Quick and Dirty User Research Techniques 4.07 http://spkr8.com/t/4161


There are those that believe that user research must be a complex and scientific process that takes lots of time, money, and resources. However, in the real world, most designers and engineers don't have the luxury to spend weeks and months on their user research. That's where guerrilla research techniques come into play.

It's possible to get useful results without the time-consuming expense of traditional user research methods. In this presentation, Perfetti Media's Christine Perfetti will share quick and dirty techniques for collecting user research data. You'll learn how to answer essential design questions using methods that take only a day - and sometimes only 10 minutes! Christine will discuss user research techniques, including:

  • 5-Second Tests: A popular low-tech method to collect quick feedback on whether a screen or page's purpose is clear to the user
  • Task Cataloging Questionnaire: A quick survey to learn more about the most important and frequent activities users perform with your product
  • Comprehension Tests: A simple user research method to assess whether users understand your content
  • Catalog-based Tests: Perfect for organizations migrating offline content to the web. A catalog-based test will help determine if key messages were lost during the translation
  • The First Click Method: A usability test to help identify how well your design helps navigate users to the information they are looking for
  • Trade Show Tests: An easy method for gathering feedback from dozens of users in a very short time
  • Remote Research: If you can't conduct your user research in person, you'll learn what options you have for remote studies

In this presentation, Christine will share Perfetti Media's experience with these techniques and discuss how you can perform them yourself.

Comments on this Talk

Image002 Grace Solivan, 27 Aug 02:57 PM

Enjoyed the clarity on what expectations and methods for quick testing using random users,(5-second tests and First Click method) but felt that "Quick and Dirty" was still more on a corporate budget/mindset.

Bottom line seemed clear, it takes investment in user subjects before most of the provided methods can be put in action. Small businesses and clients would still fall into the excuses that are accurate- its too expensive and time consuming to do a catalog-based test, comprehension or task cataloging.

Took away some helpful information, and methods from this well given talk, but had rather hoped for solutions that were a bit more 'quick' from prep to completion. The techniques themselves take little time, but to get to the point at which they can be utilized is after time and $ investment as well as whole-team involvement.

'perform them yourself' is a bit of a misnomer.. considering it seemed to be preferred to involve the whole team - of the given business or endeavor.

(grain of salt** - i'm coming from a viewpoint of a small business with tiny-to-nonexistent purse and all team members are remote but content & goal completion are crucial.)

Avatar-missing-icon-01 Alex Michael, 05 Oct 08:16 AM

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Avatar-missing-icon-10 herry, 26 Mar 09:22 AM

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8 Ratings: 4.07

Delivery: 4.26

Content: 3.88

Last Five Ratings

Time & Location

August 26, 2010 — 07:00 PM
Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA (Map It)

Part of a Series

Refresh Boston (38 talks)