Look Beyond Data Trends - A Technique to Find Hidden Design Implications From Field Data Analysis

Contextual inquiry as a research method has gained its popularity these years among user experience practitioners. As a user researcher, we face excessive user data that are collected from field studies. Most of us review and analyze the field data by looking for trends of users’ responses and behaviors. For example, “Affinity diagram” has been commonly used to group and analyze the field data to identify any trends. However, in many cases, it is not enough to draw our conclusions based on a few “Aha!” moments. We should also consider the rich and “random” data that are not obvious to form trends, and abstract hidden implications from them. How we could accomplish it, however, has remained as a challenge.

In this presentation, I will start with a case study from our own work, and demonstrate how we found the hidden implications from our data. Then we will explore and discuss strategies and techniques from different perspectives.