Sessions at UX Lx: User Experience Lisbon 2011 about User Research

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Wednesday 11th May 2011

  • Picking Your Neurosurgeon's Brain

    by Susan Dybbs

    When designing complex systems for highly specialized users, traditional research methods may not do the best job uncovering details of the user's mental model and related information.

    In this talk, I'll discuss how I used participatory design methods with surgeons to design an inter-operative telemedicine system.

    I'll highlight best practices and offer a healthy dose of blood, guts and gore (rated PG13).

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Guerrilla Research Methods

    by Russ Unger

    This hands-on session will cover a number of low cost, yet powerful research methods to help you make better data-driven design decisions. We'll provide a number of techniques for recruiting research participants, creating better research questions, and what to do with your data once you've conducted your research.

    Topics Covered:
    - How to sell guerrilla research into a project from the start
    - How to recruit better participants
    - How to form better research questions
    - What to do with your data once you have it
    - A number of inexpensive, quick, but highly effective research methods when time and/or budget are limited
    - Real-world case studies to show how guerrilla research methods provide measurable ROI
    - Assessment methodology to determine which method is best for their project or situation
    - Valuable "how-tos" to execute the research

    Questions Answered:
    - How do I get my boss or client to buy into doing research for my project?
    - What is guerrilla research and how is it different than traditional market research?
    - What are some guerrilla research methods and what kind of results can I expect?
    - How do I pick the right method(s)?
    - What's the downside/shortcoming of guerrilla research methods compared to other research methods?

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

Thursday 12th May 2011

  • Know Thy User: Persona-Centered Design

    by Steve Mulder

    When it comes to personas, there's a whole lot of talk in user experience circles, but not always a lot of action. Many people extol the virtues of personas, but few dive into the trenches of how to actually create personas and use them effectively for creating online experiences. This workshop will lead attendees through the entire process, with exercises that bring the theories of personas to life.

    We will cover everything from research methodologies and segmentation approaches to making personas real and using them for digital strategy, scope prioritization, information architecture, and design. The workshop will quickly cover the basic principles and components of personas, as well as provide advanced techniques and best practices on topics such as survey design and quantitative segmentation.

    We'll answer questions such as:
    - What are the steps I follow to create personas quickly on my own?
    - How do I get the most out of user research?
    - How do I bring more science and rigor to persona creation to assuage my skeptics?
    - What are the tricks to making personas truly come to life and be memorable?
    - When and how do I use personas when working on digital strategy, information architecture, interaction design, visual design, and user testing?

    Workshop activities will involve exercises to uncover the best approaches for creating persona segmentation and bringing personas to life.


    Whether you design or build, strategize or architect, the targeted audience should be foremost in your mind. This workshop will help you and your team make your audience come alive so you can build better online experiences for them.


    By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
    - Understand and communicate the value of personas
    - Decide among the various approaches for creating personas
    - Know when to apply which user research methods
    - Get the most out of conducting user interviews
    - Master the art of qualitative segmentation for persona creation
    - Enhance persona creation with quantitative research such as surveys
    - Graduate to a more data-driven segmentation approach through cluster analysis
    - Know all of the critical elements of an effective, memorable persona
    - Create a variety of tools and documents for socializing personas in your organization
    - Apply personas to feature and content brainstorming and prioritization
    - Guide information architecture, design, and user testing with personas

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Thursday 12th May

  • Usability Testing Boot Camp: How to Plan and Moderate a Usability Test

    by David Travis

    Here's a paradox for you. Good design is simple. It happens when designers get accurate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their design so that they can iteratively improve it.

    Yet most technology is overly complex and poorly designed. What went wrong?

    The problem is with the accuracy of the feedback. It often comes from the 'HIPPO' — the highest paid person's opinion. Or from fellow designers who are pressuring you to add 'cool' functions that users don't want and can't use. Or from market research teams who have lots of data from focus groups and surveys but no insight into the day-to-day problems experienced during actual use of the system.

    We can fix this problem with usability testing. Usability testing is an ideal method to resolve the kind of disputes design teams face every day. In contrast to market research methods, usability testing delivers strong predictive value, demonstrating how real people will use the system in the real world. It also provides actionable solutions to design problems so you can fix problems quickly.

    But there are lots of pitfalls awaiting people who are new to usability testing. This hands-on workshop will show you how to avoid these mistakes and give you the confidence to run your own test.

    Arrive promptly for this workshop because we're going to run a usability test in the first 30 minutes. We'll then deconstruct the usability test to reveal the separate, distinct components that all good usability tests comprise. We'll examine each of these components in depth, and you'll then get hands on practice mastering each one. Finally, you'll plan and moderate your own usability test.


    This workshop is aimed at user experience designers who want to practice techniques for testing and evaluating their designs with end users. The focus of the workshop is on preparing and moderating a usability test.


    You'll learn how to:

    • Design and plan usability tests.
    • Recruit the right test participants.
    • Apply usability testing checklists to make sure your test runs without a hitch.
    • Develop test tasks that are relevant to your customers and your business.
    • Organise and prepare usability testing sessions.
    • Moderate 'thinking aloud' usability tests in an unbiased and balanced manner.
    • Code, collect and interpret behavioural data.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Thursday 12th May

    Coverage slide deck