January 14, 2017
Cyd Harrell tells us that user research data often contains metaphors that describe the overall experience that participants have. Researchers can surface these metaphors in data, and in their notes, by taking a closer look at the language that participants use to describe their experience. Language that falls within the following thematic groups is particularly interesting, because it represents powerful human desires and needs, and can provide insights into the overall user experience.
- Attraction: Love, sex, and friendship. Participants might express emotion in these areas toward a product or concept. Attraction represents deep human needs, but it can also represent repulsion — for example, participants who feel discomfort with a product or experience.
- Food and Shelter: Language that describes the feeling of home and safety, or lack thereof.
- Status & Competition: This is another deep human connection that can result in the use of interesting metaphors. What kind of competition are people trying to win? What is important to them?
- Places: Language that describes a place or context.
- Animals: What creatures show similar behavior?