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

The Affinity Diagram is a powerful tool to interpret data. Yellow sticky Affinity Notes describe contextual observations (needs, motivations, frustrations) from interview data. I found this stage helped me build empathy with the user (husband and family) by ‘walking in their shoes’ via the observations. At this stage in the process the more observations you can note the better as you live vicariously through the user.

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

Blue sticky Group Labels cluster observations with similar themes. I found this helped identify patterns which lead to insights about the user e.g. “I (the husband) want to use the limited free time I have effectively” i.e. with his family and adventuring, not getting lost navigating. This framed the users needs in a design relevant manner.


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

I found skim reading the interview transcript for contextual observations difficult as I view all data equally. I also filter out similar information early in the data interpreting phase which is counterproductive as a larger observation set adds contextual depth. I need to practice skim reading interview transcripts and pulling all contextual observations. Overall, Affinity Diagrams are an effective method of data interpretation and I look forward to using them when developing my design brief.

– Travis