A presentation at UX & Product Meetup by
Insights from Anywhere Lauren Isaacson Founder and Research Director at Curio Research
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THIS SUCKS But we’re all in the same boat
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Technology options Choosing the right tool for the job
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Tool Selection Comes Last Define your research first
What are your research objectives?
Who are your target participants and what are their constraints?
What kind of end deliverables will you need?
Choose your tool.
Platforms Simple to complicated
Meeting Software We’re all familiar with these. We use them all the time. Especially now. But they’re not built specifically for research and they require some finesse to make work for our purposes.
Research Software These help manage the participants and the clients/stakeholders and provide features to make the research process easier. There are different types of services depending on your needs:
• • • • •
Usability testing Interviews Focus groups Bulletin board focus groups
• • • •
Digital ethnography/diary studies Eye-tracking Facial coding Dial studies
Chat/text-based focus groups
In-Depth Interviews Meeting software built for research
• 1 participant at a time, or 2 for dyad studies • Can use video or phone • Provides a virtual backroom for stakeholders @curio_research
• Technical support and communication scheduling • Show multimedia stimuli • Program your guide into the interface www.curioresearch.net
Usability Testing Moderated and unmoderated options
• A lot like IDI software, but built to test • •
interfaces and online prototypes. Streamlines the testing process from recruiting to analysis. Can do desktop or mobile, but not at the same time.
• Great for small and self explanatory •
interactions. Easy and fast, but the task requests need to be carefully worded to avoid confusion without a moderator present.
Video Focus Groups Meeting software on steroids
• Can accommodate 5 -6 participants • Provides a virtual backroom for stakeholders • Technical support and communication scheduling @curio_research
• Show multimedia stimuli and provide makeup capabilities without having to switch systems
• Program your guide into the interface www.curioresearch.net
Chat/Text-based Focus Groups For quick, surface level insights
• Can accommodate 8 participants or more • Provides a virtual backroom for stakeholders • Technical support and communication scheduling @curio_research
• Great for when you need fast insights from a number of people. Synchronous.
• Can also use WhatsApp or Signal for free, but think about the analysis component.
Online Asynchronous Focus Groups For insights with breadth and depth
• Can accommodate up to 16 participants over 2 -3 days • Participants can participate at their convenience and
• Technical support and communication scheduling • Show multimedia stimuli and provide makeup capabilities
• Provides a virtual backroom for stakeholders
• Program and schedule your guide into the interface
communicate with each other
without having to switch systems
Digital/Remote Ethnography Let participants show you how they live
• Can accommodate up to 16 participants • Provides a virtual backroom for stakeholders • Technical support and communication scheduling @curio_research
• Participants can upload audio, video, and pictures of their experiences
• Program and schedule your guide into the interface • Flexible study length, but incentivize participation www.curioresearch.net
Eye Tracking What are they looking at?
• Good for in-depth interviews or unmoderated studies • Calibrates the participant’s camera to track their eye
• Be wary of the technical requirements participants need to meet to make the software work on their computers
Facial Coding How do you REALLY feel?
• Flexible participant counts • Great for monitoring reactions to video, audio, or motion stimuli
• Uses the participants’ computer camera to analyze facial expressions
• Can interview participants post analysis to understand reactions
Dial Testing Real time like/dislike rating
• Like facial coding, but more subjective • Participants self-gauge their reactions to audio or visual
• Participants can be interviewed later to understand their reactions
Augmented & Virtual Reality Test products without the products
• Uses the phone screen or VR headset • Participants are able to see and evaluate a product or experience without leaving their homes
• Participants can give feedback on products in early development stages
• Can capture eye tracking information
Practice makes perfect These are tools you’ve never used before. Don’t expect to nail it on your first try.
• Ask the platform provider for a walk through and a dry run.
• Get some friendlies to do a test run with you. • Figure out how this works from your perspective, the
participant’s perspective, and the stakeholder’s point of view to help write the instructions and troubleshoot if necessary.
• For platforms offering automated analysis, ask how to correctly interpret the results.
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For stakeholder buy-in and real-time feedback
Messaging platforms or groups
Built-in options with research software
Making your stakeholders an active element of the research process improves the chances your research will be successful and the resulting insights will be adopted. Give them the ability to point out opportunities for additional probes without interacting with the research participant(s).
Research on Mobile Mirroring software
Usability testing platforms
Good, but complicated.
Your best and easiest option.
The software and the set up
Walks your participant
process varies depending on
through the process of sharing
the phone being used and the
their screen so you just have
computer being mirrored to.
to think about the research
Meeting software Doable, but not recommended. A lot can go wrong and sharing a screen using meeting software can be really unreliable.
Transcripts Speed up your analysis
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Human Powered • Expensive. About $150 for a 60-minute interview. • Usually has roughly a 24-hour turnaround. • Highly accurate depending on the transcriber.
AI Powered • • •
Cheap. About $6 for a 60-minute interview. Transcript can be delivered in about 20-minutes. Not accurate, but good enough if you don’t have much of a budget.
Get time stamps to help refer back to the video for confusing moments or clips you want to save for the highlight reel.
Convert the video to audio-only to maintain confidentiality.
Analysis Choose your weapon Paper, Highlighters, Scissors
Ready for tagging. Specialized human transcribers can enter their work directly into a spreadsheet.
Tagging online documents
Easy, but messy and hard to look at the aggregate data.
Collaborative affinity maps
Qualitative analysis software OPTION 01
Time consuming. A great collaborative analysis exercise, but not when everyone is remote.
Get everyone who observed the session to write virtual post-its of the insights they saw.
Can range from simple and affordable to complex and expensive. Most allow for multiple people to participate in the analysis. www.curioresearch.net
You’ve got this! Tr y. Le a r n . A d j u s t . Re p e a t .
Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash @curio_research
THANK YOU LAUREN ISAACSON @CURIO_RESEARCH CURIORESEARCH.NET
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View Insights from Anywhere on Notist.
Sure, we’re stuck at home, but while we can’t interview people in person, that doesn’t mean we can’t get great insights. This is an overview of the types of tools available to suit your objectives and how to get started using them.