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I'm Sorry. I Can't. Don't Hate Me. The Post-it Breakup

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This talk was presented in 2017 at the IA Summit (#ias17) in Vancouver, BC and at the Big Design Conference (#BigD17) in Addison, TX. A video recording of the talk can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/ias17kyle The audio is a bit poor between 6-12 mins, but it clears up afterward. Enjoy!

Abstract:
I know, I know. UX researchers are supposed to be in love with their post-it notes and affinity diagrams. Forgive me, but when it comes to note-taking and distilling findings from user research and usability testing, I think we might have gone a bit overboard. Affinity diagramming is one of the most popular methods for organizing ideas and qualitative data, but if misused, it can easily become a fatiguing exercise, which looses its merit. In this session you will learn some of the pitfalls to avoid when using affinity diagramming for user research and explore some alternative methods that have proven to be successful for collaborative analysis.

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  • Hey guys! Who wants to chat with me? More photos with me here 👉 http://www.bit.ly/katekoxx
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  • I love the bold approach to the topic and the statement you are making. That being said, there's something about engaging with folks in person, at a workshop, armed with sharpies and post-it notes, that cannot be replaced by screen-based tools. The post-it note approach is quite useful in situations where you want to have a real conversation with a group of people in a real, physical environment, to capture and cluster their ideas...also it allows everyone to participate. I realize that virtual tools like mural.ly and trello also provide those capabilities....but they force the participant to be in front of a screen and not congregating in a common, physical space to solve problems together. Great presentation, though!!
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I'm Sorry. I Can't. Don't Hate Me. The Post-it Breakup

  1. 1. @KyleSoucy | UsableInterface.com | #ias17 I’m Sorry. I Can’t. Don’t Hate Me. the post-it breakup
  2. 2. “There is a good way to break up with someone, and it doesn’t involve a post-it!” - Carrie Bradshaw observe Kyle Soucy
  3. 3. I don’t have an issue with the method. I have an issue with when it’s used. _____
  4. 4. Affinity Diagraming 1. Put ideas/observations on post-its 2. Put post-its on the wall 3. Group similar items 4. Name each group 5. Vote on most important groups
  5. 5. UX RESEARCH
  6. 6. incomplete data
  7. 7. Rashomon effect: Contradictory interpretations of the same event by different people.
  8. 8. observer debrief Goals 1.Share observations 2.Understand themes 3.Prioritize issues
  9. 9. We all agree this doesn’t work...
  10. 10. So... can you believe that last person couldn’t find the ‘submit’ link. Informal Discussion
  11. 11. understanding the problem
  12. 12. Image source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpgImage source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpg
  13. 13. “You should average about one observation per minute...” - David Travis Source: http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/datalogging.html 60
  14. 14. Let’s assume half as many for this scenario...
  15. 15. x 6 (observers) (per interview) x 7(interviews) = 1,260 (Total notes!) = 180 notes30
  16. 16. Which can look like...
  17. 17. Source: http://www.dia2.org/images/2_data%20analysis_large.JPG
  18. 18. Source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UynxDyr0lAo/maxresdefault.jpg
  19. 19. drawbacks
  20. 20. Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BMGV8zECMAI23AC.jpg It’s an overwhelming task
  21. 21. Source: http://www.vibe-ing.com/affinity-diagram-merged-from-different-sources-and-conceptual-design/ talking is not allowed
  22. 22. SILENCE! I Kill YOU!SILENCE! I Kill YOU!
  23. 23. Source: http://www.vibe-ing.com/affinity-diagram-merged-from-different-sources-and-conceptual-design/ fatigue
  24. 24. Have you seen me? missing data...
  25. 25. illegible notes
  26. 26. Source: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50c01780e4b0d4272576e000/t/570c838ff8baf32904ee3368/1460437908289/ Miscategorized notes
  27. 27. wrongly discarded notes
  28. 28. vague notes
  29. 29. Lost notes
  30. 30. Transcribing
  31. 31. Source: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clifschaller.com%2Fassets%2Fpivit_3.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clifschaller.com %2F&docid=dJACv0T5wTDy5M&tbnid=0rAeMCTTYNaJhM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwifurmHnObSAhXF7YMKHeDoALA4ZBAzCAUoAzAD..i&w=694&h=462&bih=635&biw=1268&q=large%20affinity%20diagram %20mess&ved=0ahUKEwifurmHnObSAhXF7YMKHeDoALA4ZBAzCAUoAzAD&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=462&imgrc=0rAeMCTTYNaJhM:&vet=10ahUKEwifurmHnObSAhXF7YMKHeDoALA4ZBAzCAUoAzAD. .i&w=694 requires A dedicated room
  32. 32. wasteful
  33. 33. Alternative Ways to Take Notes Everyone should use the same tool &/or method.
  34. 34. "Usability testing is like getting a drink from a fire hydrant…" - Carolyn Snyder
  35. 35. Notes Grid Using Excel Image source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpg
  36. 36. Participant name P1 P2 P3User Group P1 P2 P3Date/Time P1 P2 P3 Questions Task 1... Task 2... Task 3... Task 4... Task 5... Task 6..
  37. 37. Why? Because this doesn’t work... Image source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpg
  38. 38. Notes Grid Using Trello
  39. 39. Theme Analysis grid Image source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpg
  40. 40. Or, rainbow spreadsheet Image source: https://benmelbourne.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pop-up-mobile-usability-testing-lab-5.jpgImage source: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/04/11/rainbow-spreadsheet-collaborative-ux-research-tool/
  41. 41. Need help keeping observers engaged?
  42. 42. give assignments
  43. 43. Alternative Ways to debrief Themes can be teased out without a diagram.
  44. 44. when to debrief? After every 3-6 sessions. Don’t wait ‘til the end.
  45. 45. Prepare Consolidate your own notes first!
  46. 46. round-robin or lead + additions Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ commons/0/03/Staff_meeting.jpg
  47. 47. It’s not just about the findings... implications matter
  48. 48. Wish for, how to, what if H2 make these box entry areas clearer; H2 make it obvious they’re exclusive; Wif we only allowed one way to search for repair info?
  49. 49. Observation: The user didn’t realize they were not logged in and couldn’t access documents they wanted. Implications: - “W4 a way the user can access documents without logging in.” - “H2 make the log in link more visible.” - “Wif we didn’t force the user to log in?” Example
  50. 50. Blue sky thinking
  51. 51. Other Tools
  52. 52. Takeaways...
  53. 53. Ditch the post-its! (for note-taking)
  54. 54. Use affinity diagramming when you have a focus question. Not to analyze research notes!
  55. 55. Always question your methods.
  56. 56. www.UsableInterface.com @kylesoucy /usableinterface

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