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So, a client of mine wants to improve a tool that displays stats about a subject on their web site. (Sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you more about it). The goal of this project is to make the users more satisfied.

The client has already conducted an user survey in which he asked the users to rate the tool and to explain what they liked and disliked about it. The client has also collected demographic data about the users.

Reading about what the users dislike about the tool it's easy to add more functionality and written content, but is it really enough or a good idea to just do what the user say they want?

What additional research methods should I use to make sure that we are building a more satisfactorily experience?

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2 Answers 2

You can't go wrong with a very basic personal interview with a random person wherever you work at. Grab a laptop, go to the lobby, and grab someone hanging about the place. Have a set of questions at the ready so that when you talk with a number of people, you get answers to similar questions. Alternatively, you can seek out folks from your organization to question, just as long as they are not directly working at or with your project. A personal interview is surprisingly easy to conduct and yields qualitative data that you will not get from a quantitative method.

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Make sure not to depend too much on what clients say, but also look at what they do. The Yellow Walkman story illustrates my point well.

Instead of using only qualitative measures or quantitative measures on the existing systems, why don't you mockup some potential improvements and run a guerilla usability study on the mockups?

You shouldn't have to re-invent the wheel for this, you can use a simple existing scale such as SUS to get some qualitative feedback on top of taking notes, asking questions, or using a think-aloud protocol.

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