On the third day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... something about post-it notes

Welcome to Day 3 of UXmas! Yesterday, we drafted some research questions and found out more about the potential users of our product. Today, it’s time to analyse the data we collected, by creating something called an “affinity diagram”. The basic idea is to separate your research data into individual items, and then group them thematically.

5 minute challenge: Take your notes from yesterday’s user research, and highlight similar themes. For example, if your user research revealed that people have security concerns about sharing data, you could highlight similar concerns in yellow. And if there are items about the complexity of user interfaces, you could highlight similar comments in blue. This method rapidly identifies affinities in a set of research data.

30 minute challenge: First, read through this short article on creating affinity diagrams. Next, review your notes from yesterday’s user research. Take a block of post-it notes, and transfer each idea or response onto a separate note. Finally, on a wall or large table, organise these into an affinity diagram like the one illustrated in the article. (If you feel that you don’t have enough separate responses for the challenge, go back to your user group with some extra questions and try to elicit further information. It’s important to go back to your users, because if the designer starts adding ideas of their own, they are moving away from user-centred design.)

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Patrick Multani & Andrew Wilshere

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