Research Method Summary
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Research Method Summary
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The purpose of this sheet is to give you the information you need to be able to determine which research method right for the topic at hand. Of course, this is just to get you started. Feel free to fine tune, exclude, include, revise, adjust and scrap any and all ideas in this sheet. Think if it as a sheet to help you choose a path.
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#MethodProcess DescriptionHow does this help us?Researchers Neededwhat's needed?Notes
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1Card Sort - ClosedParticipants are asked to sort topics from content within a website or interface into pre-defined categories. - identify how well categories/labels work1+- Pre-defined categories
- Pre-defined content
- 3x5 cards
- Notepad/observation sheet
- Moderator
- Participant
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2Card Sort - OpenParticipants are asked to organize topics from content within your website into groups that make sense to them and then name each group they created in a way that they feel accurately describes the content.- better understand the users mental model
- identify terms/labels users would expect
1+- Pre-defined content
- 3x5 cards
- Notepad/observation sheet
- Moderator
- Participant
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3First Click TestingUser is presented with a design and simply asked to complete a task. The first thing they click on is recorded.- evaluate effectiveness of the linking structure of your site including the navigation. Are users able to get around the site and complete the intended task?1+- Pre-defined design
- 1 or more tasks to complete on that design
- Notepad/observation sheet
- Moderator
- Participant
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4Focus GroupsMeeting with users to discuss a design.- attitudes
- beliefs
- desires
- reactions to a design
1+- Pre-defined design, or concept
- Meeting Room
- Agenda
- Recording Equipment
- Notepad/observation sheet
- Moderator
- 10-20 Participants
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5Interview - Contextual InquiryThe contextual inquiry is a specific type of interview for gathering field data from users. It is usally done by one interviewer speaking to one interviewee (person being interviewed) at a time. the aim is to gather as much data as possible from the interviews for later analysis. The interviewee is usually interviewed in their context, when doing their tasks, with as little interference from the interviewer as possible. Data should be gathered during interviews with little or no analysis, interview should result in raw data.- User past experience
- User motives
- User goals
- Additional expected/unexpected design insights
2- Timeframe
- Advertising
- 5+ users
- Observation instructions for observer
- Sheet to contain observed findings
- Findings debrief with design team
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6Interview - Hallway InterviewWarmly approach passers-by and ask if they'd be willing to help make a design for the XXXX team better by answering a few questions. Moderator asks questions while observer records responses.- User past experience
- User motives
- User goals
- Additional expected/unexpected design insights
2- Timeframe
- Advertising
- 20+ participants
- Observation instructions for observer
- Sheet to contain observed findings
- Findings debrief with design team
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7Perception StudyParticipant is shown a design for 5 seconds. They are then given a alist of words. They will be asked to select all the words that would describe what they feel towards the design. If more than 5 up to 10, they are asked to narrow to 5. Next they are asked to explain why they chose those words.- gain statistical info on user perception of a design
- help make visual design decisions
2- Word Cards
- 1+ participants
- observer
- moderator
- observation word checklist
- observation instructions sheet
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8Survey - ColdOnline survey that is shared out to many people with the hopes that they go to our link and fill the survey out. Relies on advertising only.- User past experience
- User motives
- User goals
2- Survey built out using a free survey tools
- Internet enabled device
- timeframe
- 20+ participants
- Findings debrief with design team
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9Survey - Warmone or two people man a booth specifically set up to allow a person to walk up and fill the survey out. Still uses the online survey, but has potential to generate more indepth conversation.- User past experience
- User motives
- User goals
- Additional expected/unexpected design insights
2- Survey built out using a free survey tools
- Internet enabled device
- timeframe
- 20+ participants
- Observation instructions for observer
- Findings debrief with design team
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10Tree TestTree testing is a usability technique for evaluating the findability of topics in a website. It is also known as reverse card sorting or card-based classification. Users are given tasks and are asked to complete them navigating a collection of cards. Each card contains the names of subcategories related to a category, and the user should find the card most relevant to the given task starting from the main card with the top-level categories.- Determine effectiveness of selected information architecture.1+- Results from open and closed card sort.
- 5-8 representative users
- timeframe
- Findings debrief with design team
this is a validation technique.
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11Usability Testing - ModeratedUsability Testing refers to evaluating a interface, product, or service by testing it with representative users. During the typical Usability Study users are interviewed a bit at the start, then asked to do typical appropriate task, and then finally they are asked some follow-up interview questions.- Determine if the interface is usable
- Learn User expectations
2+- low to high resolution mockup
- realistic tasks
- 5-8 representative users
- Checklist
- Plan
- Script
- Computer
- Screen recording tool
- timeframe
- Findings debrief with design team
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12Web Forum ResearchSpreadsheet Statistics gathering method to "poll" web forums for trends in "wants" or "reasons". This is a fun one, but needs a bit of hand's on instruction.Provides us with "trends". Helps answer they question "Why do people come to this sort of website?"1- upfront instruction from Luke
- computer with internet
- Lots of evening hours for a week or so
- patience
- 50+ reference urls
- Findings debrief with design team
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