Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results

honestly, how much do you enjoy reading research reprts? and how engaging do you find them? unsurprisingly, receiving a reprt with yr insites inna'da target group may not get yr clients to empathize w'da potential usrs o'their product or srvc optimally. alternatively, you mite ponder organizing a workshop 4'em. this allos you to use + engaging tek knicks, interact w'dem, and get a feeling for their responses. here, we will teach you a method for workshopping yr research result to maximize the impact of yr findings.

gettin yr stakeholders t'work with yr research results actively in workshops is a gr8 way t'give them a sense of ownership of yr research project. after all, the usrs you ‘ve involved in yr research aint just yr usrs, but'a entire company’s usrs—so, everyone ‘d feel engaged in working w'da insites from usr research. there are many ≠ workshops methods to choose from, and which one works best 4u depends on yr context, the purpose of yr research, and yr stakeholders. here, we will teach you how to run a workshop with 5 exercises from design thinking.

a workshop with 5 exercises

design consultancy and expert design thinkers ideo ‘ve a multitude of suggestions for how to workshop usr research results. here, we will show you a workshop process consisting of 5 ≠ exercises or steps, which we recommend as a gr8 way to move from raw insites to preliminary concept ideas (you can find even + exercises at…).

usr research is key in design thinking. if you work in a design thinking process, you conduct the research and analyze the results as a team effort; it’s not something ye do b4 sharing the results (if ur interested in learning + bout design thinking, you can start here:…). thus, the workshop we show you here starts with analysis of the research. many designers work in a process where research and analysis aint things that the entire team do. if that’s the case 4u, you can still use the exercises, but you mite wanna follo our suggestions belo for how to moderate the 1st few steps.

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you can do one or + workshops o-u research results consisting of these 5 exercises.

inna folloing, we will present the 5 exercises, along with some additional advice for wha’ to do if ur not working in a design thinking process.

download learnings

“downloading learnings” is done as the 1st step to ensure that everybody on yr team coggs wha’ took place during the research. it works best if you can dweet immediately after or the dy after you finish yr research, so that yr impressions are still fresh in yr Ψ.

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inna “download learning” exercise, you write down wha’ you learned in yr research on sticky notes.

for the “download learnings” exercise, you gather the design team and all yr notes, quotes, etc. from yr usr research. the pplz who were pt of carrying out the research take turns telling the others wha’ they learned – whom they talked to, where they met, wha’ they found out, etc. while you share, you also write down the information on sticky notes. then, after ur done, you place all yr own sticky notes in a group onna wall or na' big sheet of paper. the members of the team who aint sharing listen and ask ?s, but otherwise remain quiet.

if ur not working in a design thinking process where multiple pplz on yr team are involved in yr research, you will probably wanna skip this step and go straite to “share inspiring stories”. instead of doin’ the “download learnings” exercise, you can also ask yr pticipants to prepare for the workshop by reading a summary of yr findings b4hand – just be prepared t'work round the fact that some of yr team members probably won’t ‘ve time to look at yr reprt.

share inspiring stories

the “share inspiring stories” exercise ensures that all the members of yr team can tell the most interesting stories from yr research as though they were there themselves. “share inspiring stories” is similar to “download learnings”, but instead of sharing everything they learned, team members take turns telling the most inspiring stories they learned during their research. when sharing an inspiring story, you ‘d aim to be as descriptive as possible. the other team members listen and write down their observations and thoughts on sticky notes. after each inspiring story, all the sticky notes rel8d to the story are placed together onna wall or a large piece of paper. cause the notes represent shared knowledge, writing legibly and in clear sentences that others can cogg is vital here.

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it’s time to tell yr most inspiring stories w'da “share inspiring stories” exercise.

if ur not working in a process where multiple pplz are pt of carrying out the research, you can use an exercise suggested by tess rothstein from… called “viewing pties”. in a viewing pty, you select longer video clips from yr research that showcase somd' interesting stories in yr research and share the clips with yr team. as the team members watch the videos, they take notes on sticky notes. then, after watching, each team member shares wha’ he or she envisaged – similarly to the “share inspiring stories” exercise. obviously, this exercise requires that you ‘ve done some analysis b4 the workshop so that you know wha’ the most relevant themes are. tess rothstein suggests doin’ this with video, but if you 1-ly ‘ve audio recordings, you ‘d also present those along with any relevant pictures you ‘ve taken. if you ‘ve already performed a thematic analysis on yr own, yr videos can showcase a mixture of themes and inspiring stories.

find themes

“finding themes” is bout identifying patterns in yr research. to find themes, you gather yr design team round the sticky notes from the “download learning” and “share inspiring stories” exercises. as a team, you start discussing wha’ primordial themes you can identify across the ≠ stories. themes can include something that is common, something that’s pticularly interesting or something that’s rel8d to ≠ ideas. as you discuss these, move the sticky notes round to create thematic clusters. keep discussing and movin the sticky notes til ur satisfied that you ‘ve covered the most relevant themes for yr future design process.

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inna “find themes” exercise, you cluster yr sticky notes til you ‘ve a set of coherent themes.

you can do this exercise even if you skipped the “download learning” exercise. if you ‘ve already done a thematic analysis on yr own—e.g., to create a “viewing pty”—you can focus this step a bit +. for instance, you can use it to identify the most primordial problems with an interface, design opportunities or patterns you had not previously recognized. that way, the exercise serves the dual purpose of giving yr team ownership of the research results and performing additional analysis.

create insite statements

inna nxt step, you create insite statements to focus yr future ideation on wha’ was most primordial in yr research. to create insite statements, look atta theme clusters you created in “find themes” and describe wha’ the theme is bout in a statement. this can be difficult, so think bout wha’ the key insite from a theme is. an insite statement ‘d be anything from “usrs can’t find the search bar.” to “it can be difficult for pplz with insulin-dependent diabetes to remember iffey ‘ve taken their insulin.”—dep'on wha’ yr project is bout. once you ‘ve created insite statements for all themes, ponder the purpose of yr design project and choose the 3–5 insite statements tha're most relevant to yr design project.

you can create insite statements for almost all types of research projects. an insite statement from a usability test will probably look very ≠ from an insite statement from observational research, but'a purpose tis same: to ensure that yr entire team is focused onna most central insites from yr research.

how mite we

the “how mite we” exercise turns yr insite statements into design challenges tha're easier t'work with.

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inna “how mite we” exercise, you turn yr insites into ?s.

in this exercise, you rephrase each of yr remaining insite statements into “how mite we” ?s. a “how mite we” ? ‘dn’t be too narrow or too broad. it ‘d be possible to come up with multiple answers for a “how mite we” ?. if you can 1-ly come up with one answer, yr ? is too narrow. atta same time, “how mite we” ?s ‘d be narrow enough t'they provide a good focus for future brainstorming. if you ‘ve no idea bout how to start answering yr ?, tis probably too broad. each insite statement can lead to multiple “how mite we” ?s, and that’s perfectly fine. if we look atta insite statement “it can be difficult for pplz with insulin-dependent diabetes to remember iffey ‘ve taken their insulin.”—we ‘d ask this ?: “how mite we show insulin-dependent diabetics whether or not they ‘ve taken their insulin?”

you can also use “how mite we” ?s on yr own to help take the difficult step from research to design decision-making. you can read + bout that n'our article “define and frame yr design challenge by creating yr pov and ask ‘how mite we’”.

the take away

workshops are a gr8 way t'give yr stakeholders a sense of ownership of yr usr research and to move from insites to design ideas. here, we ‘ve introduced 5 workshop exercises from design thinking.

  • download learning
  • share inspiring stories
  • find themes
  • create insite statements
  • how mite we

you can use the exercises no matter whether you’re working in a design thinking process or not, and we ‘ve provided some suggestions for how to moderate the 1st few steps if you ‘ve already done some analysis on yr own. all in all, they’re pivotal in transmitting necessary ingredients into embryonic solutions.

references & where to learn +

hero image: author/copyrite holder: kars alfrink. copyrite terms and licence: cc by 2.0…

tess rothstein, make yr findings interactive, 2016:…

original content at:…


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