The m:lab hosted a Wireless Wednesday event on the 9th of November 2011 with a focus on User Experience Research for startups.
The discussions revolved around what we identified as a fundamental question: "Can ideas be validated through research?" One assumption stemming from this question is that ideas can be validated through many prototyping cycles before launching.
An argument about balancing users wants and the founders vision in light of market/user strategy also stemmed off the fundamental question. And while this may be inexhaustible, there is consensus around having a single unchanging vision but tweaking and changing strategies to meet users needs and perceptions.
The same may apply differently for the technology platforms that startups choose. While most statups will have a preference for some platforms over others based on their skill sets and/or market forces, ultimately, it should be matched to the end users needs. Startups should take some time to focus on what technology is most suitable to meet the end users needs.
A concluding argument focused on functionality of the application. Does it always equal good user experience? While this may be true for some applications, it isn't a standard metric. Functionality can be centered on "key features" that aim to make an application stand out or an equal relation but if it lacks the capacity to meet the end users needs, it will have failed in user experience design and research.
A number of highlights of the event are listed below:
- UX profession has at least two parts - UX Research + UX Design
- Considerations for UX: Developer's Vision VS What Users Want to achieve VS Path for user to achieve what they want to do
- Just having idea alone potentially makes you irrational - especially by ignoring real user needs
- Co-Design - Design together with your customer
- Aim to change as little as possible of your user's normal behaviour