April’s ProductTank was on the topic of User Research and User Centred Development, one that everyone in the room was passionate to learn more about. We knew many people were unable to come due to space restrictions; there were as many on the waiting list as attended, but the event was very well-received by all that were there in person.
We kicked off with Grandin Donovan, Research Director at Nealite, presenting on Building RITE, namely the use of Rapid Iteration and Evaluation as a way to quickly progress through (design) iterations to maximize learning, and how to involve the leadership team as a must-have, to ensure buy-in of the discoveries made.
Then Alessandro Catania, Research Director at Attoma presented on “Ethnographic research (with your client!) to understand user behaviour in context”. From my invitation, you might remember I defined Ethnography (with the help of wikipedia!) as the collection of empirical data on human societies / cultures / communities to leverage the “social meanings and ordinary activities” in “naturally occurring settings”.
The goal is to collect data in such a way that the researcher imposes a minimal amount of their own bias on the data. Something every product manager should be aware of. Again, it’s well worth having another look and read through Alessandro’s presentation pdf slides and video).
What are my big take-aways?
- Most businesses do not do enough testing with actual users doing qualitative research before building products
- They also do not do this enough after building them.
- Be very careful to watch what people do, rather than (or at least as well as) listen to what they say.
- For this reason, it’s important to watch people in their natural habitat.
- Ask yourself how quickly you can incorporate feedback to get an improved version in front of users.
See you at the next ProductTank Paris!