Tutorial: Research Methods Roulette: Which One is best for your project?
Sample submission from Susan Mercer & Dan Berlin
Panel: There's more than one way to skin a cat: Integrating UX into an Agile environment
Janice James et al.
Tutorial: Research Methods Roulette: Which One is Best for Your Project?
Susan Mercer & Dan Berlin
When conducting UX research, it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of using your favorite research methods for gathering information and feedback. But, are you really gathering the best information that you can? Or are there other methods that are better suited for your needs?
This tutorial will introduce several popular research methods and provide you with practical tips on how to choose which method(s) are best in which situations. You’ll increase the number of research methods in your toolkit, and gain hands-on experience with different aspects of running a research study through individual and group exercises throughout the tutorial.
The first step in selecting a research method is to clarify your research goals. We’ll talk about how to document and refine your study goals and ensure that they are aligned with the overall business goals. We’ll then discuss how to align your needs with time and budget constraints, client needs, as well as triangulation – the combining of different research techniques to hone in on user needs.
We’ll discuss several methods for initial information gathering – ethnography, interviews, surveys, diary studies, collaging, card-sorting, and focus groups, along with their strengths and weaknesses and what situations they are best suited for. We’ll follow that with a discussion of interface evaluation methods – in-person, remote, and unmoderated usability studies, desirability testing, and eye-tracking. Participants will then participate in a structured exercise to help them select the best methods for their particular projects.
The second half of the workshop will focus on the details of managing and conducting the study. We’ll discuss the ethics of working with human subjects, documentation needs, participant recruiting, and client management. Practitioners will appreciate our detailed tips on note taking and data analysis for both qualitative and quantitative data. We’ll also provide tips for reporting and discuss different formats and common deliverables such as personas, journey maps, and Powerpoint & Word reporting formats.
We’ll conclude the tutorial with a discussion of moderation techniques for interviews and usability testing, focusing on gathering objective and unbiased responses, and techniques for continually monitoring and improving skills over time.
Attendees will learn about a diverse set of research methods for both information gathering and usability evaluation, and leave with a framework to evaluate each method to determine whether it will help them address their business goals. As a result, they will be prepared to select which method(s) are appropriate for which projects in their company.
Selected Reviewer Comments