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User Needs Assessment Tips

These tips are relevant for any type of user sessions you run but are particularly relevant for interviews and observations where you typically meet with individuals.

  • Be a good listener
  • Remain neutral: don't react
  • Focus on goals first, tasks second
  • Avoid discussions of technology
  • Don't limit yourself to a fixed set of questions
  • Encourage story telling
  • Distance yourself from the product
  • Avoid making the user a designer
  • Categorize notes = easier analysis
  • Analyze your notes within 48 hours
  • Ideally should be performed in teams
  • Don't use questions that can be answered with "yes" or "no" Don't ask leading questions
  • Don't use jargon
  • Don't draw attention to specific issues that you care about

From Jakob Nielsen, Field Studies Done Right: Fast & Observational

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