Your Team and Relationships
- Team diversity is crucial. Not just in terms of ethnics, but also in terms of background, academics, and career. A more diverse team means that more problems can be spotted, more solutions reached. A diverse team is also effective in seeing things from new and different ways.
- Relation building is necessary. The more your users are comfortable talking with you, the more they can contribute to your research. Once they feel comfortable in your presence, they can also focus more on the topic at hand.
- Ask more questions. Oftentimes people assume that others know what they are feeling. Asking more questions, even a simple “why?”, can help you discover something new that might be obvious to the users.
- Use video-taping. It’s hard to notice what is happening, focus on the users, and take notes at the same time. Through taking videos, you can focus more on the users during the experiment and even have something you can consult again and again, rather than relying on our faulty memories.
- Don’t come in with pre-supposed solutions. You are not looking for users’ agreement or approval or admiration—you are looking for their ideas. Keeping things open and unbiased can lead to more improvement for your project and lead you to some unexpected inspiration.
- Check your wordings and check again. Don't forget to ask yourself, how might somebody misinterpret this? Misinterpretation of the question at hand can lead to results that you are not quite looking for.
- Ask one single question at the time. This way, you will get a more complete and thoughtful question.
- Don’t ask leading questions. You want your users to lead you in new direction, not for you to lead them in the direction you want to.
- Clarify key concepts before starting the test. What is the task at hand? What counts as finishing the task? Defining these key ideas before the test will help you get a more consistent and reliable answer.
- Use simple language. Don’t allow your users creativity in terms of interpreting the questions. Have multiple people read it over before you start the test.
- This one is tied to the previous one. Have one user look it over before you mass-distribute the test/survey. This way you will catch some mistakes before you distribute it to a larger sample size.