How MacGyver Would Do Design Research

Design & User Experience
Location: 2005 Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.25, 16 ratings)

For designers and clients who recognize the value in user-centric design, budgeting for the typical research process can be challenging at best. When deadlines are tight, you’re trying to be agile, and money isn’t as easy to get as it used to be, spending twelve weeks and hundreds of thousands of dollars on user research often just doesn’t make sense.

Part of the solution is to determine which questions actually require research. This means using existing research, principles, and knowledge from other fields to design solutions to some challenges, and using your budget to address the rest. This talk will look at how to do that triage, and will surface some resources and knowledge that can help you keep the number of outstanding challenges as low as possible.

The other part of the solution is in how the research is done. When does a survey work, and when do you need to do individual interviews? When does remote usability testing do the trick? Does paper prototyping actually work? What overhead can you cut out? Can research be done alongside design and development?

Even if you have a week and a very limited budget, you can still do worthwhile design research. This talk can help show you how.

Photo of M. Jackson Wilkinson

M. Jackson Wilkinson

Viget Labs

Over a decade of working on the web as both a designer and developer has given M. Jackson Wilkinson crucial background to bring to his role as User Experience Strategist at Viget Labs, in which he helps both start-ups and traditional businesses create engaging and pleasurable experiences for their users online. Jackson has worked with a diverse set of clients, ranging from WalMart and Microsoft to the pending re-launch of to the Government of Canada to non-profits like the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Jackson is a regular speaker on topics relating to user experience and design process both in DC and abroad and, as lead organizer of Refresh DC, the DC Talks Series, and BarCampDC, is one of the leading cultivators of the booming Washington web community.

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Dawn Fu
04/01/2009 3:50am PDT

Pretty intuitive presentation. Enjoyed it and learned a lot. Good job!

Birgit H. Jevnaker
04/01/2009 3:19am PDT

Enjoyed this, perhaps the inventiveness of MacGyver could be even more stressed?

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