MobileHCI 2017 Tutorial: How to Get the Spark Back in User Research

Sept. 4, 2017 9:00 - 11:00

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Aula der Wissenschaft, Vienna, Austria

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Signup for this tutorial and expand your research toolkit

This two-hour tutorial will focus on teaching creative methods that can spark new conversation or illuminate different insights. We will focus on three methods: speed-dating, love letters, and couple interviews. These methods are engaging and more casual, which often puts the participant at ease. This helps participants open up, share better stories, and provide more meaningful artifacts.

The tutorial features an in-depth look at each methodology, hands-on activities and reference materials. During hands-on activities, participants will practice applying and conducting each method to a current project or example. Instructors will be available to answer questions, provide guidance and feedback.

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Join 3 industry professionals

Three Googlers will speak with you about user research topics they use in their daily work.

Denise Su

UX Researcher in Mountain View, CA

Megan Torkildson

UX Researcher in Kirkland, WA

Heidi Sales

UX Researcher in Kirkland, WA

Three methods of focus

We will focus on three creative methods during the tutorial: speed-dating, love letters, and couple interviews.

Speed dating

Speed dating is an effective low-fidelity method for exploring product concepts and validating and prioritizing user needs [Davidoff et al.]. As its name implies, the method exposes participants to a large volume of ideas to gather feedback. Through discussion and activities such as questionnaires, the more promising concepts and needs bubble up. Participants are shown drawings that illustrate a perceived need, and individually rank the severity and frequency of the need. Discussion allows for diverse perspectives to emerge and provides context around any tensions.

Love letters

Love letters are a tool that captures not only a user’s favorite features in a mobile app or website but emotional connection to the product being studied [Morgan et al.]. In past research, we asked participants to write a love letter (and a break up letter) to any one of their mobile applications (e.g. Snapchat, Facebook Messenger). Most letters are a few paragraphs long and provide meaningful context into how the app and its critical features fit into people’s lives.

Couple interviews

A couple or dyadic interview is a method where two participants interact to elicit responses from one another [Morgan et al.]. This method is particularly useful when collecting feedback on communication apps (video chat, messaging) as participants share information or memories they may not recall on their own. It can also be useful to hear two friends discuss, endorse, sometimes argue, about features of an app. If testing usability on a product, each participant goes to a separate room to avoid influencing one another. This also mimics a more realistic interaction than if both participants were in the same room.

Timeline Activity

9.00

Introductions, ice breakers, and introduce three creative methods:

  • Speed dating

  • Love letter

  • Couples interviews

9.30

Hands-on activity: Attendees practice speed dating

9.50

Hands-on activity: Attendees practice love letters

10.10

Break

10.20

Hands-on activity: Attendees practice couples interviews

10.40

Wrap-up: Group discussion on best practices

 

 

When and where

9:00 - Sept. 4, 2017
Aula der Wissenschaft, Vienna, Austria

Please visit the MobileHCI 2017 page to register for the conference and tutorials.