How not to frame leading statements.

While interacting.

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As designers, Interacting with user groups is a crucial part of the design process. We gather data and insights to build design solutions for newer challenges. However, this process is a two-way street, and the way we build the conversation influences the insights we receive. If not done properly, it can lead to lesser insights. While establishing a conversation with the user, you may ask and they answer something which can be relevant, something they might want to talk about, or something that totally differs from what you intend to hear. So it totally depends on how one approaches the two-way street. We are in general leading when we talk, but how can we really know it? There are a few things we can identify that, if kept in practice, will be helpful to us in the long run. I’ll still keep these few things open-ended, with no standard ways suggested or a set of rules I learned to generate better responses in return.

To start with let’s take a case where we have a user who is acquainted with the process of making online daily product purchases. It’s important to focus on the users’ behavior when making purchases from an online store or any other such platform. Our goal is to narrow down to the point where they give us raw data packed with insights into areas of our interest. However, the way we frame our questions can impact the quality of the insights we receive. So let’s see it.

So the question goes like this: “Hey, will you just quickly recall all the grocery products you purchase on a usual basis through your most preferred online shopping mart?”. Doesn’t look like much leading for now, right, let’s see. Asking a user to recall something quickly can cause them to feel rushed, potentially resulting in them missing important points or including information that is not directly related to the topic. This may lead to a collection of data with fewer insights and more assumptions.

The second point to consider is that by mentioning only daily grocery products, their focus is now restricted to only that area. This can cause missing on the part where users may behave differently in other situations. Additionally, by limiting the scope to just one aspect of their behavior, you miss out on other use cases that could provide valuable insights.

Thirdly, by asking about their most preferred online shopping mart, the user’s responses may be influenced by their familiarity with that platform. This could limit the information gathered and bias their answers towards that specific platform, even if the goal is to understand their behavior on any online shopping platform. Essentially, mentioning a specific platform could inadvertently prime their responses and create bias.

Instead, we can ask open-ended questions that keep the conversation on track and don’t limit the user’s response. Neutral language, without added assumptions, and without presenting specific names or tags are a few ways to avoid generating leading questions. As designers, we must be aware of the words we use in our questions. Words with leading nature should be kept to a minimum to avoid influencing the user’s response. It’s a good practice to write down our queries and try to remove our objects of attention one by one. This approach can help us gain a broader understanding of user behavior and design more effective solutions.

In conclusion, our conversations with users are a valuable source of insights. By being mindful of our questions, we can get deeper insights into user behavior and design better solutions that meet their needs.

Learning on the go.

UXD. 🚲

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