Shazam for food but with users this time. – UX Planet
How could all this have been avoided? How could this product have served users better?
User research. I think if users had been involved during the product life cycle, it could have turned out differently. Even if users are excluded during the process, just before the product launch would have saved the situation maybe not the money spent but their company reputation.
Get your target users to test out your product — The pied piper team handed their beta to be tested by their friends. But their friends aren’t their target audience. They should have recruited people with no connection to the company that reflected the actual target market of the platform. Even if they got a “Bernice” reaction, it could have been managed and improved sooner. This means you need to know your target audience.
There is a real world, and there are assumptions we all have of what this real world is. So when you go ahead a create based on your assumptions without research, findings, you create something people can’t use. -Erika Hall.
The gap between your assumptions and the real world can be bridged with Knowlege, research, information gathering.
According to Collins dictionary, Research is work that involves studying something and trying to discover facts about it.
I’ll like to think Research is asking questions, asking the right people the right questions.
Knowing the cons of research as seen in pied piper and other projects around us, research is still undone or downplayed. Often You’ll hear lines like:
- There’s too little time for research
- We don’t have the money for that now
- We don’t know how to run research
- We already know our users
From Figma to the real world
Sometime last year, there was this seefood project I worked on. I’ll like to revisit it and carry out user research since we already have a prototype.
Seefood is like Shazam but for food. The user research method I have chosen for this project is User interviews. I opted for user interviews because I wanted information on users’ feelings, motivations, and daily routines, and how they solve problems presently. Also, to observe as they try to use the existing prototype which I worked on a while ago.
Pre — User interviews
1. Identifying the interviewees — The interviewees are the target users of this product. I identified like 3 classes of audiences this product will serve and made plans to speak with them. I could interview 4 but according to Nielsen Norman Group, it’s recommended to test with 5.
- Foodie — David & Steph
- Ogechukwu — Food critic (foodaholics)
- Vegan — Kb
2. Research Goals- what do I want to find out from this interview?
- Feature and flow comprehension
- Ease of use
- Discoverability and flagging user questions or concerns
- Usability testing
3. Selecting interview questions — I had to prepare a list of questions that’ll guide the interview process. I used the word guide because I didn’t get to ask all and some questions came up as follow up from other questions. Here’s the question guide I used https://goo.gl/forms/r5OIjfyMHLKzpsku1
This actually turned out better than I expected. There were some cancellations and rescheduling but I was able to sit and talk with 4 awesome people and watch them use the prototype. We began talking about work and hobbies to help relax, ease in and share freely.
Listening to and watching them was great. They shared experiences with me and the stuff they liked and expected the app would do for them. The common question they asked was “when will this be ready?”. Their excitement made me excited.
I filled most of the answers they gave into the form, I took some recording so I’ll be able to refer to it later, I took some notes as well.
After talking and watching people use the prototype, I collated the feedback I received per person then grouped according to similarity to just know features/information was the majority and treat as a priority.
In as much as they had different careers and hobbies, visiting restaurants and their challenge of choosing food was the similarity amongst them.
I also noticed that most of them decided to choose what seemed familiar or seek guidance from the waiter in making food choices. The minority solution was to open a restaurant food chain or eat a home-cooked meal.