1.How did this exercise help you build empathy with the prospective users?
The exercise required me to re-frame the prospective users wants, needs and frustrations in first person narrative. By using the pronoun “I” and the possessive “my” a more direct connection was made between me and the interviewee. For example, when re-framing the wants, needs and frustrations of the interview into “I found it hard to determine which attractions were good for my child from the internet” and “My biggest challenge for family travel is planning meals” I was able to empathise with their point of view.
I was also required to analyse the transcript and extract clear points that summarised their desires and problems.
2. How did the clustering of information help you to understand the users needs?
The clustering of information allowed the group to categorise the users needs. Similar needs were grouped together and duplicates were identified. It became evident in creating the Affinity Diagram that some needs appeared more often and distinct groups emerged. Needs that were singular were set aside. For example, a label emerged “I like a personal touch with my holiday bookings” from the different interviewees desires for travel agents and preference for verbal referrals.
3. What was difficult or challenging with the technique? How would you do it better next time?
A difficulty emerged from the various transcripts as it was evident that some of the interviewees had conflicting needs and frustrations even before these needs were grouped with others. For example, the same interviewee who did not like maps and preferred to discover things while walking also tired of the process and could get lost. This made labeling the groups challenging at times.
The other challenge was how the tutorial group as a whole clustered the information. As we were pressed for time, some members of the group took the lead in choosing groupings and labels, while quieter members found it harder to contribute. These members found it difficult to group their interviewee’s needs under a column or argue for their inclusion and so sometimes their points were excluded from the Affinity Diagram. To a certain degree, the team’s findings were directed by the more forceful members of the group. Next time I would suggest appointing a facilitator to ensure views provided are more balanced and suggest more time so we do not feel the pressure to complete the task within the time-frame.