All posts by Luis Carlos Rubino de Oliveira

Personas

One of the design tools used to provide a clearer picture of users beyond market segmentations and demographics is personas. They can give a precise description of users and define what they wish to accomplish, representing archetypical users to facilitate the understanding of their behaviours, needs, motivations, characteristics and limitations. Having a small set of personas makes the real users more tangible, especially for large organisations or multi-partner projects with diverse stakeholders, where some of them are not familiar … Read more →

Interviews and qualitative data analysis

One of the most used methodologies applied to understand users and their experiences are interviews. Online, phone-based or face-to-face semi-structured interviews are performed to understand user expressions of attitudes, feelings, preferences, needs and behaviours. Using a semi-structured method it’s possible to explore in more depth specific aspects raised by participants, and allow for richer data collection.

Interview prompts

During interviews, it’s possible to use materials to prompt participants to develop their ideas and describe aspects in more details. Examples include … Read more →

Shadowing

One data collection methodology that I sometimes use is the observational method called ‘shadowing’, when a trained researcher investigates, unobtrusively, the activities that individuals perform as they go about their business. Shadowing involves a field visit, which gives the opportunity to observe and meet people where they are comfortable, at their habitual places of work. It can lead to specifications of concrete details about work activities, and this knowledge can help write requirements to be implemented in subsequent development phases.… Read more →

Large-scale surveys and statistical analysis

We are seeing the use of alternative approaches to measure user attitudes, specifically, those that offer more robust, useful and actionable attitudinal data. One of these methods is the Best-Worst Scaling (BWS), which has risen in popularity as a choice-based measurement approach. BWS experiments collect both “best” and “worst” information from a set of statements about the product or service offering. These could include attributes, features or product benefits. As such, more information is gathered about the top ranked and … Read more →

User observation

Otherwise known as the bird’s eye technique, this style of data collection allows researchers to gather information without direct interference with those being observed. Using video recordings allows large quantities of data to be analysed extensively and, when mounted discreetly, cameras are capable of avoiding the ‘observer effect’. Unobtrusive observation is an appropriate data collection technique in the context of studying pedestrians and their behaviours, as it enables large numbers of people to be studied in public spaces.

Observation of
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How to make excel display sharp time on graph axis

I was trying to make Microsoft Excel display sharp times on graphs, but took me a while to figure out how to. I had this graph of time to complete the task, per group of participants. The X axis displayed the participant group, and the Y axis corresponded to time. But as you can see on the example, instead of showing rounded times like 2, 5 or 10 minutes, Excel was showing fractions like 01:26, 2:53 etc. I would prefer … Read more →