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From User Research into Insights

By Jessica Greco

Introduction

Jessica Greco — Product Design and Research Lead

1 Bridge Designing with Intention

"We're designers, we can probably solve any problem. But we can't solve every problem."To improve as a designer, and to help your product and team succeed, striving for something pixel-perfect is just part of the battle. It's important to be as intentional about all your choices as you are about your design, says Facebook design team lead Julie Zhuo, from

2 Good design starts with empathy

By Kim Chatterjee When I was growing up, two of my favourite TV characters were a half-human, half-Betazoid empath, and a temporally displaced scientist who hopped through time, living in other people's lives. Points if you recognised them-Star Trek's Deanna Troi and Quantum Leap's Dr. Sam Beckett. What I loved about them was their ability to experience what other people

3 Watching Them Struggle

You've probably watched somebody who is not technically savvy trying to operate an interface new to them, likely with little success. Maybe that interface was yours. You've spent countless hours cutting that thing down to the basics, refining the copy and making everything crystal clear, and yet, you watch with bewilderment as the user before you struggles and stumbles across

4 You are not your user

Socrates said, "Know thyself." I say, "Know thy users." And guess what? They don't think like you do. You know your product inside and out. You knew it when it was just a few sketches on a napkin. You have been using it in every form and iteration it has been through in its entire life-cycle. Your actions, decisions and

5 What design thinking can do for your business

As an online business owner, what do you talk about with your designers? I bet most of the time it's about user flows, background colors, responsive navigation and the likes. Unfortunately, it means you're missing out on the opportunity to tap into design thinking techniques that prove to be exceptionally successful when applied to business and entrepreneurship. Design thinking is

7 A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research

Imagine that this is what you know about me: I am a college-educated male between the ages of 35 and 45. I own a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 5, on which I browse the Internet via the Google Chrome browser. I tweet and blog publicly, where you can discover that I like chocolate and corgis. I'm married. I drive

8 Hierarchy of UX Needs

What we want in life depends on what situation we are in. Someone living in a war zone without a roof above their head will probably feel no need for a yoga class, beautiful clothes or classical concert. According to psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow all behavior is motivated by a need, and those needs have a strict order and hierarchy,

10 7 Things Your Company Gets Wrong About User Research

Data abounds in the world of interaction design. If an analyst wants to know which part of an app is drawing the most attention, or what color is most likely to make someone click a button, there are plenty of tools to help run experiments, multivariate tests, or make minor modifications. But designers who want to truly understand why someone

11 Designer’s Toolkit: A Primer On Capturing Research

You've been preparing for your research-recruiting, screening participants, devising schedules, testing discussion guides-and now you are deciding the best way to capture your research. But how? If you're busy scribbling down notes, you might miss a sound byte. If you film the interview, you might unknowingly influence the conversation. These are all serious considerations. Properly capturing and documenting each research

12 A Collaborative Lean UX Research Tool

Liverpool FC fans sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" to their players during matches. UX research is best done when a team is involved. When you run UX research on your own without active observers, you are missing its point. This article describes and gives you a tool I created called the Rainbow Spreadsheet. With it, you will be able to

13 What You Will Find On a Design Researcher's Bookshelf

Sometime around 1996 I found myself standing in the upstairs library of a drafty, suburban Chicago Victorian owned by a mentor, marveling at what seemed to be a neurotic collection of books. He had volumes on cooking, social science, biology, business, systems engineering, anthropology, architecture, comics, painting, science fiction, classic literature, graphic design, and a batch of academic papers, among

14 UX Without Users Is Not UX

A website’s (or product’s) success depends on how users perceive it. Users assess the usefulness and ease of use of websites as they interact with the

15 The GV research sprint: a 4-day process for answering important startup questions

The founders and designers we work with in the Google Ventures portfolio have a lot of important questions. Is there a market for my product? Will my product help people solve their problems? What should I build? The answers to these questions just raise more questions: Do people understand my product? Will people find my product useful? Can people use

16 User research, quick and dirty

This is an intensive hands-on workshop that teaches everything you need to know to start conducting your own basic usability studies and user interviews. Google Ventures partner Michael Margolis leads this workshop and answers questions you may have about how to get started doing user research at your company.

17 Interviewing Humans · An A List Apart Article

Issue № 382by Published in Erika HallUser Research · The goal of interviewing users is to learn about everything that might influence how the users might use what you're creating. Good interviewing is a skill you develop with practice. The great myth is that you need to be a good talker. Conducting a good interview is actually about shutting up.

18 The GV research sprint: Start recruiting participants (day 1)

At Google Ventures, we have a four-day process for answering questions and testing assumptions without the time or expense of launching. We call it a GV research sprint. This is the second in a series of five articles on running your own research sprint. (You can also watch a 90-minute video about research sprints.) Research sprint checklist: Create a recruiting

19 The GV research sprint: Schedule participants and draft interview guide (day 2)

At Google Ventures, we have a four-day process for answering questions and testing assumptions without the time or expense of launching. We call it a GV research sprint. This is the third in a series of five articles on running your own research sprint. (You can also watch a 90-minute video about research sprints.) Research sprint checklist: Create a recruiting

20 The GV research sprint: Finalize schedule and complete interview guide (day 3)

At Google Ventures, we have a four-day process for answering questions and testing assumptions without the time or expense of launching. We call it a GV research sprint. This is the fourth in a series of five articles on running your own research sprint. (You can also watch a 90-minute video about research sprints.) Research sprint checklist: Create a recruiting

21 The GV research sprint: Interview participants and summarize findings (day 4)

At Google Ventures, we have a four-day process for answering questions and testing assumptions without the time or expense of launching. We call it a GV research sprint. This is the final in a series of five articles on running your own research sprint. (You can also watch a 90-minute video about research sprints.) Research sprint checklist: Create a recruiting

22 8 shortcuts for better, faster design research

I've been doing design and UX research for almost 24 years. In that time, I've learned a lot, and I hope I've gotten better at it over the years. One thing is certain: I'm more productive now than when I first started. I'm not any smarter (just ask my co-workers). I'm not working more hours. So what's my secret? Shortcuts.

23 Defragmenting User Research · An A List Apart Article

Issue № 381by Published in Lou RosenfeldInformation Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability, User Research · A WTF moment in Silicon ValleyLike everyone else who 1) has performed user research, and 2) is over age 40, I spent the requisite decade or two wandering a wilderness inhabited by misguided folks who assumed that, at best, users' behaviors and opinions were but minor

24 The Right Way to Do Lean Research « Boxes and Arrows

StartXEach panelist had made their mark on how design is done in start-ups: Laura wrote the influential O'Reilly book on UX for Lean Startups, and Todd penned the bestselling Rosenfeld Media Prototyping book. Christina has been cross-teaching design to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship to designers at institutions such as California College for the Arts, General Assembly, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design,

26 3 Keys to Aligning UX with Business Strategy

By Paul Bryan "The term user experience ... has come to refer to the design of a full range of digital touchpoints that mediate the relationship between an individual user and the products or services a company or organization develops." User experience design evolved out of a discipline that was previously known as user interface design. Before user experience entered

27 Diary studies for multi-device user research

As our personal collections of web-enabled devices grow, so too do the contexts in which we might use them. A single mobile device can be used across a seemingly infinite range of conditions and environments, but add a second, third or fourth device and the number of ways in which they might be used and used together expands exponentially. Understanding

28 Why I Love User Stories

Why I Love User StoriesI love user stories. Why? They're a great way to communicate requirements. Combined with epics, user stories tell a product narrative so everyone understand the essence of what they are building, yet don't restrict creativity. User stories are an outgrowth of agile methodologies, and are used to state requirements without writing endless pages of documentation. Groups

30 Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience Designer — Medium

Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience DesignerA simple experience that opened my eyes to new possibilities took the form of a 170px smiley face. After a stressful day, I attempted to clear my inbox as a last-ditch effort to ease my mind. I had just downloaded the Gmail app and decided to use it instead of the standard Apple Mail

31 Overview of user centred design

User Centred Design (UCD) is an approach that supports the entire development process with user-centred activities, in order to create applications which are easy to use and are of added value to the intended users. Industry surveys have clearly shown that the majority of failed projects can be attributed to incomplete or inaccurate requirements. The biggest cost benefit that UCD

32 Facebook Design Director: The 5 Most Common Design Mistakes

There's no learning without mistakes. And I've done the following (as well as seen the following done) too many times to count. Luckily, there's this thing called the "Internet" and this medium called an "article" that lets us point at and talk about mistakes behind their backs, in the hopes that by bullying them into the spotlight, they'll have a

35 Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

Do teachers really know what students go through? To find out, one teacher followed two students for two days and was amazed at what she found. Her report is in following post, which appeared on the blog of Grant Wiggins, the co-author of " Understanding by Design" and the author of " Educative Assessment" and numerous articles on education. A

36 Getting Design in Your Bones — Medium

Getting Design in Your BonesCompressing and embodying experience"Intuition is compressed experience" - Lawrence PrusakNo doubt Prusak had a good insight,but I'll offer the corollary that intuition can be embodied experience. How does a surgeon know the best way to stop bleeding as soon as she sees it? Why does some design make us physically recoil? In my nearly toppling pile

37 Validate or Die: Using Validation to Build the Right Product

As product managers and entrepreneurs, we know the importance of validating an idea beforecommitting to getting it built. However, validation is easier said than done. In fact, it's possibly one of the hardest things you will ever do in your product life cycle, otherwise products and startups wouldn't have the abysmal 90%+ failure rate they've become famous for. In this

38 You Are Solving The Wrong Problem

There is some problem you are trying to solve. In your life, at work, in a design. You are probably solving the wrong problem. Paul MacCready, considered to be one of the best mechanical engineers of the 20th century, said it best: "The problem is we don't understand the problem." Story time. It's 1959, a time of change. Disney releases

39 The Ninja Skill for UX Designers — Medium

We've seen one big trend in how startups interview UX designers: companies want to know how designers think through a problem. There are multiple ways to do this of course. You can ensure your UX portfolio demonstrates your work, and more importantly your process. You can develop a slide deck walkthrough of specific design projects. But the technique that works

40 Stories, Observations, and Insights

By Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong "We need to pay more attention to why we are conducting specific research and design activities. We need to ask how our learnings can impact people and the business for which we're working, in positive, holistic ways." Have you ever been on a project where you conducted user interviews and got some answers, but

41 The Dead Simple Way Google Ventures Unlocks Great Ideas

When the partners of Google Ventures work with a startup, helping to remake a product over the course of a week-long design sprint, they simply don't have time to mull over ideas or debate which design is best. So how does the team reach consensus? It comes down to an endless supply of dots. Sticky dots. Google Ventures is the

42 WdeB | What Makes a Design Feel Intuitive?

When I switched careers from psychology to design I never realized that these two fields are very much intertwined. A big part of what designers do is understand human behavior and come up with solutions to change that behavior. Not everyone is a designer, but everyone has an opinion about design, especially if something feels intuitive. The problem is that

43 Solutions are easy if you know the problem

"Good design is problem solving." - Jeffrey Veen You could say that actually solving the problem is good design in practice. This rarely boils down to choosing whether or not to apply that "1px inner glow" or rearranging a few blocks of content. Quite often, it means eliminating one's own assumptions and applying problem-solving techniques in order to truly identify

44 Great Digital Products Don’t Happen By Accident. — Medium

We have this saying at Teehan+Lax that "Great Digital Products Don't Happen By Accident." Now, when we say "great" digital products, we have in mind a few markers: They get used, they're loved, we're proud of them, and we learn from making them. Values, Process, ResourcesA couple of years ago, the other partners and I got into a room and

45 A Pattern for User-Centric Organizational Change :: UXmatters

By Kimberly Dunwoody "During internal UX design presentations, many UX designers find themselves faced with well-meaning stakeholders who believe that their needs are highly representative of the needs of users, or customers." During internal UX design presentations, many UX designers find themselves faced with well-meaning stakeholders who believe that their needs are highly representative of the needs of users, or

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