Observations will be documented throughout the day using a number of methods such as taking notes, photographs, sketches or videos. You should pay attention to what the users say, not how they say it. It might mean looking at how meaning extends beyond the use of products and services to ways that communities imagine them and create culturally distinct forms of meaning. So we can think of observation and note-taking as a team sport, where we all bring various perspectives and “lenses” to the data. If you had the time and money, you might even interview them about how the pencils felt and how they compare to other pencils they had used. Taking research insights and boiling them down to a set of design principles can be incredibly powerful. Taking good notes requires practice. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable (EERE) has custom templates and specific examples to plan, conduct, and report on usability and analysis activities for EERE websites and applications. It often involves a juggling act: staying present with the user and actively listening to what they share with you under the domain of study, yet taking enough useful notes to help with better sensemaking. ... a set of 8 UX research … Rather than viewing this ethnography as beyond the scope of UX research, we should consider it fundamental to asking the right questions and being open to unexpected answers. How can something like “slow” ethnographic research allow a researcher to generate insights quickly enough to be valuable in a fast-moving business context? Compatibility: Browser, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Pros 1. Skim this as reference if you haven’t got the time to see this through to the end. Through a series of group exercises and assignments, you will plan, conduct and analyse research sessions while gaining a better understanding of the UX research … style of visual note-taking that has become popular at tech conferences in the past few years Taking down notes during any research helps separate the wheat from the chaff, otherwise, you’re better off using recording devices to capture everything. Lean design for emotional data at Accela. Instead, the participants were asked to respond from their point of view without regard to how they fit within their circumscribed role as a user. A curated periodical featuring thoughts, opinions, and tools for building a better digital world. While interview and observation are common methods used by ethnographers, they might equally use survey, card exercises, or forms of usability exercises depending on the questions they are asking. variety of investigative methods used to add context and insight to the design process Pear Note records audio and video from your computer, as well as your actions so you can see exactly when you took each note. Get your daily fill of UX design, user research, user experience strategy, interaction design, and design thinking stories. UX Mastery & Co We're a community of learners, practitioners, mentors and design leaders with a common interest in user experience (UX) and human-centred design (HCD). Smile in a friendly way and watch carefully while taking notes. Give our qualitative notetaking tool Reframer a try for free (no credit card required) and see how easy it is to get actionable, useful user insights. Research in UX should start from the perspective of the users themselves. The goal of this review is to provide insights into note-taking based on experimental research and address common questions asked by learners and instructors alike. Operating within the domain of a business means that what counts as meaningful user research is that which moves the needle for the company’s bottom-line. Understanding context in this sense then might mean being attentive to the markers of difference – race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age, to name a few – that impact how people experience the world in radically different ways. If you’re employed and your company has a UX research team, see if they’ll sit down and talk to you. Note Taking and Learning: A Summary of Research Françoise Boch, Stendhal University, and Annie Piolat, University of Provence Introduction The activity of note taking can be considered part of Writing … Is Roam the best note-taking app ever created? that can help you build a high-quality, affordable tool set for your entire workflow, from recruiting to gathering insights to analyzing research. Other researchers are looking at ways to reduce some of the problems associated with digital note-taking, like distraction: One study found that while doing online research, students who used matrix-style notes and were given time limits were much less likely to become distracted by other online material than students without those conditions (Wu, & Xie, 2018). Read the current issue. If you take notes well, your writing process will flow much more smoothly than if you take notes with an erratic and incomplete system. Taking Research Notes for UX. Free.It has everything Evernote can do, but there’s no premium tier. © 2020 Optimal Workshop Ltd. All rights reserved. For example, when I worked within the UX team at TUI, Europe’s largest package holiday company I carried out some UX research … Ask if you can join one of their moderated sessions and take notes. . Put methods into practice using our tools, Explore articles, news and product updates, Discover the key features of Optimal Workshop, Experience how our tools work in practice. Without extensive UX research… Collaborate with others in real time, or store all your data locally. All of them are designed to answer important questions a design team has … Sometimes before the research begins, users will be interviewed on their own or in groups to learn more about them and their needs. In this hands-on course, you will have plenty of opportunities to apply the most commonly used UX research techniques. Research on notetaking indicates that taking notes in class and reviewing those notes (either in class or afterward) have a positive impact on student learning. You can take brief notes yourself but always try to invite an observer who can also act as a note-taker. How do you immerse yourself in data in order to perform better sensemaking? But to really get into your users’ heads, you can’t simply schedule user sessions and interviews every time you’re about to launch a new product or feature. While ethnography alone cannot provide answers to all of the complexities of human life, it does provide a unique approach to understanding the nuances of human behavior, which can help create a more cohesive picture of random events, behaviors and decisions. Observing people should also involve how we work with others in a team—people responsible for development, project management, product management, marketing, analytics and content, to name a few—and the role the other team members can also play in note-taking and sensemaking. — If you liked the user experience data used in this experiment, give CanvasFlip a shot and try the same on your app! Uses like these often lie outside of the purview of user research precisely because of how people are understood to be users – potential or actual. Today we'll take a look at Roam Research, a note-taking app with an incredibly passionate following. Note: Long read ahead. The biggest challenge for running UX research often isn’t doing the research: it’s sharing the insights you gain with the rest of your team. Notes taken on class lectures or discussions may serve as study aids, while notes taken during an interview may provide material for an essay, article, or book. As anyone who has turned on the news lately knows, understanding why humans do what they do can be extremely difficult. Carrie Boyd. Regardless of the type of research you are conducting, if you are going to take notes, the bottom line is: 1. Observational research will help you get over that hurdle. In studying the user research plan and discussion guide, better note preparation involves establishing: Consider writing notes grounded in the user’s context so that your ideas are clearer upon review. If your company doesn’t have a UX research team, talk to your UX design team, market research team, or marketing team. In fact, there is a whole variety of fascinating different note-taking methods that are all designed to make you learn better and smarter. When I reflect on the first interviews I observed almost 25 years ago, I remember spending most of my time trying to transcribe as much as I could. Research in UX should start from the perspective of the users themselves. As easy to use as a word document or bulleted list, and as powerful for finding, collecting, and connecting related ideas as a graph database. Getting to know people takes time. It also looks at how practitioners take notes, how notes are constructed, and how they can be better organized to help with sensemaking, which is all part of communicating results clearly to improve user designs over time. Note-taking is the practice of writing down or otherwise recording key points of information. A quick note before we start: If you are interested in investing in your customer interview skills, please check out this short, practice-based course. As stakeholders learn more about users and UX methods by participating, UX researchers can spend more time generating actionable data and less time explaining. It's an important part of the research process. Create a way to transfer the notes into a physical form—such as sticky notes—that can be used for sorting, and thus help with sensemaking. In most cases, note-taking materials went unnoticed, while observers noticed the test plans and participant demographic sheets immediately. And so agile companies and start-ups conclude that ethnography is an awkward fit for their design approaches because they just don’t have the time to wait. Taking notes is a great way to bring teams together to solve usability problems. Our research can take place in the field or the lab — it all depends on the question we’re trying to answer. You can take brief notes yourself but always try to invite an observer who can also act as a note-taker. ... P.S. Looking at research studies w i th a close lens, observation will always remain the priority of research and is a very important UX practice as well. The research may be conducted as part of a team so that a larger nu… Automate Note-taking on UX Research Interviews with AI. Thus, instead of positioning ethnography as a method next to other common UX methods, like usability tests and interviews, it is better to think of ethnography as an approach to asking questions and as a way of interpreting the answers to these questions. 2. UX Planet. Equipping yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge, and learning to conduct UX research like a professional, while surrounding yourself with peers in the field who you can learn from are essential to becoming a UX researcher … An ethnography approach to UX can provide deeper and broader context into how people make meaning and how meaning shapes how we understand (and use!) Privacy : Curated by Nicholas Tenhue. In addition, a good note-taking … Rather, note-taking materials were placed in a small stack between seats and the test plan and participant demographic sheet were placed at each seat. Notes help you record the non-verbal aspects of an interview that a tape-recorder might not pick up. **Get the lean design for emotional data template here. This subtle shift in approach can lead to dramatically different ways of designing our studies and interpreting results. 3. Observing in the Room with Participants. Notes taken on class lectures or discussions may serve as study aids, while notes taken during an interview may provide material for an essay, article, or book. Andrew J Hunsucker, Phd. They were pre-printed forms with columns for where I was researching, the date, the resource I used, what I was looking for, and a summary of what I found (or didn’t find). Think of this less as research and more as a relationship. However, you’ll need a place to sit and a surface for the laptop. ** … A well time-stamped notes will greatly improve the speed of analysis because we will have a general idea of where we should listen for in audio. Take this typical scenario: you run a UX research study to prepare for a new feature launch. We’ll spend 1–2 days in the lab or the field actually conducting research sessions. A “note anatomy” that could help transfer your findings into key observations and insights comprising: What frustrations or positives have you experienced in using these tools? Write a Concise User Research Plan. When the interviews and observations are done, UX researchers are often left with a mountain of data and only a faint idea of what to do next. Your note-taking system will likely evolve, much like your organizational system does. With the right approach, you can easily source the right participants for your research project. The short of it is: I interviewed as a UX … Together we share and help each other grow the skills needed for a successful career in the user experience profession. The more context we have, the better insights we’ll be able to generate. Please review the note-taking instructions and materials. Back in the old days, before I took a laptop or a smartphone everywhere, I kept a separate research log. Have an unsolvable problem or audacious idea? Totally. This note-taking method recommends students to divide a page into three sections: Notes (Right), Cues (Left) and Summary (Bottom). If we care enough to have empathetic conversations with our customers, we can better and more deeply understand their lives. In order to appreciate why ethnography is valuable within UX, we must first understand the purpose of ethnography more generally. Notes reflect your thoughts on the topic, i.e. To answer these types of questions, we must broaden our horizons to see the context in which our users actually live. Participant recruitment doesn’t have to be difficult. How do you keep a log of the notes over time to inform tactical and strategic product design decisions. Starting from the perspective of the person rather than the business strips the researcher of their assumptions about how experiences have meaning to people. © 1999 – 2020 Viget Labs, LLC. Starting from the context of the user’s perspective will help shape the questions we seek to answer. Read the entire thing if you’re preparing for an interview. Contrary to popular belief, an ethnographic approach is quite compatible with design thinking and is well-suited to agile and lean approaches. What about the unplanned ways people engage with our products? One fan of the app said of Evernote “At the end of the day it is a reliable, versatile capture and retrieve system for lots of different types of info including meeting notes, scanned docs and research.” Empty states So you get the full feature se… I for one, use Google Maps as much for looking up a business’ website quickly to order lunch as getting directions. Note-Taking a Step Further: The To-Do List. For note-taking, we use Google Sheets (template included below). I find it an invaluable tool because it syncs my typed or handwritten notes with an audio recording, making it quick and easy to fill in any gaps in my notes by relistening to what was being said at that time. As the responses illustrate, people had vastly different experiences of the same product which were not at all tied to what we might expect had we started from a use case. A researcher can attempt to get at these deeply seated and interconnected aspects of human experience using a variety of methods, which include interviews and observation but could also include any other range of methods from participation to conducting a survey. If you need to catch up, you can see my initial call for participants here and my breakdown of how I am selecting participants here. UX research allows you to test and validate your hypotheses by understanding how people are using your product. UX … User Research User persona. For more see Deeper Understanding: Stories, Observations, and Insights. When developing insights from your observations, consider the following: Josephine Wong and Michael Davis-Burchat for contributing to this article. It requires the researchers to be competent with listening and understanding the users, deep diving into their needs, frustrations, motivations, behaviours and finally determining the observations. The age-old tradition of note-taking with a few more research based findings made this podcast truly interesting, and for that, Jenn needs to be complimented for preparing and sharing such an important part of learning at all academic levels. Often, when the main driver is to meet research goals or ensure that a person matches the recruitment criteria, we only get to hear from people during brief one- or two-hour blocks of time. Terms : You have to keep eye contact with your users so as to capture their facial expressions as they describe the experience they had when using your product. We’ll compare notes between sessions and at lunch. what you deem important to write down. Starting from the context of the user’s perspective will help shape the questions we seek to answer. Jon Goldsmith. Over time, you become more confident about not sticking to a discussion guide word for word and instead learn how to redirect  and begin sensemaking on the fly. You can add note-taking shortcuts to your discussion guide in advance of your research sessions by creating specific areas for quickly noting task successes or failures, common actions, errors, and … While complex customer research used to be reserved for marketing teams, understanding the user is now a business-wide concern. Businesses can’t always predict how their customers will use their products. Note-taking is the practice of writing down or otherwise recording key points of information. As an anthropologist by training, I’m often asked how my ethnographic approach to research fits within the fast pace of UX and design thinking. As the question implies, shifting towards an ethnographic approach within UX means shifting gears to consider how people create meanings for themselves, in ways that are meaningful to them, rather than in ways that are meaningful for the business. Follow. Observing people is an important part of the UX practice. Note-taking is an essential part of student life but did you know that there are various methods of note-taking? This post makes suggestions for practitioners as part of observing users during UX interviews, particularly in how they interact with designs to prompt conversations with users. UX is a growing field, and the role of the user experience researcher is becoming more and more pivotal. 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