IXD302 Week 10 – Proof of Concept & Initial Research

Today’s lecture is about creating a strong vision for our pitch. This includes conducting various research and gathering factual material to solidify our product.

SWOT Analysis 

Swot analysis is something we have done last year with Daniel for our personal brand. It helps define our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats thus being called ‘SWOT’. It is a tool that can help devise a successful strategy for the future.

Additionally, I can pitch my concept to my potential user group to confirm assumptions and solidify my idea to make sure my pitch is relevant.

In what ways can I do this?

  • Initial interviews / Concept testing
  • Survey / Questionaire
  • Forum responses / Competitor Reviews
  • Published Data

Knowing my audience…

In order to gain a greater and more in-depth insight into the practicality of my product/pitch, I have to conduct user research to understand my audience. This includes systematic investigations/conducting surveys in order to establish facts to draw conclusions.


“Design happens in context, and research is simply understanding that context.” – Erika Hall

This quote that Daniel has shown us describes how ideas or products are motionless assumptions without knowing the practicality behind it. This means we have to conduct research in order to understand and apply a sense of relevancy behind our ideas to properly understand them.


Qualitative vs Quantitative 

What’s the difference?


  • Unstructured – opened ended / interview
  • Subjective – Opinion
  • Immeasurable
  • Insights, Theories




  • Structured – Surveys, etc.
  • Objective – Factual
  • Measurable
  • Test theories

The graph above displays various methods of research displayed like the “Political Compass Test”, only for qualitative, and quantitative factors.

As a UX designer, researching users just doesn’t come in at a certain frame of the project’s timeline, instead, it is done at every step. This helps create a fluid user categorization process which untimely helps refine a product to match a user’s need.

However, research doesn’t have to require a research lab filled with Government spies, instead, it can be done by anybody in a timely and cost-efficient manner. For example, simply looking at a group of collective tweets on Twitter, doing quick surveys, looking at competitor reviews online, or even just looking at forum posts.

Defining Users 

  1. Define primary user groups
  2. Pick techniques for involving users
  3. Conduct Research
  4. Validate definitions & analyze research
  5. Generate user requirements


Additionally, I can create a list of attributes that define different users, from this I can pick the most important users that have the largest impact on my pitch/product. Things such as asking questions and looking at current factual figures can help strengthen this.

Avoiding bias…

When conducting research such as surveys or meetings, I must be aware of potential biases that can corrupt my findings,

Cognitive Bias – This is a natural human response that the environment and mentalities shape our biases.

Confirmation Bias – Similar to above, this is the belief of bias through already existing bias. This has the tendency to seek out, interpret, judge and remember information so it supports pre-existing views.

Group Think – This occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people’s common sense to present alternatives. To follow the herd almost.

Selection Bias – This kind of bias is when a participant joins a study because they have indifferences to others.

Alternative biases

  • Knowing the answer
  • Self-Referential Design
  • Being Precious
  • Asking leading questions

Interviews & Observations

  • Challenge assumptions
  • Gather user requirements
  • Get out of the building
  • Goals, behavior, context
  • Motivation and needs


Conducting Surveys

In the online age, surveys are becoming every increasingly prevalent. I remember filling out surveys then eventually earning real-life cash. At first, there had to be a catch, however, little did I know how valuable are human ‘voices’ even through a digital screen. Surveys are becoming easier and easier to commence online. Websites such as Typeform, Survey Monkey, Google Forms, etc. These sites make it easy for me to share my surveys with valuable people in a quick and cost-effective manner.


Card Sorting 

Card sorting is a research method in which I can study groups through a set of individual labels/categories. This uncovers the target audience’s expectations. It is a simple, efficient and cheap way of research.



Once I have conducted all of my research, it’s time to tie it all together. Fortunately, Daniel has provided us with a diverse range of processes to do this.



Triangulation is the use of multiple methods/sources in qualitative research to develop a comprehensive understanding of one’s subject. It facilitates the validation of research through cross verification from more than one source.

Affinity Diagram

This is a tool that gathers large amounts of ideas, opinions or issues and organizes them into groups based on their natural relationship. It is often used to group ideas generated by brainstorming.


This can involve accumulating post-its and grouping them together.


The Users

Once everything is done, there are many ways someone can define their targeted users, two primary ways in the UX world are shown down below.

  • User Persona’s
  • Empathy Map

At the current minute, I am creating a user persona for my IXD301 project, so some of this shouldn’t be news to me.

What did I learn? 

In today’s class, we were met with a wealth of different information and techniques in order to research and define our target users for our pitch. I feel like I have learned a great amount in today’s class as I am more knowledgeable in researching users and the various methods I can go about achieving this.












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