Content Strategy

Design Research

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson

Brain Traffic
Content Strategy

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The "Design Research" Lesson is part of the full, Content Strategy course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Kristina discusses Design Research. Performing research by talking to customers and conducting surveys allows for an understanding of customers and taking their true perspectives into account.


Transcript from the "Design Research" Lesson

>> Okay, so I'd like to have you take a look at this. You'll see that there are two axes lines, a risk tolerance and confidence level. So typically what I see here is up here in the upper left. I don't really know what we don't know about our users, but I'm not that worried about it.

I feel confident enough that we're just gonna go ahead and make assumptions and move forward with those assumptions. That's usually I'd say nine times out of 10 the the mindset that I see on a lot of these projects that we go in and work on. This is a huge risk in that we risk going in and really having our own biases inform our content recommendations and decisions.

Our own internal assumptions that when we've been navel gazing for a really long time can be really skewed and misinformed. But if you are up for that and okay with the risk involved, which is that you're not going to be addressing your users top tasks or core preferences, then go for it.

Down here we have least confident and least risk tolerant. I'm not sure whether we know very much and I'm uncomfortable not knowing more, and so on. It's kind of helpful to be able to see where you fall within this grid, it can help you almost sort of sell end user research.

If you're saying to folks, see where you're at to help people clearly understand that not knowing about what your users want is a risk, okay? So this is just sort of useful to have people step back and go, I've never thought about not being in close touch with our users as a risk to user's satisfaction and task completion.

So, let's say that we've decided, yes, we want to go and we wanna talk to our folks. How do you find them? The first is individual user interviews. You sometimes don't need very many of these depending on scope of product or project. I think that we've done as few as six and as many as 100.

I'd say that usually it's between 14 and 18 that we conduct and this is for large companies with large product sets. So if you can get one of your customers or users on the phone and talk to them even for 15 minutes about whatever digital product you're working on.

Or revising or redoing or the product that you're building it's enormously helpful. Focus groups, these are a little bit more difficult to arrange and organize obviously, I am not as big of a fan of them because I find that people either edit themselves or sort of try to posture in front of other folks.

But they're still useful if you're trying to get a lot of feedback in a shorter amount of time. And then obviously customer feedback form which is either open ended which is a lot of, what do you think or what would you change? Or closed ended which is where you're just giving them very specific selections like on one through five rank, this or this, or would you rather see A or B.

And this often comes through just a feedback link button, a form pop up, or an email survey, okay? Three ways to get information from your users. Three more ways, this is true intent studies. I really love the simple thing of, hi, why are you here today? And getting an answer from them, and okay, thanks.

Because that identifies kind of what people are coming to your site for pretty quickly. If you're able to measure their subsequent behavior and then ask whether they were successful, it does require behavioral analytics capabilities on a website. But this is probably the most powerful tool that you can use when you're measuring usability of a website, or and trying to figure out if your content is effective.

Intercept surveys. Everybody's favorite survey when you're trying to do something and pops up and it's like taking a brief survey. Has anybody ever said yes to that? Anybody know? No, I don't know what they're for. And then email service Okay, so we're gonna talk a little bit about designing research for your users.

Can everybody identify a user persona or user group, or something that they're working, on or have worked on, or is somebody not able to do that? Yes, yes, yes you feel like the airline agent. Are you able to perform the duties assigned to you in the emergency exit row?

Okay, so, we wonder, this is the question you hope to answer through your user research. What is the core question or the couple of questions you would like to have answers to? Why do you care? What do you assume to be true before you ask this question, and what do you actually know, okay?

So here's an example. We wonder, do prospective students graduating from high school care as much about money as their parents do? This is for financial aid section. We care because it affects who we write financing and financial aid messages for and where we put that information on our website.

We assume that parents who are paying for college care more than their kids do. We do know that kids who are paying their own way need this information to even consider a school, okay? So see how this opens the door to some really specific interesting user research.

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