We applied the “research learning spiral” to plan and conduct our user research. The spiral was created by Erin Sanders at Frog.
After decided to focus on group meetings of college students, we applied who, what, where, when, how and why thinking to brainstorm questions we were trying to answer. These framing questions helped us identify which gaps in knowledge we need to fill.
Then we prioritized and clustered the most important questions (based on our vision, the time frame and resources we could reach), and translated them into research objectives:
1. Discover how students deal with team dynamics.
2. Learn the way students manage group meetings.
3. Understand how to engage students in group meetings.
Based on the framing questions, we formulated ten hypotheses. Externalizing hypotheses helped us be aware of and minimize the influence of biases among the team. It also helped us select the right methods to fulfill our research objectives.
We conducted observation, surveys, and interviews to help us better understand the what, how, and why aspects of the design space.
To better direct our design, it was important for us to be clear about the roles that technology should play. We determined the technology we introduce should fulfill the following two roles to be successful integrated into students’ current work flow.
Technology should facilitate human activities. It should help human make decisions not replace human making decisions. Technology could provide a clear path or guidance to help human better achieve their goals.
Technology should complement human abilities, and do things that human are not good at. In our design, technology can help make the implicit aspects of a meeting explicit.