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Affinity Diagramming2:54 with Hope Armstrong
Learn how to create an _affinity diagram_ to generate ideas and prioritize the next steps in the design process.
- Affinity diagram: A technique for analyzing qualitative user research data where observations are written on notes and sorted into groups.
- Evans, W. (2013). Introduction to Design Studio Method. TLCLabs.
- Klocek, S. (2011). Better together; the practice of successful creative collaboration. Cooper Journal.
- Gothelf, J. (2013). Lean UX. O’Reilly: Sebastopol, CA.
- Lindstrom, J. (2011). Design Studios: The Good, the Bad, and the Science. UX Booth.
- Warfel, T.Z. (2012). The Design Studio Method. Agile UX NYC 2012.
- Office supplies for a design studio
- The KJ Technique: A group process for establishing priorities, by Jared Spool.
- Creating an Affinity Diagram Sophie Brenny and Freek de Bruijn
- Using Affinity Diagrams Arizona Public Health Training Center
The most interesting and popular technique for analyzing qualitative user
research data is called an Affinity Diagram, also known as Affinity Mapping.
It's based on the KJ Technique developed by the Japanese
anthropologist Jiro Kawakita and the 1960s.
The KJ Technique is an idea generating and prioritizing technique.
The gist of this technique is simple.
Right down every single observation, thought, and
question on a post-it note that's real or digital.
Shuffle the cards, sort similar cards into groups, and
identify themes in the data, label each group.
A key aspect of affinity diagramming is keeping an open mind.
Let the themes and categories emerge from the data,
rather than predefining categories and simply sorting each card into its basket.
An Affinity Diagram is powerful when you create it as a team, yet
you can definitely analyze the data singlehandedly.
The resources section in this stage lists several resources for
running an effective affinity diagramming exercise.
In the next step, we'll look at the transcript again and
see what is noteworthy.
Let's walk through an example together.
Download the project files to follow along.
I interviewed five people and here are the notes I took about what they said.
Each color represents a different person.
So I can keep track of who said what after the notes get moved around.
I kept each note short to capture the essence of what was said.
This keeps the notes brief, and
the granularity allows me to categorize them more cleanly.
Now, start moving around the notes and organizing by theme.
There will be some that don't have an obvious place, but don't worry about it.
Place them to the side and revisit them at the end.
You'll notice some themes start to emerge such as goals and challenges.
You may even notice some sub-themes.
Here's what my Affinity Diagram ended up looking like.
Keep in mind everyone's organization will be different so
don't fret if yours looks different than mine.
Now, goal was a large category for me.
So I created sub-themes such as fitness, mental health, and socialize.
This makes it easier for me to scan the diagram to understand the highlights.
Now back to the clothing store research.
Practice organizing information from the user interview in the form of
a Affinity Diagram.
When you're ready, stay tuned for
the next video where I'll wrap up what we have learned from this exercise.
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