The Miscellany of Stewart McCoy

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#user research

“The UX team is constantly interviewing and interacting with our users, so they generate a lot of hypotheses which we investigate using our data. The UX team, because their insight is built quickly from human interactions, can flit from thought to thought and project to project; when they think they’re onto something good, they kick the research idea to the lumbering beast that is the data science team. We can comb through our billions of records of sends, clicks, opens, http requests, user and campaign metadata, purchase data, etc. to quantitatively back or dismiss their new thinking.”

Data Story: John Foreman of MailChimp on the Data Science Behind Emails

“If you’re building a product for customers (not just for yourself), you’ve got to test your assumptions early on with your potential users.”

Test Your Assumptions Before Implementing Them: Introducing Enroll

(As a side note, I’d ignore the product pitch…I think whatever considered method you use to test assumptions is fine, as long as you’re doing just that.)

“Not everyone will agree with me on this, and it’s the subject of a future article, but I no longer waste time testing paper prototypes or wireframes on users. Just as they don’t work with execs, they just aren’t very useful with users. Push the team to get a high-fidelity prototype as fast as possible. The tools have never been better so it’s not hard, and most importantly, that’s when the real learning begins.”

– I’m loving Cagan’s article. It’s giving me a lot to chew on. I completely agree with this assertion that user research should move to high-fidelity prototypes as quickly as possible. When faced with paper mockups or low-fidelity wireframes, users have to first make sense of what they are looking at; they cannot just begin using the product, system, or service. And that completely changes the context in which the user experiences a design.

“An informal e-mail with key learnings and results [of prototype testing] sent the same day, is much more valuable to the team than a formal report sent a week later. Don’t bother with formal reports – your time is too valuable for this and they’re hardly read anyway.”

Marty Cagan