Agile research data for agile teams: How to be data-informed, quickly


One of the most fundamental concepts in UX design is that you aren’t your users, so you need data to make informed decisions, validate hypotheses, and avoid the sin of designing for yourself. You are on an agile and possibly lean team and know that the quality of your decisions only as good as the quality of your data. So you measure everything you can, and strive to make data-driven decisions. You have discovered that using data is the best way of getting quick consensus and buyoff.

Just three problems: 1) Two-week sprints make significant user research nearly impossible, 2) Chances are, your data isn’t nearly as good as you think it is. And worse: 3) As a result, being data driven is a serious mistake—it’s much better to be data informed.

This workshop starts by making the case for using data throughout the design process, but then explores the challenges of using data and how it often misleads instead of informs. All the claims are backed up by real examples. Next, we will explore why being data informed is much better and less riskier than being data driven. We will then explore the various forms of data, along with their pros and cons–paying particular attention to efficiency.

The workshop ends with a team-based exercise (based on a real user research project) of developing a research plan, analyzing the results, determining ways in which the data might be misleading, and correcting course.

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