1) How did this exercise help you build empathy with prospective users?  

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From the onset, the exercise allowed me to connect with the users on a more personal level when I was examining their interview questions. After we sorted out all the information, I was able to relate to them better as the users seemed more human when their interests, needs, and problems were described in categories using first person narrative, as compared to being represented by a bunch of data and unorganized information. Overall, I felt that the technique used was an effective method to build empathy with the users.

2) How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?

By grouping up the information in clusters, we could identify the various similarities and differences between users. It helped to filter out all the unnecessary details and allowed us to see beyond the superficial. As a result, key concerns were immediately brought to light when we translated them into categories. This helped me greatly to understand the users’ needs and ensured that we could pinpoint their problems accurately.

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3) What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

As we did this exercise as a group, one of the key issues that hinder progress was how each of us extracted and described the users’ interests, needs, and problems. This caused quite a bit of confusion when we tried to put our information together. After sorting out all the details, it also took some time for us to translate each cluster into categories using first person narrative too.

In my opinion, if this method was to be employed in a group setting, all members should come to an agreement and standard of how the details should be highlighted from the interview. It will help facilitate efficiency, which will snowball positively across the entire process. I also believe that now that I have gone through the exercise once, future usage of this technique should be more effortless since I understand what kind of data and information would be more beneficial.

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