User Centered Research (Reflection #2)

It’s no surprise that the user comes first in UX. As I was going through our first exercise in class, designing a functional bag for another classmate, I found it easy to take on the incorrect assumption that my personal views, as the designer, were universal. Learning about proper user research and practicing genuine user-centered design forced me to reorient myself and essentially take on the mindset of the actual user. What are the user’s needs? What are the problems they face? What is the setting that they are accessing our product from like?

Asking the right questions is an integral part of interviewing in user research. I found it fascinating how altering certain words or phrasing in questions could lead to completely more open, whole answers from the user. For example, instead of asking something like “Do you think sending photos over social media to friends and family leads to feeling more interconnected within your social network?” which might lead to “Yeah, sure,” a more open-ended question like “How does sending photos over social media to friends and family impact your relationships with them?” is much more likely to invoke an answer requiring thought and careful consideration. Which will then provide invaluable insight.

Designing experiences is futile without real-world evidence. This evidence is what we use to fuel our decisions, build our products, and validate our work.

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