Understanding UX workshops

Usability | February 2019

“System Concepts were very proactive in getting people together to do participative work. This generated new ideas, made the findings more actionable and encouraged greater ownership of the issues. It was a real positive.”

Laura Richards, Head of Insight and Business Analysis, Stroke Association

close up during understanding ux workshopsBetter understand your users, their behaviours and what it all means

Alongside our client research work, we often deliver bespoke ‘Understanding UX workshops’, helping teams understand their users and behaviours – and the implications for their product going forward.

Why we run workshops during user research

For many product teams, being involved in the research process can be just as valuable as the results themselves. We often work collaboratively with in-house strategists, designers and developers to help them make sense of UX findings and prioritise which ones to act upon – our ‘Understanding UX workshops’ are key to this.


Collaborative notetaking captures the bigger picture

In our work with Just Eat, we invited client team members to observe usability testing in our labs. We ran activities to involve them in observing and analysing the sessions, and gave each team member a pen and 3 Post-it pads in pink, green and blue.

While observing the research sessions, everyone noted down:

  1. Things they noticed as positive (green Post-its)
  2. Things that they observed as issues (pink Post-its)
  3. Other events or comments (blue Post-its).

These were stuck onto printouts of key Just Eat tablet screens, to collaboratively build up a picture of where the product was working well – and where the main issues lay.

“We wanted it to be a collaborative project and be involved along the way – and System Concepts’ consultants were great. Quite a few of Just Eat’s team went out with them on the restaurant visits, they did a lot of interim check-ins with us, and held a workshop at the end of the research with us, too.”

Anne Stevens, Head of UX Research & Content, Just Eat


Applying affinity mapping within our Understanding UX workshops

notetaking activity during just eat understanding ux workshopsAfter usability testing sessions are completed, we may use affinity mapping to help the client team identify patterns in the research insights. This can be done with any set of user research data – either by printing out individual issues or insights, or by using Post-it notes collected during live observation.

We invite one team member at a time to describe an item and place it on a wall, placing similar items in proximity to each other. As items are placed, we encourage the team to discuss and re-arrange the items as groupings emerge. Finally, we label the clusters that have taken shape and take photos.


Strategy

In another recent project, with the Stroke Association, we conducted a half-day workshop at the end of the research to set the scene for strategic decision making.

Sub-teams from the charity were brought together to engage with the research findings more closely, prioritising work to be taken forward and assigning actions and responsibilities.

stroke association logo

 


Visualisation

Having a team working together in the same place is an opportunity to visualise the solution space, for example by plotting potential solutions on a matrix of impact vs. difficulty. This can help teams collaboratively make tricky decisions about how to prioritise findings.

Understanding UX workshops are a powerful way of bringing teams together during the research process. They help ensure our deliverables are grounded within the client team’s ongoing work, making them easier to take forward.

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