- Prepare your Field Guide
- Build rapport with your users through listening
- Work with varying levels of experience and expertise
- Identify which techniques to use when any opportunity presents itself
We know that preparation is important, but what's the best way to prepare for meeting someone who could be using your next design? How do you make sure you get into their head, learn what their life is all about, and get the information you need to build something truly innovative and delightful?
You don't want to leave important information "on the table"—information that can give you a more complete understanding of how to move your vision forward. You might act on incomplete detail that creates risk when it forces you to guess what the users need. Worse, the partial insight you have may take your design team in the wrong direction.
User research is an expensive endeavor. Make sure you're prepared to get the most out of every minute that you're with your users. Come home with a deep insight into their thinking, their lives, and how you can change their experience for the better.
Steve Portigal will show your team the art of asking the question. You might visit the user in their office or home, have them come to you for a usability test, or even have a chance encounter at a trade show or while waiting for an airplane. Do you know what to ask? Do you know what to listen for, to extract the critical detail of what they can tell you about your design?
Steve will help you prepare your team for any opportunity, be it formal user research or less structured, ad-hoc research. He'll also give you tips on how to work with your stakeholders and executives, who may also be meeting potential customers and users, so they know what to ask and how to listen—integrating their efforts into the research team. (Wouldn't it be great if they understood why you're doing what you're doing?)
The takeaways you identify in your user research start out easy—there's lots of low-hanging fruit that you only have to show up to learn about—like people's obvious pain points. But, then get really hard. Once you're past the quick, simple, and obvious stuff, that's where Steve comes in: He'll add clarity to the difficult next steps.
You'll learn how to ask great interview questions and take your user research to the next level. You'll see that the best information comes from what Steve calls "breathing their air"—getting out of YOUR environment and into THEIR environment. Empathy brings about the best understanding.
Prepare your Field Guide
Build rapport with your users through listening
Work with varying levels of experience and expertise
Identify which techniques to use when any opportunity presents itself
Steve explains what you'll learn in this 90‑second preview…
Thanks to his endless fascination with culture, Steve has built a career on studying stuff, whether products or people. So it's no surprise that the tagline of his consulting business is "Discover and act on new insights." He is awesome at it!
In fact, Steve has helped companies like Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and Fisher-Price learn about their customers and themselves. His knack for seeing the connections between needs and solutions is a testament to his skill in study design, data analysis, and knowing which questions to ask.
So get ready for his pragmatic techniques for communicating the value of field research in your organization. He's the best teacher around. Check him out @steveportigal on Twitter.