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

This exercise helped with building empathy with prospective users as the interviews were in taken in a relaxed manner and involved open probing. As Claudia mentioned in the lecture, by building genuine empathy with your user, it allows you to re-think your assumptions of who you think they are. Sometimes it is human nature to have presumptions about people based on archetypes or even stereotypes so this exercise really allowed me to be open minded since I didn’t have any visual clues, only a transcript to base my findings on. By doing this, we also got to know more about who our user was rather than what we needed to fix.

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

Clustering information allowed us to find similarities for more than one user’s need. For example, we had two users in our group with kids to take into account. It also allowed for common themes to emerge not only from your own findings but from various sources. It also forces you to look at the bigger picture such as instead of focusing on notes with specific issues like pre-booking flights/activities lead to a need of security.

Photo 1

Our Affinity Diagram:

Photo 2

What was difficult or challenging with the technique?

This was definitely a difficult technique to use. The main challenges were:

  • Co-ordination and co-operation between all people in our group. It is a challenge as a group finding common themes between all our work as sometimes it is easier to only look at things from your own perspective. In the end, we were all happy of our blue & pink labels, but the process of going through all our different notes was difficult. Sometimes we would almost have contradictions in themes such as “I like to plan” vs. “I like to explore.”
  • Determining the blue labels! As we moved to the Pink labels, this got much easier as we were looking at the relationship between 2 blue labels. However at the start as we were forming the blue labels, we had more than 7 affinity notes to group together somehow. Sometimes we would rearrange the yellow notes over again as some fit more than one theme.
  • It was not always a linear process from yellow → blue → pink. Our final pink label took the most time as we weren’t able to find how our blue labels mentioning ‘Problems with Google Maps’ would apply to our other labels. In the end we ended up creating a pink note which connected with one only blue note and another blue note we came up with last minute, at the same time as this Pink Label from our affinity notes.

Our final Pink label: “I need unplanned moments in our trip.”

Photo 3

  • Overwhelming amount of data! Below is a picture of all the affinity notes which we did not group together. This does not mean we would not have considered them in our research. However these may not have shared a stronger theme as much as the other notes. If we have more time, we would have gone through them again and see if they match up to our final labels.

Notes which were not used:

Photo 4

How would you do it better next time?

Next time if I already notice common ideas/links on my affinity notes, I would have grouped them earlier.If I had notes which suited a few themes, I would consider writing that note twice so that it would fit both labels in the beginning and eliminate as we move to the pink labels. It would also be interesting to have noted my initial assumptions before we started to see how they compare to our findings afterwards.