This is service design methods (1) — Research Method

How can we come up with solutions for products?

By Marc Stickdorn, Adam Lawrence, Markus Hormess, and Jakob Schneider

As for a UX designer, the most challenging thing is to come up with a good strategy. Sometimes we have a lot of assumptions before we start the project, this book helps us to move beyond those bias by following these research methods.

Here are the steps for service design methods:

*Preparatory Research + Data Collection

  1. Building a research wall
  2. Creating personas
  3. Mapping journeys
  4. Mapping systems
  5. Developing key insights
  6. Generating jobs-to-be-done insights
  7. Writing user stories
  8. Compiling research reports

In this article, we are focusing on how to conduct good research. From the first-level (“Raw data”), second-level (“interpretations data”), to interview and co-create workshops. The researchers have to gather all the information before diving into the assumption.

*Preparatory Research:

In this phase, the researchers need to learn more about the industry, clients, users, competitors, products, and stakeholders and make sure the information is aligned together. Ask questions such as “what does the product feel like?” “Who are potential competitors?” go online research for certain keywords, companies, and competitors.

Prep research is less about finding answers and more about finding the right questions to ask in your research.

Tips: Having a framing 1-hour workshop with clients to ensure everyone is on the same page.

*Data Collection:

Here are the steps for data collection:

  1. Desk research: It is first-hand and second-hand research. Usually can be done in front of the desk without going anywhere. *Preparatory research + secondary research
  2. Self–ethnographic approaches: autoethnography + online ethnography
  3. Participant approaches (in-depth interviews): Ask open questions so the interviewees can reveal the real user story.
  4. Non-participant approaches: Observe the users without participating in the process.
  5. Co-creative workshop(personas/journey maps/system maps): Make sure the participants have a certain knowledge about the project. So the personas, journey maps, and system maps would not jump into an assumption.

The goals/ways of the research methods:

  • Define the research question and topics.
  • Collect first-level (“raw data”) and second-level (“interpretations”) data. Raw data — what you see and hear; Interpretations–how you feel or how you interpret what you experience.
  • Research customer purchase process or specific customer experience.
  • Having contextual interviews: It is easier for people to articulate pains and gains when they refer to concrete examples.
  • Use Five Whys techniques to reveal underlying motivations when doing in-depth interviews.
  • Non-Participant Observation: The research can see the difference between what people say and what they actually do.
  • If you start with assumption-based journey maps, constantly challenge your assumptions with solid research. Over time, assumption-based personas, journey maps, and system maps should develop into research-based tools with improved rigor and significance.
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