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New York Institute of Technology ​hi everyone welcome to our human Center design training I'm gonna give everyone a chance to log on and just you know put in the chat if you can hear as well or if you're having any issues technically so we can sort that out before we begin one of our colleagues Rachel will be on chat monitoring that so I'll give everyone a couple seconds just to do that and see if you can hear me clearly great so we'll kick off with a couple of intros and Rachel will be monitoring chat so continue to just let her know if you guys can hear us okay I'll start off with myself I'm Roshan I'm a product manager here at exa G and previously I was in the social sector so I worked with several nonprofits and social enterprises mostly in the southeast before joining XG and giorgia one of my main clients is the City and County of San Francisco specifically the mayor's office of Housing and Community Development so I do a fair bit of civic tech work here at exegete and can help weave that in throughout the presentation I'm Shiva now my name is Shiva and me I'm a senior user experience strategist here at exegete and prior to exegete I worked at Yahoo as a user experience design lead for nearly seven years and in 2012 I was a fellow at Code for America and I went on to found code for Pakistan so I work right at the intersection of civic technology and human centered design and I've been doing human centered design for about 12 years and civic technology for about five already have we have Rachel over here you can also introduce yourself hi guys I'm Rachel I do operations at XG and I'll be monitoring the YouTube comments today so snow if you have any questions or any comments about our street you cool and we'll also pause in the middle of the presentation for questions so feel free to post questions and ritual will surface a couple of those we can answer in the middle so I'm gonna start screen sharing our presentation great so we're here today to talk about human centered design we there's a lot to cover it with human Center design so we're gonna focus on needs finding and user testing today we know that the teens that are participating in this upcoming sprint process have varying levels of expertise with human centered design so for those who are designers and have had experience with this before this will be a little bit of a refresher course for you and a refresher for all of us to kind of ground ourselves in empathy for the user first before building I know we have teams from the White House from Housing and Urban Development Department of Transportation Department of Labor and all the other agencies participating in this sprint process online as well as the tech teams the designers and engineers that are going to tackle some of the problem sets set out by the federal agencies I do want to say we are recording this so we'll be able to post it later so don't worry too much about taking super detailed notes and that way you guys can refer back to the video as needed so let's dive in like I mentioned these are the folks that are going to be taking you through the training today Shiba and I will be doing a lot of the presentation and I Rachel will be on chat so a little bit about exegete before we dive into human centered design xog is an agency based in San Francisco focused on the social sector so we have three main lines of business being strategy design and software and we employ a really integrated approach to helping our clients who are in several different sectors including clean tech education civic tech and governance we use all these a business mind blinds to help them solve really core social issues so it's strategy we do a lot of discovery work market research to help our clients set strategic direction we have designers on our staff that are able to do research user experience and user interface design to really design experiences that both delight the user and solve really key pain points and then we also have engineers that help implement products both web and mobile to meet the user's needs so what is human centered design human centered design means that instead of jumping in directly to the build process that we pause a little bit in the beginning and we go directly to the user and then we employ a lot of empathy techniques to understand really what our users needs are what their motivations are and what their ultimate goals are we do this first because it produces better products if products are actually addressing users needs then they're gonna have a longer shelf life they're going to be able to actually solve a really key issue for the user so instead of jumping directly into mock-ups or code we pause at the beginning to Center ourselves around empathy for the user and that's at the core of human centered design this is the overarching human centered design process involves several steps and I'll go through each of these and we're gonna focus on just a couple of these steps today so first is empathy so empathy means a serving interacting immersing yourself with the user and their experiences and like I mentioned really


getting to the core of what they desire and how they're feeling and what their pain points are then you take everything you learn from the empathy phase and you move into definition this is where you synthesize the empathy work and come up with a point of view or a problem set that you're addressing for the user essentially you define your design challenge here the third step is ID eight so you take your design challenge and you let your creativity flow you let go of any preconceived notions that you might have and you explore a wide range of solutions to the users pain point through generating a ton of ideas there's no judgement at this stage essentially the fourth stage is prototyping so you take what all the ideas you came up with during the ideation stage and you pick a couple and you prototype solutions with those ideas and what you really want to do here is is create some sort of physical prototype this could be on paper a digital mock-up Hardware something created with cardboard sketch of service design anything that you could essentially put in front of someone because what you'll be doing in the test phase is putting that prototype in front of a user and testing that design so in the test phase the design is being tested not the user you learn from their interaction and incorporate learnings into improving the prototype or even coming up with more ideas going back into ideation a little bit so in in our presentation today we'll be focusing on the empathize phase and the test phase and we're doing this because these are the two phases where you're really going to interact with these there's the most and learn from them so I'm going to hand it off to Sheba who will kick us off Banks direction so should mention the overall user experience design process and the first step in the process is building empathy with your user in your sprint where you are right now you already have the problem statement defined by the agencies so empathy can be used to refine the problem statement and discover new user needs that might emerge the way you build empathy is you understand your users needs and goals and pain points and motivations and you can do that in a number of different ways and there a number of techniques or methods that you can employ to understand your users needs this is called doing needs finding user research usually and the problem statement would emerge from the needs finding process but in our case here you're utilizing subject matter experts that already have a pulse on the issues so when you're doing needs finding user research you go in with an open mind towards discovering additional information that can help you refine the particular problem that you want to solve and so there are number of different ways in which you can do needs finding which are along a spectrum of how much time you can afford to spend with your user for instance if you can you can go and stay with you user to observe their daily experiences or you can be like touch and send out surveys or look at customer support and complaint logs but the methods that we found most useful for needs finding is conducting oneon-one needs finding interviews with people who might be considered end users of the domain that you're working within so we'll take a look at how you can conduct your own needs finding interviews we'll talk about the interview process and a couple of key artifacts that can come out of the interviews a user interview is just where someone asks one on one questions and records responses from users you can consider three main parts to conducting a user interview the first being selecting and recruiting users the second being planning and preparing an interview script and the third being actually conducting the interview so for the first step recruiting participants you want to try to capture a first set of users if you want you to your research to inspire new opportunities then it's usually helpful to find people who are on the extremes say for example you want to interview users who use public transit then you might interview a power user who uses all modes of public transit they use trains and metros and buses and they have multiple passes for each and this person might be very active and vocal in local politics surrounding transportation and on the other extreme you might interview someone who maybe only occasionally uses one mode of transportation like the bus the other thing you want to do is you want to use the rule of thirds when recruiting participants so a third of your participants should be ideal early adopters who successfully adopt new ways of doing things and a third of participants should be on the opposite end those who resist change or they might exhibit which you might consider inefficient behaviors and the third should be somewhere in the middle you can approximate if necessary say your domain is around trains but you're having a hard time recruiting train riders then you might interview Metro riders or people who take other related forms of public transit because it's much better to talk to some users who are proxies rather than talk to new users and then finally it's important to screen the participants so you might ask participants a few questions via email or by survey to make sure that they fit within your target user group such as what forms of transit do you use on a weekly basis how often do you use each form of transit and then the second step is to create your interview script in the script you'll have an introduction where you explain the purpose of the interview what are you trying to achieve you'll try to collect background information on the participant such as ethnographic data and as much as possible try to collect this from observation rather than always having to ask directly such as you can observe whether or not the participant uses a smartphone or you can sort of guess at their age and you probably want to explain to the participant how their data that you're collecting will be used and if you have any release forms heaven sign those and then in your interview you want to avoid certain types of questions like you want to avoid leading


questions like do you like riding the train because that might already predispose a person towards saying yes you want to avoid questions that have straightforward yes or no answers because you want questions that are open-ended so that they elicit conversation you want to avoid asking users what they want in hypothetical scenarios because that requires the user to imagine things and that's not where their expertise is they're experts in their own lives so you want to ask them about their days and their pain points and you as the designer are tasked with actually coming up with the solution and then finally you want to avoid avoid asking users how often they do something because then it makes them guess or estimate and it's usually not accurate so for instance instead of asking how often do you take the train a better question might be describe how you got to work this morning eat that way you can be more specific and ask about their past behaviors you want to give users a bit of time to answer so pause on your end and that will help allow for them the space to respond and then it's finally it's really important to let the user know that you're not evaluating them and that there are no right or wrong answers feel free to go off-script don't feel limited by your test guide the goal is just to figure out the users main objectives and motivations and pain points and then the third step is to actually conduct the interview ideally you'll have one person conducting the interview while you have another person taking detailed notes and if you can try to record the interview so you can go back and review your notes keep it reasonably short ideally 30 minutes long but no longer than an hour and the majority of the time spent should be the interviewee talking and you as the researcher listening when taking notes the note-taker can write things down verbatim and wait for synthesis afterwards but alternatively some note takers prefer to draw inferences as they go along but that can be distracting for the note-taking we said earlier that to be a user researcher you need to have deep empathy for users the other thing you need is the beginners mindset so even when you think you might know the answer ask people why they do or say things the answers will sometimes surprise you in this example here you might ask the user what are you trying to get done and they might say trying to build a fence and a gate and then you would want to ask why and they would say so that I can surround my front yard and you might say why I'd say so that I can plant a garden you might ask why and so that I can grow my own food why so that I can save money on groceries and that way you really discover the root cause when you drill down and figure out what it is that's the actual motivation for what the user is trying to get done what we don't ask users during needs finding research is what the solution is because we don't expect users to be the designers we also about their pain points and their needs so that we can understand them better especially if you're trying to create a new product or experience that doesn't exist yet you'll want to know what's causing people to not be able to do what they want with the tools they currently have that way you can design either for an entirely new experience or an incremental improvement that helps the user get the job done so as a result of the user interviews you will develop a greater understanding of your users needs and goals and motivations and pain points there are some ways you can synthesize the findings from your user interviews you can focus on extracting qualitative data like quotations or quantitative data like the number of times the user said X you can also create a few artifacts that can help the team empathize with the user two key artifacts that we like to bring out of our user interviews are empathy maps which are similar to personas that they're a lot quicker to create and user journey Maps and I'll walk you through both of those so empathy maps are most useful at the beginning of the design process and empathy map is helpful because it helps the team focus on the underlying why behind the users actions so that we can proactively design for their real needs it's a visual artifact that people can internalize it allows the team to prioritize feature requests with the users needs in mind and it can be used to validate or disprove design decisions a typical user experience empathy map is divided into three to four quadrants outlining different aspects of the users internal experience the quadrants can vary based on what your team needs but here's one that I like to use it has these three quadrants of feelings how is the user feeling about the experience tasks what tasks are the user is the user trying to accomplish and then influences what people's or things or places may influence how the user acts and then the bottom two pieces are the problems or the pain points any obstacles that are worth considering for example and unfamiliarity with technology or a short attention span and goals like what the user hopes to accomplish for instance in the transit example that I gave earlier a user's goal might be to not use money if she forgets to tag off the Train and then to create an empathy map you should probably set aside 45 to 60 minutes for the session and have a skeleton framework of an empathy map drawn on a whiteboard you'd have your whole team together and you would digest your user interview notes onto post-its and place them in each quadrant you might scribble quotes across the tasks and influences and feelings you would do one empathy map for each interviewee and you would have a moderator post questions like what environment is the user in are they having fun or do they want to get it over with and then once you map this this out for one person you would review the completed empathy maps and discuss any patterns and outliers and what my factor influence your designs the most as you're going through the above exercises you'll probably also have ideas for your project so you can create a section on the right where you capture ideas as you go along in addition to empathy


maps another artifact that you can create from your needs needs finding interviews our user journey Maps user journey maps show all the things that are happening and how all the backend systems work together to create the user experience across the journey when we map the user journey it helps us contextualize what we're designing from the users perspective and it helps us keep that point of view as the focus of our design user journey map that's based on user research is really helpful because it helps you capture and synthesize the current experience of real people it shows how things work or they don't work and what the interdependencies are it highlights the pain points and where things might be broken and that covers the most significant opportunities for improvement the process of mapping user journeys is particularly useful in government because the things being built across government will usually be a component of bigger services which are also a part of a user's broader journey so they show you how your service or transaction fits into this bigger service and they highlight what other things might need to change and who you need to be talking to in order to make those changes happen the type of user journey Maps we use are made up of a horizontal axis and a vertical axis basically they're a grid the horizontal axis contains all the steps like when does the users need for this service arise what does the user do first what phases does the person go through are there specific activities within each phase when does the journey end is it one time or cyclical all of that goes horizontally and then on the vertical axis you contain any additional layers of information that you might need in order to understand the user journey is that generally one the emotion that the user is experiencing which might be frustration or anxiety or happiness they would be touched any interactions that the user has with the organization or the product this is what the customer is doing for example the touch point could be pay a bill and then the third thing might be channels which is the channel that the service is delivered through which could be the phone or web or mail or face to face wherever the interaction is taking place in the context of use when you're creating a journey map you want to get your team together around a white Ford and you want to make it a collaborative exercise and you'll pick a specific user whose journey you want to map it's good to have a facilitator moderate and ask the team questions as you put together all the pieces the timeline the touch points the channels the emotional highs and lows and the way the facilitator might do this as they might typically stand by the white board and ask how does the user first hear about you and then they might ask what's the next thing that happens and then next and you would put smiley faces on sticky notes and pin that on the user journey to to illustrate the emotion of the user that way you Sketch up the whole journey from point A to point B using post-its for each step in the journey and for each user emotion at the end of mapping the journey the team should identify the problems and the opportunities and then prioritize them either through discussion or through voting and for both empathy maps and user journey Maps it's helpful to print these out and put them up on a wall where everyone can refer to them during the design process great thanks juba so I want to pause here a bit for questions we've gone over one approach to needs finding which is user interviews and some outcomes that could come out of user interviews which are empathy maps and journey maps so I want to see if there's any questions that have come up on the channel rachel's saying no so I think we can keep going and reserve questions for the end great so grounding ourselves back in the overall design process we've talked about empathy and we will talk about tests now like I mentioned all of the work that comes out of empathy helps you define a design challenge in the define phase and here you really want your challenge to be narrow enough to be manageable but also broad enough to offer a sense of possibility you want the challenge to focus on humans not organizations or products so one example of this could be instead of saying how can we get more people to use public transit we can ask how can we help families travel safely around the city and then in the prototyping phase the the goal is really to build something build an MVP as quickly as possible so that you can get it out the door to test the design and the assumptions you made so Sheba is gonna take us back into the test phase thanks Roshan so when we're testing when we're doing Hugh's they're testing he want to make sure you test your design direction as early as possible and as frequently as possible so that you know whether or not it will work for actual users so as soon as you might have a lightweight even paper sketch or paper prototype you can test it it's similar in some ways to the skeleton structure of user interviews but there are some key differences because now we're putting the product in front of users so the key steps to setting up a user test are one to recruit users two to figure out where you're going to hold the test and then three to create a test script along with some tasks that you will want to ask your test participants to do so looking at step one recruiting users if you look at this graph that was created by Jakob Nielsen a long time ago what it shows is that testing with five users is enough to drive a useful iterative cycle so in other words once you've conducted five test sessions stop testing and correct the serious problems that you've found because beyond that there are diminishing returns then after you've done a design iteration then you can traditional test sessions if you have the ability to do so but the idea is to get frequent feedback by running small tests more often ideally you would test every week another key thing on this graph is that zero users gives zero insights so if you don't talk to any users you really don't have any insights and talking to even one user it gives


exponentially much more insight than talking to zero so the next step is where should you test if at all possible you would like it would be beneficial to go to users to avoid any bias of them feeling like they need to please the interviewer which they might feel if you call them to your office ideally what test where users would actually be completing the task but if you can't then even a coffee shop is fine and then the third step is to have a test script to make sure that you're asking all the test participants the same questions and you aren't accidentally asking leading questions so at the beginning of the study you'll often give the user a context of use you'll make up some kind of scenario which helps them understand or imagine why they're using the prototype then you'll give them some tasks to do so that you can see how they interact with the prototype there are three types of tasks you can give participants in a usability test you can give them verb based tasks scavenger hunt tasks and interview based tasks verb based tasks are basically ones where all the tasks begin with a verb and they ask users to complete a specific action for example if you're testing an email system you might ask users to respond to the email that you just received from Kate with scavenger hunt tasks we ask users to find a specific piece of information and these tasks almost always begin with a verb sign and an example of a scavenger hunt task and a scenario that you might give could be something like telling the user you were at a party last week the discussion turned to recipes for authentic Italian pasta dishes go to the Food Network site and find an Italian recipe for pasta and then with interview-based tasks at the beginning of the test we interview users typically to get a better idea of how they use a product for example if you're evaluating an email system you might start by asking users specific questions like show me how you usually use email that way we see how they use the product in practice we often combine all three types of tasks in any given test during the test there are some things to keep in mind make sure that the user understands that you're not testing them you're trying to improve the product so that it works better for them if you can remember to record the test and then you'll have to instruct the user to think aloud which is a technique in which they verbalize their thoughts about what they're trying to do so they're not providing a critique but they're just revealing their cognitive process in words you'll ask them to show me how you do that you'll make sure you don't ask by providing their reason like you won't say things like is the reason you don't click this button because it's really hard to see because that's leading but then you may also I would recommend avoid asking things like why didn't you click this button because that implies that the user has done something wrong but instead see if you can be creative about exploring the participants understanding of the interface for example you might ask them to talk about what they think each button does and then avoid asking about the future the best way to predict somebody's future behavior is to look at their past behavior you can continue this ID 8 prototype test loop as much as you want to continue learning whether or not your product works for your users and once you have a fully fleshed product you can continue to test it in the same way so those are ideal outcomes of user testing and then I'll hand it back to Roshan great so like Shiba just mentioned this is really a loop this is a site you can use throughout your current sprint process but also after it to continue improving the product so testing can feed back into ideation and also back into the prototype and improvement upon that prototype and just to kind of go over what we talked talked about so we talked about the empathy phase and the test phase and empathy we talked about user interviews that can create empathy maps and journey maps and then the test phase we talked about user testing once you already have a product and one thing I would like to mention about empathy maps and journey Maps if your teams are co-located in the same area it's really good to put these artifacts on the wall and essentially create kind of a little bit of a war room for your team so that you can continually remind yourselves the journey that you're focusing on and the user that you're focusing on and ground yourselves in that for each feature decision each design decision and throughout the build process and I think that's the conclusion of our presentation I know we have at least a couple questions that have come through so we'd like to to address them Rachel do you want to say them out loud sure um so our first question is do you guys have any useful recommended tools or the 3d tactics mentioned in the need signing segment like different apps that you use or anything like that so throughout me it's finding so specifically tools for the interview process empathy Maps and journey Maps yeah yeah I think so I didn't speak to this a little bit first and maybe if I can jump in so empathy Maps and journey Maps to me are very physical so they I think the use of post-its and a whiteboard and things like that to really sketch things out is what I'd encourage the most I'd almost kind of discourage a little bit the use of digital tools and that way you can be really messy you can connect the dots between things that might seem like they're far apart you can put arrows and once you kind of do that in a messy way you can distill it more digitally and what we can do send out a couple of really good examples of journey maps we had some in the in the slides but I know they might have been hard to read quickly and the there are different ways you can do it so throughout on the top the horizontal access Shiba mentioned those are the steps in the process the vertical access you can do a lot of different things so you can say you know the emotion at each step you can say the method they're using so email or their blogging or their walking in through the front door like you know the channel essentially you can


say if other users or other stakeholders are involved in the interaction so there's a lot of flexibility in that vertical access as to how you describe each step in the users journey Xie are there any other digital tools you would want to suggest after they kind of whiteboard yeah so for journey Maps for instance there's a tool which I haven't dug into in a lot of detail myself but it's called UX press eeya and that's UX PR e SS I a and essentially you can create customer journey Maps online but to erosions point I would do this as a collaborative team exercise in person first map it all out on post-its and get you know sort of consolidated understanding and and then flush it out and then what's also really great is afterwards if you do have a digital version which you can use a tool like you express yeah or create in sketch yourself or an illustrator once you map that all out you can actually even do that in in PowerPoint or keynote but once you map it all out what I recommend is printing that really in on a big scale and having that up so that the whole team can rally around and refer to the important pieces of the journey as well as for empathy Maps rally around your user persona is yeah one more tool that might be helpful for you guys is look back this is a little bit more of a tool for user testing because it allows you to record how the user is interacting with the product so it records the screen essentially it could be useful in the user interview stage if you are asking someone you know in the example of hey go look up this recipe on this recipe site and you want to kind of see how they do it look back is a good tool for that but other than that I think simple audio and/or video during the user interview process so that you can go back and transcribe the interview or pull specific quotes out instead of really relying on your memory to remember what what happened with the test and then for user interviews or even for user testing for the part where you're recruiting users what can be a tool that I've used in the past that I really like is say I want to recruit users who go to the city's website then I might install a line of JavaScript through a site called Atheneum which is eth n dot IO and on ethno you can use that tool to recruit users you can just sort of insert that line of JavaScript on the city's website where it'll show a little pop up when people come to that particular page where you have that line of JavaScript and that pop-up will say hey do you have 25 minutes or 30 minutes for a user interview or for a user test and that way say your demographic that you're targeting for the user test is people who visit the driver's license page on the city's website well you can intercept anybody who's on that page and then you know they figure out you can ask them a few questions and through Athenaeum to make sure that they are the right people that you want to recruit and then you can set up a user test for them so it's just a way for recruiting for intercepting people giving them a quick survey to make sure they are at the right people and then setting up a user test with them or user interview right I'm gonna take us out of presentation mode so that you guys can see our faces again great so I think that was the only question we had Rachel about know more about user interviews do you offer compensation it's not how do you make it worthwhile for the users yeah that's a great question do you want to yeah so we generally do I think you guys can do it based on the market you're in we have you know given gift cards for $25 for each interview that lasts around 30 minutes that's kind of our standard but you know and anything in that range I think is useful and then just making sure the compensation is consistent for all of the users throughout the process and I think it is really a best practice to to give compensation so that you users don't feel like you're taking advantage of their time and you are giving them something in exchange for their feedback cool any other yeah yeah feel free to post and I know we're also on slack so we're happy to answer any follow-up questions or perhaps Aiden and Zach and the White House team can can final questions are way too and yeah we want to thank everyone for joining and hopefully this was really helpful to kind of kick you guys off in sort of a user centered mindset throughout the sprint process and we're all really excited to see what comes out of all the teams working on these problem sets yeah and we're available via email as well you probably got my email and Roshan's email and our email addresses so throughout the sprint processes you might have any questions or you're trying to set up your research user research or any part of your ideation process even if it's a simple question feel free to ping us we're we're very excited for the work that you guys are doing we care about civic tech and use a center design this is what we like so happy to help in any way possible great any final questions right you know awesome alright guys thanks filiming and we'll see you online bye Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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