Gleaning Insight and Direction From Varying Opinions
Last week, Emily talked about the questions and answers we received when asking folks various usability questions for our upcoming site redesign.
One thing that stuck out to me during those calls was just how varying and contradictory answers were. It seemed like whomever we were talking to at that moment had the exact opposite viewpoint of the previous caller. While that's pretty entertaining, the potential for frustration was definitely there: how were we to know what to do when every opinion contradicted the next?
So, how do you come out of a series of calls like that and not be frustrated?
It's simple: ask why folks are giving the answers they are. For us, that was often more helpful than the "actual" answer.
Here's the scenario: after going through our list of core questions, we asked which wireframe (or elements from both) our volunteers preferred. While it was great to hear that they loved A better than B, what was more helpful was the why…"I liked concept B because it felt more traditional."
It felt more traditional.
Tallying up who liked A vs. B isn't helpful because it's so subjective, but by getting the why out in the open, and comparing those reasons to our goals, we then knew what direction(s) to take after these calls.
This is definitely something we're going to keep in mind, and something you should anytime you're getting feedback from a diverse set of opinions. Knowing why someone likes this or dislikes that is often more helpful than knowing that they like or dislike something.
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