Research & Analysis – overview

Keytree see the Understanding Users phase of a project as the cornerstone of the process. It provides the critical insights that define what needs to be provided within a system for it to meet its business goals.

For discretionary systems where adoption or sales are important, understanding what users want and need provides the crucial input for developing a project scope that will deliver a service that will be both appealing and useful to the target audience. For systems that require a high level of usability, this phase helps to understand how users think and expect a system to work; an understanding of which is critical when designing usability systems.

focus group

Understanding Users methods are used to determine:

  • Which areas of the experience cause the most problems
    Depending on the type of system, understanding what is causing users problems and why can involve a number of activities. On a web site, Web Analytics is the primary method for identifying problems; this might include processes that users do not complete to forms that generate many errors. Log analysis is used to analyse issues and behaviors, for example search logs are used to find out what users are looking for, call center logs are analysed to find out what users need the most help with. User Evaluations and Observations studies not only identify problems but more importantly can provide insights into why users are having problems. These studies typically follow on from a wider system analysis.
  • What would improve the experience for users
    A range of methods can be employed to understand how an experience can be improved. If a system or service already exists, a User Evaluation or Observational study are commonly used to understand what users currently have difficulties with and why. If a service does not exist or insights are required to test new ideas or concepts, more open ended methods might be the best approach. A research plan that includes Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups is often created so that both qualitative and quantitative data from the target audience can be collected and analysed.