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

This exercise of creating affinity diagram involved three steps :

  1. Reading the Interview
  2. Highlighting the key points associated with the interview
  3. Writing down the thoughts on sticky notes

Following these steps, I could realise the user’s interests, needs, motivations, frustrations. The figurative speech of the interview gave hints about the user’s involvement in particular activities. I liked the way open-ended questions were asked to the user. Writing them down on sticky notes and then discussing amongst team members helped me identify different information captured. As a team we could figure out different people react in certain pattern when exposed to a situation.

This brainstorming activity helped me building natural connection with the user.

Q2.How did the clustering of information help you to understand user needs?

Clustering of information allowed us to collect similar thoughts. By reading the individual stickies and grouping them together as knowledge pillars, we were able to catch the central idea.  This gave us a broad perspective of how different people share similar interests. Also, I could identify the sections which i missed highlighting during the interview.

Q3. What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?

This technique required us to reading the interview carefully and analysing the responses of the user. Doing it for the first time, I missed a couple of important points which would have helped us creating a better affinity diagram. Also, summarizing the interview as to one knowledge pillar needed us to consider all the inputs and formulating the central idea. This required few iteration.
After the tutorial, I tried drawing few more affinity diagrams and now I find myself much more confident for doing this exercise again. Since learning is an ongoing process, I will definitely improve myself in performing this exercise.