2. Concepts & Summaries (analysis part one)
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16-Mar-22 to 16-Jul-22 (Live access)
16-Mar-22 to 27-Apr-22 (Follow-along)
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About this course
Research teams tend to hurry through data analysis, which bends the insights toward their own perspective. In this course you will learn bias-free analysis of transcripts.
Research “insights” are the junk food of product teams.
Most research teams are working within complex contexts, and the people they study are complicated. They do their research in focused chunks to shed light on discrete parts of the situation. But many teams are told, “Give me a couple of good insights.” They’re asked, “What are the highlights?” “Trends?” “Pain points.” Teams end up sharing out answers to those questions rather than letting the data tell the real stories.
Research teams respond by providing a “summary” format of what they found–and literally this set of insights consists of a list of things they heard frequently. When creating this list, it takes a well-trained mind not to fall prey to cognitive bias. When you come at data from a top-down approach, the concepts that you’ve already become interested in get emphasized in what you remember from the data. Bottom-up analysis is the best way to avoid cognitive bias and let the data tell you what it really means. Very few research teams actually conduct bottom-up analysis.
(Here is an example of concepts & summaries from the first part of one transcript, about the purpose of going to a restaurant, or not, during the COVID19 pandemic.)
Learn true, unbiased, bottom-up analysis technique.
If you want to bring rock-solid, reliable information to your organization, you need to know how. This kind of deep analysis is not taught as a part of most user experience coursework. It requires keeping a neutral mindset and looking at the transcripts for types of concepts, not concept meaning. The meaning will bias you toward the things you are already interested in. Types of concepts, however, enables a bit of neutrality. Once you pull those types out and summarize them, you will have a true set of concepts that were actually expressed
You will learn how to:
- Develop cognitive empathy with each participant by thoroughly understanding their transcript
- Set yourself up for easier synthesis of patterns
- Recognize surface from depth
- Pull quotes across a transcript to form a single concept
- Summarize each concept so it makes later comprehension faster
- Prepare data for creating thinking styles and mental model diagrams
- Also use this approach for transcripts from user research
Expect homework to take about one hour a week. (Some people invest less time or more time, depending on their context.)
- Homework #1: Based on a list of quotes (concepts), list verbs you think represent this concept best. Optionally, try your hand at writing a couple of summaries.
- Homework #2: Based on a list of quotes (concepts), list verbs you think represent this concept best, then write a summary with the key point next and a supporting detail or two.
- Homework #3: Given a transcript, find the concepts (repeated & tangled), prune the quote, list some verbs, then write a summary with the key point and supporting details.
Who is this for?
If you are a researcher, this course is for you! Product managers, designers, and leaders are also welcome, because more and more of you are tasked with conducting research, and you may as well do it correctly. The outcome needs to be a reliable foundation for your decision-making.
Learn bias-free analysis of transcripts with a group of like-minded professionals. In the next course you will learn how to synthesize the patterns across participants, from the bottom-up.