Here are some activities that I use when coaching teams.
Everyone on a team has a speciality and a voice. I coach all participants of the team come together to create of vision of the user.
1. The team comes together and creates a proto-persona based on their assumptions about the user: Facts, Behaviors, Needs & Goals and what they look like, their name and their setting where they are facing their challenges.
2. Based on generative (exploratory) user interviews, the persona is validated along with the user’s top problems.
3. The team will continue to update the persona throughout the entire life cycle of the product with new insights.
After the persona is created, the team will come together to make some assumptions about what the value of the product would be for the persona. The proto-persona and the value statements like those above, are used as the basis for our qualitative user research.
These consist of 3 parts:
1. Moment of Need: When the user is in a situation where they feel a need for your product. What are they struggling with in that moment? Where are they?
2. Using Product: The “magic bullet” moment. With your product the user can overcome their situation!
3. Moment of Delight : The “Ah ha!” moment. Show the happiness that your users will feel once they use your product!
User scenario writing
Working with the entire team, we map out the key activities and also data points in a user’s journey for a particular scenario. We use this as a basis to create different design ideas together.
Ideally there should be a current scenario and a future scenario. The current will show what the user’s pain points are and their struggles. The future scenario will show how your product will ease the pain points.
Show:What was the trigger for them to use your product? What data points does your user see while using your product?
Qualitative User Research
At each step, the initial assumption the team makes need to be checked with actual users. This is where user interviewing comes into play. Speaking with actual users is the fastest way to validate what will work and what won’t.
Depending on the phase of the design there are several different phases of qualitative user research:
1. Generative/Exploratory: Finding out who the user is, what their pain points are and giving the user persona validated data points.
2. Evaluative: Testing our proposed solution to user challenges and making sure that our solution has value to the user by solving their challenges. Usually involves low-fidelity wireframe prototypes.
3. Usability: After the solution has been proven to have value, the team needs to make sure that it is easy to use. Here is where we work out the finer details of our interaction models and visuals with feedback from users.