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Just add water: Tips and tricks to help non-designers conduct impactful research

Cf9808b306096a913709da756edeb665?s=47 UXAustralia
March 14, 2019

Just add water: Tips and tricks to help non-designers conduct impactful research



March 14, 2019


  1. Nova Franklin Principal, Meld Studios @menovaf Helping non-designers conduct impactful

    research DESIGN RESEARCH 2019 MARCH 2019
  2. Hello! So nice to be here.

  3. 3 I work at Meld Studios Research happens all through

    the process we follow.
  4. 4 Here’s what
 I tried and learned… Government power saving

    incentives HR teams Digital transformation Last year I did a LOT of work 
 with teams of non-designers

  5. 5 This is not about 
 creating expert designers 

    or even people who can scope future research and do it on their own. 
 It’s about supporting people to solve manageable problems they own.
  6. 6 • Show and tell • Reflections • Questions from

    you Agenda

  8. 8 Understand what newbies bring The Meld Skills Matrix helps

    people: • Know what they don’t know • Identify growth areas • Try the next thing • Know when to seek help. Most people are good self- assessors. 
 http://www.meldstudios.com.au/ 2016/08/09/how-our-skills-matrix- supports-candid-conversations-with- staff/ ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  9. 9 Generic discussion guides Generic guides help newbies structure interview

    sessions. Contain scripts for: • Introducing sessions • Getting to know interviewees • Wrapping up. It’s important to emphasise step two for newbies. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS 1. 
 Intro 2. 
 Getting to 
 know you 3.
 the problem 4.
 Wrap up
  10. 10 Break the interview down into a journey Using blank

    journey maps to structure conversations, 
 vs lots of questions reduces the cognitive load. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  11. 11 Add flavour with WTF cards Get more juice by

    asking people to select three cards that describe the experiences they’ve shared. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS ‘What’s the Feeling’ cards.
  12. 12 Teach people to listen Budding interviewers choose two things

    from the list to keep interviewees talking. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS Tips to encourage participants to do most of the talking • Start with polite, general conversation to put them at ease. • Nod and smile as they speak. • Say “That’s helpful”. • Stay silent after they finish speaking to allow them to gather their thoughts and keep going. • Write down questions that arise as people speak, and asking these only once the person has exhausted themselves and has nothing left to say. • Use prompts like “Tell me more.” and “Can you give me an example?, and “What do you mean by…?”. • Don’t defend or correct. • Resist the temptation to join in with your own stories.
  13. 13 Teach people to take good notes Note taking is

    an art. When you do it “right” you get just as tired as the interviewer. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS Tips for being a great note taker • Write down everything you see and observe - not your interpretations or what seems important to you at the time. • Consider using post-its to save time later. Put one or two sentences on each note. Write in the person’s voice. Write as neatly as you can. Try to ensure your note will make sense to a stranger on its own. • Transcription services (such as rev.com) are quick and relatively cheap. • Seek permission to take photos, or record audio/video if you’d like to do this. • Use a code or a alias (or a specific colour of post-it note), rather than names, to protect people’s privacy. 

  14. 14 Video conferencing Supporting PwDR by video conferencing can be

    a good option if… • It works. • Sessions are short. • You can design activities for people in different places. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  15. 15 Teaching people sense-making Sense-making is hard to teach ⁃

    Newbies can struggle to articulate the “what”, let alone the “so what”. ⁃ There’s nothing like being in the room to work with them to move post-its around and label clusters. Compare what they find to their initial assumptions. I’ve tried to get people to cluster their notes in RealTime boards but it wasn’t a great success. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS WHAT. The ratio of working age Australians to people aged 65+ is decreasing at an alarming rate SO WHAT. With less people contributing to the tax base, where will the money come from to fund services for older people?
  16. 16 Bring leaders into the tent Plant the seed at

    the start. Support teams before the big day. Minimise your contribution at sessions so the team can shine. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS

  18. 18 Channel Yoda I was scared I wouldn’t have the

    answers, but I (mostly) do. Phew! Be the garnish not the meal. They probably know the answer so ask them. If they don’t say you’ll find out. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  19. 19 Go with the flow Everyone will need something different.

    Listen, throw ideas around and if your scope changes make sure you negotiate a win-win deal. Being a coach and mentor requires you to have lots of moves in your playbook. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  20. 20 Pair up with someone on the inside Ideally this

    is someone who is passionate. Get them to connect you with people and context. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  21. 21 Don’t overwhelm people Do enough interviews to gain some

    insights but keep the number of interviews low - eg 2 each. Schedule interviews across days. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  22. 22 Good enough is good enough You are helping new

    people try new things. It’s not going to be perfect. I think it’s better than no research. Do role plays, and get them to watch you, then watch them. Outputs don’t need to be sexy. If they have to take a shortcut, let them know what great looks like and encourage them to do it next time. Introduce lots of moments for reflection. ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  23. Audience interaction bit 23 HUMAN-CENTRED DESIGN WORKSHOPS

  24. 24 Audience discussion What “ah-ha” moments did you have during

    the talk? What do you want to try when you return to work? What other tips do you have that lead to great outcomes? ENABLING NON-DESIGNERS
  25. 25 Please experiment and iterate with this stuff. Then come

    back and tell me what you learned.
  26. Thank you! Nova Franklin Principal, Meld Studios nova@meldstudios.com.au @menovaf