The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Feature Definition

By on in Design, User Research

Welcome to the 4th of our User Research series where we share our insights into how to generate a list of features. In the coming paragraphs we’ll talk about how User Research can help with stakeholder management, generating a feature list, and prioritizing a feature list. This post focuses on feature definition, and making what we’ve heard actionable (and testable!). Our next and final post will cover a handful of methods to prototype the features we generate here.

In our last post, we worked on synthesis and analysis of user interviews. After a number of interviews, we refined our proto-personas and identified common experiences.

(You haven’t done synthesis before? No worries! We run User Research Sprints that help with this process.)

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Carbon Five + Cooper: Exploring Alexa & the Future of Voice UIs

By on in C5 Labs, Design, Development

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Recently, designers and technologists from Cooper & Carbon Five sat down to brainstorm about the future of voice-driven user experiences, focusing initially on Alexa. It was a fun kickoff for what we hope turns into a series of prototypes and experiments exploring (and pushing) the boundaries of this exciting emerging technology. Here’s what we’ve discovered so far:

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The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Interview Synthesis

By on in Design, User Research

So you’ve conducted a round of user interviews. Great! You’ve got video or audio you can revisit if you or your partner weren’t able to jot down everything in time. Wonderful! You recorded your thoughts during the session and kept track of conclusions and interesting observations immediately after. Amazing!

(Wait, you haven’t run a user interview yet? We run User Research Sprints that help with this exact thing.)

We’ll be using a fictional story about a hotel that wants to boost its appeal among business travelers. They’ve interviewed a group of experienced travelers and are about to break down the results. This story is loosely based on the DoubleTree cookie.

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The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Interviewing

By on in Design, User Research

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You’ve written your script. You’ve screened your respondents and you’ve scheduled time with them (which you learned to do in our Guide to Recruiting Participants). You’ve got a big day of learning about your users ahead of you!

We’re going to cover what to do during the interview and what to prepare ahead of time. Preparation is important—he more confident you are, the more your respondents will trust you and feel comfortable responding.

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The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Recruiting Participants

By on in Design, User Research

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If you have ever tried to recruit folks for a focus group or usability test, you know it can be really hard, super frustrating, and downright discouraging. But have no fear, Carbon Five is here! Before you start reaching out, you’ve got to get into the right headspace. You will probably be interacting with people that come from diverse backgrounds, and there are some unusual places you can find ready willing and able participants for your research study. A few rules of thumb will help you successfully recruit:

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The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Starting Your Research Project

By on in Design

So, you’ve read the introduction to the Carbon Five Guide to User Research and you’re ready to get started. Welcome!

During this step we’ll be working through what we’re hoping to find, who we’re hoping to talk to, and what we’re hoping to ask. If you’re trying to convince someone else in your company to invest in a research project identifying the basic assumptions and outcomes like this is a great place to start.

We’ll be using the hypothetical company Delivery Healthy. Delivery Healthy is a startup that serves people who are trying to eat healthy while still ordering a lot of take-out, because they say you should write what you know.

Ready? Let’s go!

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The Carbon Five Guide to User Research: Introduction

By on in Design

What is User Research?

User Research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.

User research helps us understand the constraints and opportunities of the audience we’re building for, and is a core part of building a successful product.

Why Research?

Let’s say you’ve got a great idea for a product. Will your users agree? How do you reach them? In order for your product to succeed, it needs product/market fit.

Defining the users you want to reach and talking to them before you build will will give you empathy and a clearer sense what your users hope to achieve using your product. It’s much easier and more effective to design with a specific person fixed in mind than a set of demographics without a distinct voice.

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C5 Labs: Daily Ascent

By on in C5 Labs, Design, Development, Mobile

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There is plenty of research to show that taking stairs is one of the best ways to work out without taking time out to exercise. Taking the elevator wastes electricity, and the stairs are a great opportunity to improve overall health. With this in mind, we wanted to encourage people to start thinking about using the stairs over elevators.

Though there are lots of great social health tracking apps out there, we wanted to try using wellness as an excuse to build community around a physical location (the Edney building staircase).

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Design by Listening Inside and Out – Carbon Five LA Talk Night July 20th

By on in Announcements, Design, Events, Los Angeles

Designing good UX is an iterative process that begins and ends with the same core action; listening. But who do we listen to and how? As the speakers of our July 20th design themed Talk Night will demonstrate, you listen to everyone! Whether they’re the person you believe your product is for or your fellow teammates facing the same issues you do, listening and processing their feedback guides you to designs that delight and deliver.

Kicking off the evening is Carbon Five alum Alexa Roman, giving a talk titled “Metrics That Matter”:

Design and engineering have value. We need to do a better job of proving it. Too often, we leave metrics to someone else, when we can directly learn and show the impact we’re having. Learn how to initiate and implement a metrics strategy from someone who really cares about money. And people. But mostly, money.

Then, LA design community leader Geremy Mumenthaler talks about his experiences with The Noun Project as they learned “The Largest UX Team is Also the Smallest”:

Noun Project created its newest product Lingo by listening to the of problems our community and empowering our whole team with UX tools to understand those problems. Through prototyping, iteration, and a scrappy attitude, we launched a brand new product that teams needed.

Our doors will open at 6pm with pizza, drinks (including non-alcoholic options), and of course wi-fi provided. The talks will kick-off at 7pm, with Q&A interspersed throughout.

So sign up on Meetup, and show up with your questions and ideas. We’re ready to listen!

Update: We have a change of speaker from own Nicole Thayer, who sadly could no longer present, to Alexa Roman, who generously agreed to step in. Thanks, Alexa!