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Dual UX Research: How to get greater insights from natural conversations.

So, how does interviewing a couple together make a difference, and how do you go about it?

In my example above:

I greeted them warmly, offered them a drink, asked how their days had been (same as always!) and brought them both into the research lab together.

I asked them all the initial introduction or ‘context of use’ questions as a pair, finding out about their relationship, their situation with buying a house, their finances etc. I ensured that both had an opportunity to speak as individuals as well as together. This gave me a greater understanding of some of the dynamics at play (her parents had given them a deposit, they both worked for his family’s firm, etc.), and a better appreciation of what their situation and their priorities were as a team, not as individuals.

I then asked the husband to leave the room and have a coffee. I placed the wife in the situation that a friend had reccomended she check out only one of the two products we were testing, and asked her to explore the prototype to discover more about it. I captured the usual spontaneous thoughts and feelings and usability feedback as she moved through.

After around 15–20 mins of exploring, discovering and learning more about the product, I invited the husband back in. I asked her to explain the product to him, and how/if it would be a good option for them.

The lady had been really positive about the product she’d seen, so pitched it to her husband, listing all the benefits it offered. These included how the product could work given their situation, how they could discuss it with their respective parents — and, most importantly, how it meant they’d be able to borrow more money and move into a house with a garden (a prospect that was out of their reach at the moment).

In return, the husband raised questions and concerns — would it work in this scenario? What impact would it have? He remembered his father had just retired — would that impact the deal they could get? Would their needs be putting their parents at risk in anyway?

It was a back and forth between long-term partners, the wife would clarify parts where she was certain about the details, realise that she wasn’t so sure about certain aspects of it when particular questions were raised — “Ah yes, we’ll need to look into that in more detail, and we’d have to make it clear to mum that she’d need to do this…” Together they’d walk through how it might work given scenario X vs scenario Y. It was real, and it was human.

It was like they’d forgotten I was in the room, and what I was observing was a pure, natural and honest conversation between two people with an established relationship and clear understanding of each others situation, goals and desires — something that would never truly happen in a one-on-one scenario.

The insights that this single session provided me with were more valuable than the other 5 one-on-one sessions I’d held that day combined. You can’t recreate a relationship in the hour you spend with a single participant; they had years of a shared life together that had led them to this point, and here they were discussing them in front of me.

After they discussed the first product, I then sent the wife out and ran through the same process with the husband. Finally, I gathered them both in for some final summary questions and to discuss which of the products they’d looked at would suit them both best.

It was one of the most interesting and useful research sessions I’ve conducted in a long time, and I really feel that by embracing this technique I gained far more than if I had interviewed them both individually.

This article was originally posted at:
https://uxplanet.org/dual-ux-research-how-to-get-greater-insights-from-natural-conversations-c1e1b6d87f0f

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User testing

User testing refers to a technique used in the design process to evaluate a product, feature or prototype with real users. There are several reasons why you might want to undergo usability testing, the most common is that it allows the design team to identify friction in a user experience they are designing, so that it can be addressed before being built or deployed.

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG (pronounced WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". It helps identify an an interface that allows user input resulting in an output that is rendered in a similar way. For example; a word processor application interface might resemble a piece of paper,so when printed the user can see how the output will appear.

Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is an tool that allows a website editor/administrator to manage the content that is displayed. Websites are made of HTML and CSS to create pages. Pages can be hard-coded but would require technical development skills to make changes. A CMS usually allows a person without coding knowledge to amend existing and add new content to a website using a WYSIWYG interface.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design refers to a web page that dynamically adapts its layout to fit the size and orientation of the device on which it is viewed. A responsive design allows for a more optimised user experience across desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets of varying sizes.

User Stories

User stories allow the functionality of a product or service to be expressed as written descriptions of an experience as seen from the users perspective. The writing of user stories creates a list of design and development tasks to complete in order to create any required functionality.

User Interface

A user interface (UI) is a conduit between human and computer interaction - the space where a user will interact with a computer or machine to complete tasks. The purpose of a UI is to enable a user to effectively control a computer or machine they are interacting with, and for feedback to be received in order to communicate effective completion of tasks.

Personas

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Card sorting

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Brainstorming

A technique used to generate ideas around a specific topic. Often done in groups, but can be done individuals. The process usually involves writing down all ideas around a topic onto paper, a whiteboard or stickies often implying some kind of association.

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Sitemap

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User journey

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Prototype

A prototype is draft representation built to test ideas for layout, behaviour and flow in a system. Prototypes are an indispensable tool for resolving a large number of potential issues in a concept or business before too many resources are deployed to put a design into production.

Wireframes

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Information Architecture

Information architecture is the design and organisation of content, pages and data into a structure that aids users understanding of a system. A more organised system enables users to more easily find the information they require and complete the intended tasks.

UI Design

User Interface Design is the discipline of designing software interfaces for devices, ideally with a focus on maximising efficiency, responsiveness and aesthetics to foster a good user experience.

UX Design

The practice of User Experience (UX) Design is the coming together of many specific design related disciplines to improve the usability, responsiveness, uptake and aesthetics of a product or service.

User Experience

A general term that covers all aspects of a user's participation while engaging with something that has been designed. Usually when talking about User Experience in the digital design field it refers to the interactions, reactions, emotions and perceptions while using an app, service, website or product.

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