light on what excites the team and the stakeholders and brings focus to the next stage of synthesis The Topline Report
  15. 15. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 15 Click to edit Master title style Go back through your raw data very closely to move beyond the Topline Report Individually (heads-down) and collaboratively (heads-up) develop clusters, identify patterns, collate and refine findings • Process maps, eco-systems • Frameworks, models • Design implications i.e.: What did other public announcements in the study look like? What are the layers of information and cultural context? What form factors are favored? Why? Process-based, formal synthesis (heavy lifting)
  16. 16. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 16 Click to edit Master title style Heads down! • Video • Photos, field artifacts • Transcripts Transcript analysis • Make marginal notes on patterns, quotes, or what seems interesting • Ask yourself questions; give labels; propose solutions • Don’t worry about implications, be descriptive and reactive Individual analysis
  17. 17. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 17 Click to edit Master title style If you can’t get transcripts, watch video/listen to audio (even sped- up) and in near real-time jot down the rough narrative of the session • When you make an observation in your own voice, do something typographic to call it out (ALL CAPS, highlight, etc.) Individual analysis
  18. 18. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 18 Click to edit Master title style Heads up! Present each interview (etc.) as a case study. Introduce each, and pick out the provocative highlights. Voice and document reactions, a-has, support and questions • Clustering with stickies • White-board notes Develop a new shared point-of- view, beyond “findings” Collaborative analysis
  19. 19. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 19 Click to edit Master title style Easy to scan for patterns and relationships Play with data by rearranging individual elements Lo-fi way to makes data tangible, visible, and sharable Sticky work
  20. 20. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 20 Click to edit Master title style As you are telling stories, quickly get the key points (notes, themes, observations, quotes) up • Code with the source (interview name, etc.) Separate what was observed from what you think it means Write big and try to code visually (e.g. colored dots, colored post-its, symbols) Sticky work
  21. 21. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 21 Click to edit Master title style Group stuff Be opportunistic, using whatever makes sense at first • You may want to re-use your topline headings or you may want to be fresh • Initial groupings may be “All things related to shopping” or “what people are doing” or “what people are feeling” or “pain points” Sticky work
  22. 22. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 22 Click to edit Master title styleSticky work Re-group stuff Now, go back and re-group at a higher level • What it means • What people are trying to accomplish (i.e., needs/motivations/goals)
  23. 23. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 23 Click to edit Master title style Name your groups These themes are the points of view you will carry forward • Individual stickies are supporting evidence you can return to Sticky work
  24. 24. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 24 Click to edit Master title stylePlay with possible models and frameworks The 2 x 2 Relationship to other data Timeline Frequency
  25. 25. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 25 Click to edit Master title style Spreadsheet analysis enables immersive refinement of data Play with data by generating alternate views of the dataset • Rewrite each sticky in a cell (adding commentary, explanation, context, quote) • Processing each entry allows further synthesis and thought More individual analysis Tag each comment with person, segment, market etc. to allow you to manipulate data Categories of columns will vary by project Comment comes from rewritten sticky
  26. 26. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 26 Click to edit Master title style Keep the human touch in communication Allow people to move seamlessly between places Allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems Opportunities are not • A reporting of “interesting findings” • A list of solutions Opportunities are • Change we can envision based on what we heard and observed • About people • In the context of, but reframing the business questions • Generative, inviting many solutions Developing opportunities What should we do?
  27. 27. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 27 Click to edit Master title style Ideation: From insights to solutions
  28. 28. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 28 Click to edit Master title style Detailed solutions SolutionsStrategies Insights Opportunities Analysis Synthesis Ideation Synthesis & ideation process
  29. 29. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 29 Click to edit Master title style A simple step moves you from Opportunities to Ideation Questions, reframing them into actionable language How might we Ideate! keep the human touch in communication allow people to move seamlessly between places allow people to integrate seamlessly across different devices and systems How might we How might we Ideation questions – How Might We
  30. 30. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 30 Click to edit Master title style Solutions exist across many different business areas Functionality Visual design Marketing Architecture Public Services Partnerships Events Software Form factor Packaging Policy Retail design Even if you are unlikely to impact certain business areas, it’s crucial that you set that constraint aside for ideation Scope of solutions How many areas of service, design, operations, and experience can you spot in this picture? "Studying at College Library" (CC BY 2.0) by college.library
  31. 31. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 31 Click to edit Master title style Responses to any ideation question can lead in different strategic directions Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How might we improve the experience of students who smoke? Developing strategies Create a protected environment for smoking Support underlying needs and behavior by embracing the finding Eliminate smoking Question needs and behavior, seek change by challenging the finding
  32. 32. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 32 Click to edit Master title style Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How might we improve the experience of students who smoke? Strategies Solutions Strategies can inspire solutions Create a protected environment for smoking Facilities Build a pavilion Admin Allocate interior room Partners Align with nearby cafe Eliminate smoking Online Smoking cessation games Admin Ban smoking Partners Stop smoking coaches
  33. 33. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 33 Click to edit Master title style Finding: Students have to smoke outside, but they get cold and wet Opportunity: Improve the experience of students who smoke Ideation Question: How might we improve the experience of students who smoke? Solutions can suggest strategies Create a protected environment for smoking Eliminate smoking Admin Allocate interior room Admin Ban smoking Strategies Solutions
  34. 34. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 34 Click to edit Master title styleOther strategies The carrot (a financial reward for behavior we want to encourage) The stick (a financial cost for behavior we want to discourage) Make a new behavior acceptable by concealing it Make a new behavior acceptable by enabling everyone to participate Make a new behavior acceptable by masking it to look like an existing activity
  35. 35. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 35 Click to edit Master title style This is a collective, out-loud activity! Talk, listen, build on each other’s ideas • Don’t worry about a “bad” idea… it may lead to a “good” idea Don’t correct; generate alternatives • “Yes, and…” This is a visual activity! Sketch, draw… • Quantity over quality; go quickly Individual ideas matter less than what the collective produces overall How can a sour lemon help keep things working smoothly? Collaborative generation
  36. 36. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 36 Click to edit Master title styleStuck? Come up with bad ideas • Immoral • Dangerous • Bad for business
  37. 37. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 37 Click to edit Master title styleStuck? Come up with bad ideas • Immoral • Dangerous • Bad for business
  38. 38. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 38 Click to edit Master title styleThe ideation process Time Pace of idea generation Addressing needs with low-hanging fruit
  39. 39. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 39 Click to edit Master title styleDon’t forget your second wind Time Pace of idea generation Addressing needs with low-hanging fruit Innovative Breakthrough Wacky
  40. 40. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 40 Click to edit Master title stylePrioritization
  41. 41. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 41 Click to edit Master title styleBig group voting
  42. 42. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 42 Click to edit Master title styleSmall group ranking…and reconciliation Color indicates voting winner Ranking factors may even include how clear the idea is
  43. 43. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 43 Click to edit Master title style One new thing I learned today is… I’ve got a tip (that you didn’t cover) that works well for me… Yeah, I’ve got a question for ya…
  44. 44. We’ve Done All This Research, Now What? 44 Click to edit Master title style Portigal Consulting www.portigal.com @steveportigal steve@portigal.com +1-415-894-2001 Thank you!

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