5 Exercises to Conduct a Successful Discussion on User Research Results
Discussing all the reports and analytics collected through user research can be a very stressful task. Without a proper organizational structure, it will be very hard to go through all this information and come up with useful design solutions.
One such way to have a successful discussion about this topic can be done by conducting a workshop with all the participants of the project. Each researcher can present their ideas through a series of exercises and engaging techniques. You can even include all the stakeholders for the project to actively participate in this workshop to give them a sense of ownership for their project. This last step of the Design Thinking process is the most important!
For this workshop we are talking about today, there will be 5 exercises that can be conducted. You can conduct one or several workshops depending on how much user research that you would do.
These 5 exercises are,
- Download learnings
- Share inspiring stories
- Find themes
- Create insight statements
- How might we?
1. Download Learnings
This is the first exercise that is done to help all team members understand what was done during the research exercise. It is best if you conduct this exercise right after the research exercise is completed. This is because all researchers will have a fresh mind and will remember the procedures that were carried out within their respective research.
In this exercise, you would compare and contrast all the notes, recordings, and documents that were gathered during the research exercise. Every team member would talk about what they experienced, faced, learned, and everyone they have contacted within this research. After a thorough discussion, each member can write important information they have collected in sticky notes and place everything on the wall. All these information bits can be used in the design process later on.
2. Share Inspiring Stories
After a report discussion among the team members, sharing inspiring stories would be an interesting exercise. All team members can share their experiences that they faced inspiring other team members with the design process. This exercise might be similar to the previous exercise but instead of talking about all the experiences, you would talk about the most interesting and inspiring. While talking about your experience, other team members can note down interesting points and observations on sticky notes and paste them on the wall. These information bits can be helpful throughout the rest of the design process.
3. Find Themes
This is a pattern-identifying exercise. To find a theme within the information that you have collected, you can go through the sticky notes that you have created from the previous two exercises and discuss with your team members to identify patterns within these information bits. You can move around all these sticky notes to cluster them together. As you discuss with your team members you can come up with several clusters and remove clusters that you might think would not be useful. This is an iterative process and it can be repeated until you are satisfied with the themes you have.
4. Create Insight Statements
After finding a set of clusters that you are satisfied with, you must come up with insightful statements on what the design solution would be for the current problem. Considering the clusters of information that you have, you can make design solutions. This can be the most difficult exercise within this set of exercises. Considering the design project that you have, you can make an insight statement for each cluster you have. After a thorough discussion, you can select 3–5 statements that would be most relevant to your design solution.
5. How Might We?
The final exercise of this workshop is ‘How might we?’. This can be considered as the second phase of the previous exercise. In this exercise, for each insight statement that you have created, you must ask the question ‘how might we?’. You can come up with answers for these insight statements. This exercise is like a brainstorming session. You come up with how to create a specific design for the scenario you have. Here, the scenario is the Insight statement.
For example, if you have an insight statement such as; ‘The search bar is too small for the user to notice’, you can ask a ‘How might we?’ questions like ‘How might we make the search bar more noticeable?’
You can come up with several questions for insight statements and that is totally fine! When you are asking ‘How might we?’ questions, you shouldn’t ask questions that are too narrow or too broad. If you can only come up with one answer for a question, it means that the question that was asked is too narrow. If you have no idea how to answer a question, this means that the question is too broad.
Source: Define and Frame Your Design Challenge by Creating Your Point Of View and Ask “How Might We” by Rikke Friis Dam and Teo Yu Siang
Conducting such workshops is a great way to have an organized discussion on user research results. The percentage of facing an issue within team members is quite low because of the organized structure that you follow to discuss all the results. You can use these exercises to not only discuss user research results but also for other design thinking matters.
Source for this article: User Research — Methods and Best practices (Course by Interaction Design Foundation)
References and some useful resources for you!
You can find more exercises from Design Kit
User Research — Methods and Best practices (Course by Interaction Design Foundation)
Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results by Ditte Hvas Mortensen
Design Thinking by Interaction Design Foundation
3 Workshop Ideas For Sharing Your Research Findings by Tess Rothstein