The Three Phases of Research4:24 with Anya Mezak
User research covers a wide breadth of methods from initial ethnographic interviews to usability research to quantitative research. You can use research to inspire your design, to evaluate it, and to measure its impact. For this course, we’ll be focusing on the second of these phases - evaluating your design.
- Generative Research Phase -- Researching user needs. The intention of this first phase is to inspire and to uncover the needs of your users well in advance of starting your design work. It is about defining the problem.
- Tactical Research Phase -- Evaluate your design or prototype.
- Evaluative Research Phase -- Evaluate your final product in a real context.
Test early to...
- Make sure you are addressing a real user need
- Confirm your design is usable
- Save total development time
- Minimize the cost of product support
[MUSIC] 0:00 Hi, everyone, I'm Anya. 0:01 I started as a UX researcher and designer before joining Google and 0:03 being a UX manager there until very recently. 0:10 I'm now excited to share with you what I've learned. 0:14 Specifically, I wanna talk to you about an essential a part of the Helix process, 0:20 evaluating your design. 0:25 Together, we'll see how AB testing and surveys help us determine whether or 0:27 not our designs are effective. 0:32 And we'll take a critical look at usability testing so 0:34 that you can learn how to prepare, run and report on your own usability study. 0:38 User research falls into three phases that span your project timeline, 0:44 generative, tactical, and evaluative. 0:49 The generative phase is about researching user needs. 0:52 The intention of this first phase is to inspire and 0:56 to uncover the needs of the users well in advance of starting your design work. 1:00 For example, if you're working for a medical device company, you may observe 1:05 surgeons to understand how they work and what unresolved needs you can address. 1:10 At this phase, you don't even need to have a product idea. 1:15 The tactical phase is about evaluating what you've created so far. 1:19 For example, if in your previous research, 1:24 you discovered that the surgeons need help staying awake during long procedures. 1:27 The tactical phase should include a prototype of how you plan to keep your 1:32 surgeons awake. 1:36 You may even set up a mock surgery environment, 1:36 where the surgeons experiment with your idea and give you feedback. 1:39 The third and final phase of testing is evaluative. 1:44 This is the chance to see how your product is doing in the real world. 1:49 Let's say that your device has been approved for use in actual surgery. 1:53 Your job is still not done. 1:57 Now's your chance to collect data on whether your product is improving 1:59 the surgery success rate and the surgeons' well-being. 2:03 You may tweak the device along the way to make incremental improvements. 2:06 For this course, we'll focus on tactical research, but 2:11 we'll also touch on using evaluative methods after your product has launched. 2:14 After looking at all of those opportunities for research, 2:19 you might wonder, when do I actually design and build a product? 2:23 Isn't it better to put my ideas out there and fail fast? 2:27 How will I convince my team to wait for me to do this research? 2:31 Well, imagine developing your products for months, or maybe even years. 2:35 Then you find a critical design flaw after launching. 2:39 Maybe the surgeons didn't want to wear any additional devices. 2:44 All they really needed were more frequent cups of coffee. 2:48 Now what? 2:52 Alternatively, you could have tested early and discovered the critical design 2:53 flaw before any of your hardware was built, or code was written. 2:58 So quick recap. 3:02 Test early so that you can make sure you are addressing a real user need. 3:04 Designing something only you are excited about is not enough. 3:11 Confirm your design is usable. 3:17 Are you making it easy for people to Save total development time. 3:20 Discovering issues early means you won't need to build the thing twice. 3:25 Minimize the cost of product support. 3:30 A usable product simply doesn't require as much customer support. 3:33 Remember, people expect great design. 3:39 Imagine downloading a new calendar app. 3:42 You install it, add your dinner plans for Friday night, 3:45 save it, and realize you forgot to add the restaurant. 3:49 You look for the Edit button, but you don't see it right away. 3:54 How long will you search before abandoning this app for something else? 3:58 What's going to convince you to try this app again later? 4:01 If only someone tested their design before launching, 4:06 you might still be their customer. 4:10 So if you want to practice user-centered design, 4:13 always keep the user at the center. 4:17 And that means making sure to test your ideas early. 4:19
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