Designing with your ears (or how to ensure your product gets used)


of 75
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Watch the presentation on Youtube here:

When building a new product or designing a new feature you always have a voice in the back of your mind whispering things such as: What if no one uses it? What if nobody really understands the value of what I am building? What if that thing I am designing becomes a total flop?

This presentation will give you simple and low time consuming techniques to ensure your product gets used. I will tell you how to find people to talk to, how to gather user stories to make sure you are designing the right features and a couple of ways to test you product.

Some feedback from the startup I gave the talk to:
"It was gold. Arthur was generous and giving everything away."
"Many easy-to-implement tips and nice “real world” examples :)"

Please give me some feedback and send me your questions at @abrodo on Twitter
  • Designing with your ears
  • Video of this presentation on Youtube
  • @abrodo
  • UX Archive
  • Designing with your ears
  • Finding people to talk to
  • Friends Facebook Twitter Support Craigslist
  • Craigslist
  • Write a screener To make sure you talk to the right people
  • Who do you want to talk to? What screening questions will you ask? What exact criteria will identify the people you want to talk to? (Questions shouldn’t reveal “right” answers.) Are you using a reader: Yes, No
 Non feedly users Must not be using feedly ! If yes, which one? ______ Use the web to feed their interests Mix of men and women Use media consumption apps (news reader, TechCrunch, CNN, etc.) 3 men, 3 women Please list the apps you use on a weekly basis on your mobile device: ______ ! What topics are you interested in staying current with? ______ Gender: M, F A Design Staff methodology
  • Who do you want to exclude? What exact criteria will identify the people you want to exclude? What screening questions will you ask? (Questions shouldn’t reveal “right” answers.) Feedly users Have used product for <6 months Please list the apps you are using on a daily basis: ______ Minors <18 yrs old Age: ______ Unusually technical Work as eng, UXer, PM If you’re currently working, what is your occupation? ______ Work for competitors If you’re currently working, who is your Works for Pulse, Flipboard, Currents, etc. employer? ______ A Design Staff methodology
  • Understanding your users
  • User stories Collecting real stories to guide your design ! Quantity: 10 - 20
  • Who are they? • What is your occupation? • What is your passion? • Did you use any other product before feedly?
  • Why are they using your service?
  • Why are they using your service? Why are you using feedly?
  • Why are they using your service? “To have all my feeds in one place.”
  • Why are they using your service? Why do you need to read all these feeds?
  • Why are they using your service? “To get access to information.”
  • Why are they using your service? Why is getting access to that information important?
  • Why are they using your service? “To get inspired to write my book.” “To learn about my competition.” “To learn about the latest HR laws.”
  • In what context are they using your service? • Where were you? • Describe the last time you used feedly. • What other services did you use?
  • In what context are they using your service? You said you are using Twitter, what is the difference with feedly?
  • In what context are they using your service? “Feedly is where I get information, Twitter is were I talk about it.”
  • Get some usability feedback • What frustrates you? • What’s one thing that makes you happy when you use feedly? • If you could add one thing what would it be?
  • Feature based user stories A more specific way to collect stories ! Quantity: 10 - 20
  • Feature based user stories • Who are they? • Why are they using your product? • Why do they need this feature?
  • feedly profile Sharing your feedly categories
  • “ I am a copywriter specializing in digital content. I use Feedly to curate content from social networks (FB, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn) that I'll review/ share via my social channels. My goal is to share my Feedly feeds so that my team can pull content from my "preferred" sources when they post social updates to my business' Twitter or FB page. I need to delegate that task to members of my team (I don't have time to do it myself, all the time). So I would like to have everyone access the same list of feeds so as we fine tune the content we want to share everyone is on the same page. ! From: Copywriter To: Her team Goal: Let them access a curated list of feeds so they share articles from her favorite sources
  • “ I am a food photographer. I use Bundles as a major part of my website, Eating Appalachia. Through Google Reader, I created individual Bundles for the categories of blogs/websites I read on a regular basis. As you can see on the right sidebar of my site, these Bundles are divided into "vegan," "omni," "glutenfree," and "other." If someone visiting my site clicks on "Vegan," for example, they're taken to my vegan bundle. There they can explore the blogs I read and link over to other people. I've also used this function to help promote a food blog group that I'm a part of--SSFC, Southern SOLE Food Challenge (as you can see when you click on that logo on the right sidebar of my site). ! From: Food photographer and blogger To: His readers (foodies) Goal: So his reader can discover and follow food blogs based on subtopics (vegan, omni, gluten-free)
  • Email Skype
  • Testing your product
  • What to test?
  • Discovery Goal The first experience a user has with your product • Do they understand the service? • Can they discover what they are supposed to do? • Can they find the key features?
  • Discovery Method • Don’t give any instructions • Let the participant get lost in your product • If they ask you questions say you don’t know
  • Features Goal The key tasks people can do with your service • Can they find feature ________? • Can they use feature ________?
  • Features Method • Have a list of the things you want you participant to do • Give them tasks to do: • “Save an interesting article.” • “Delete a feed.” • “Change your profile picture.”
  • Discovery + Features
  • What to tell participants • There is nothing wrong you can do • Don’t worry you are not going to hurt our feelings, we want to learn • Think aloud and describe what you are looking and trying to do • The screen and voice is going to be recorded
  • Your attitude • Don’t pitch your product, don’t lead the user • Let people use your product and get lost • If they fail to do something ask them why they did it • Answer questions with questions • If it’s too general ask for specifics • When in doubt clarify
  • What to look for • Aha moments • Confusing and misleading things
  • How to test your service? 3 simple methods
  • At your office Time: 30 min to 1 hour Cost: $50 / participant (1h) ! Quantity: 5 (on a same product iteration) Frequency: 2 per week
  • Setup
  • Over the air Time: 15 min to 30 min Cost: free or be creative :) ! Quantity: 5 (on a same product iteration) Frequency: 2 per week
  • Over the air Method • Ask participants for a 15min Skype / Hangout call • Prepare some screenshots to show over screen sharing • Discovery: Ask them to describe what they see • Features: Ask them to tell you how they would do X
  • feedly profile Sharing your feedly categories
  • Time: 20 min Cost: $49 / participant ! Quantity: 5 (on a same product iteration) Frequency: 2 per week
  • Tasks What you want to learn? What tasks will you give? Do people understand the main concept of feedly? Launch the app and use it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes using feedly, please explain what you understand from it. Can ppl easily use the explore panel? Find and add 3 architecture sites to your feedly. Can people find the search bar? Can ppl add a site to their feedly ? Find the site “Cult of Android” and add it to your feedly. Do people understand the concept of categories? Do people understand how to share articles? How would you read all the articles published by the 3 architecture sites you added?
  • Iterate
  • Questions :)
  • Great links How to find great participants for your user study
 Designing with your ears on HackDesign
 Arthur Bodolec Design Staff
 Screener worksheet
 Design Staff Startup Lab workshop: User Research, Quick 'n' Dirty
 Design Staff (Video) A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research
 Smashing Magazine Code for 3 free user tests: FeedlyUT