I do not remember exactly how I came across “Just Enough Research” and why I decided to read it. Perhaps, the name resonated with me after I learned about so-called JBGE (just barely good enough) analysis artifacts from Scott Ambler.
Regardless, there are many reasons why one should read Erika Hall’s book about design research.
- This is a good introduction to the world of design research in all of its complexity. Product managers, engineers, designers, project managers and other folks engaged in IT projects will all benefit from getting a better understanding of the space
- It is a fun read and it is packed with humorous references and quotes
- It is practical and has a high density of valuable tips and guidelines among its 150 or so pages of content
- It goes well beyond the traditional topics of user interviews and usability testing. As a Business Analyst in my past life, I appreciated the amount of attention paid to the topic of requirements and their attributes (Cohesive, Complete, Unambiguous, etc.) as well as stakeholder interviewing and documentation rigor
- It will raise a lot of questions. For me, some questions were why did she think so highly of personas and why jobs to be done were not really given any attention
I read the book twice. Once — just to get familiar with the content. A second time was needed to prepare all of the visual notes that I would like to share with you below. It took me around 12 hours to prepare these notes.
One realization I made while reading the book is that I had a different mental model of what the term “mental model” entailed and so next on my reading and visualization list is the book “Mental Models” by Indi Young. Oh, and it was nice to find references to other books I have recently read (such as Steve Portigal’s “Interviewing Users”). Here is a link to my medium post containing visual notes for that book.
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