Identifying user pain points to develop a product

Research  •  Product Development  •  UX
Google Knowledge Card featuring Election Information & Dates
Graduate Student project for Digital Experience Design
Timeframe: 2 weeks
Assignment: Pick a task for a user to complete online. Observe and interview 10 individuals completing the task. Identify one or more personas based on the data collected. Document the userflow, identify the pain points, and then develop a product based on your research. 
Project Description: Working the a partner in the research phase, we chose to as our participants to find out who was running in their local elections in November of 2016. The results were surprising and unexpected. None of the users were able to complete the task to their satisfaction. As we individually created our products, I harnessed the way users navigated the web with Google and Google's existing knowledge card feature to give users an easy, direct, customizable solution.

Google implemented a similar knowledge card 3 days after the class presentation.

Qualitative Research Interviews
To start our research, we first wrote a script outlining 15 questions we would use to better document and identify our user’s experience. Our goal was to limit the interviews to about 10-15 minutes while collecting enough data to give us a clear conclusion. We separated out our questions into three categories: (D) Demographics, (A) Attitudes and (O) Outcomes so we could identify themes later on. Asking the questions in a strict order making sure we did not influence any responses while creating a natural flow for the conversation. 
We then documented these interviews on post-it using a system that outlined what the users said, what they did, and what we observed for analysis.
Affiinty Diagramming
Once we had all of the interviews documented we proceeded to create an affinity diagram, using it to see key themes around the userflow and to develop our personas. 

Documenting the Userflow
Persona Development
User’s also had some interesting attitudinal quotes:
“Google is the first place I go to seek information.”
“I am a competent Googler, unlike my mother”
“I’m very impatient. I always wish Google would give me the answer vs. a bunch of sites.”
Features List
By identifying the user's pain points and attitudes, I found features that could be solutions to each.

What users need:  
• List of Candidates presorted by local district (most users did not know what there local was)
• Date Field that can accommodate current, past and future elections along with type of election
• Search field to target candidate list by address, so users didn't have to know their local district

Proposed Solution and Axure Prototype
Because users use Google for navigation, the need is so pronounced I chose to develop a Google already knowledge card.
• Users started with Google
• Users admit to a need for immediate gratification
• Can accommodate all Primary Features
• Can be triggered with search Terms.
• Presenting factual information
• Avoid voting district confusion by bypassing .gov site
What I Learned
This was a intensive deep dive into understanding interview research methods and their analysis, it was also a great opportunity to learn Axure along the way. Axure has since become one of my favorite prototyping tools with it's interactivity and variable data capabilities. 

• Don't limit your solution to just the product you have in mind
• Developing a good interview script helps you to uncovers so much
• Understanding the userflow makes pain point incredibly obvious

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