UX Fracking: Using mixed methods to extract hidden insights

Users do not always accurately describe what they mean or feel. There are many reasons for this, ranging from politeness to poor introspection, to lack of sufficient technical vocabulary. Fortunately, UX researchers have tools in their trade to deduce what was really meant. We call this UX Fracking, a mixed methods approach that is optimized for extracting hidden user insights. We will illustrate the dangers of inadequate, superficial research, and how this may lead to outcomes incapable of addressing the users’ core issues. We will explore ways to avoid these pitfalls by leveraging mixed research methods to test hypotheses about the users’ intent and needs. This starts with a thorough understanding of who the user is, their goals, and how they work today, to an approach that combines surveys, interviews, and comment analysis with behavioral observation, and finally, validating the newly discovered user insights with the users themselves.

Entry Level Tools and Techniques