Guerilla user research vs usability

Drug Treatment Centre example
● Setup: 10 participants, UX researcher, lead, event coordinator, 2 cafes.
● Simple set up inside – with coordinator outside cafe with clipboard to catch pre-booked participants before enter cafe.
● Reward of a free cup of coffee plus cash payment.
● 30 minute interviews.
● Notes taken live. Between each one, discuss if questions need tweaking.
● Book an extra participant in case of a no-show.

Result
● Invalidated his hypothesis that the desired customer segment – everybody – would be willing to pay for this online solution, invalidated the channels, revenue stream and cost structure. Whilst participants loved the value proposition the owner now needed to pivot.

User research vs guerilla user research

● Goal of user research is understand needs and goals of target audience to inform the value proposition of product.
● Techniques: card-sorting, contextual inquiries, focus groups, surveys.
● Books: UX for Lean Startup (Laura Klein) and User Experience Team of One (Leah Buley)
● User research usually either involves usability testing or ethnographic research.

Usability Testing
● Focuses on whether product works by discovering how people use your product in real time. Data points include: does user perform required tasks using the interface; how many clicks does it take for user to perform them; how long does it take for the user to figure out your product.
● Answers validate positioning of CTAs, finding info (navigation clarity (including nomenclature)).
● Usually done in a lab but can be done remotely e.g. http://www.usertesting.com (screencast videos record how people use your product whilst speaking their thoughts).
● Limitation: it’s mainly for interaction design (rather like quality control for physical product dev). It’s typically conducted after the product is complete but before release to general public. Usability testing is not relevant to find out if you value proposition is on target or your key user experiences provide value innovation.
● Ethnographic Research: study of people in their natural environment.
○ Developing qualitative personas. Example: Intel, 2 years, how Asian people would use tech, extreme, to the point of tracking down a remote villager.
● Most likely you need faster, cheaper qualitative research.

Guerilla user research

It’s fast, lean, aligns the team vision, provides transparency to stakeholders. Cost effective mobile tactics to validate the following:
● Are you targeting right customer segment?
● Are you solving a common pain point the customer has?
● Is the proposed solution something they would seriously consider using?
● Would they pay for the product and if not what are the other potential revenue models?
● Does the business model work?
● Time is crucial – innovation in digital market moves always, window of opportunity is small to do something unique.

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