Glossary

Affinity Clustering

This technique allows you to see patterns in your data. It is often used as part of the synthesis process. First, break down your subject area into modular pieces of information you can move around (you can use cards or post its for this). On each post it add one piece of information (observations, data, insights). In a team or alone, start grouping the information in different ways. You can either do this one at a time or give it a go as a group. Once all post its/cards are grouped, start thinking about what the groups are and name them. You will start to see new clusters of your data and get an idea of what important sub groupings emerge. See more from Ideo.org Design Kit

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.  Wikipedia.

Human-centered design

Human-centered design is the methodology used to understand behavior and authentically integrate the needs and wants of the target users of a product or service. Deep consideration of the target audience is given at each stage of development, continuously bringing in users to inspire, validate, and iterate concepts. Wikipedia

Insight

Insights are gathered from research, such as interviews and market research. Insights are not final answers, they are a way of viewing the world.  Understanding the need is not the same as coming up with the solution. Wikipedia.

Minimal viable product

Minimal viable product (MVP) is a way to rapidly demonstrate value of a product and it’s resonance with real users, by creating and testing the smallest feature set of a product. An average MVP can be created in 6-9 months depending on complexity of the product. The most important aspect of the MVP is understanding that you will accrue technical debt and design debt. This “startup” mindset is almost in direct opposition to a large software organisational mindset around building product. Think of it as minimal + viable = valuable. In other words, what is the minimum you can do to still show value? Wikipedia

Need finding

Need finding is a user research technique where the goal is to discover the latent needs of a certain target audience. It is often done through either contextual inquiry or interviews. It can be useful to engage extreme users as they can represent needs that have currently not manifested themselves clearly in mainstream population. 

Personas

A Persona is a fictional archetype that represents the characteristics, needs and behaviors of your target user. A persona is a composite model you create from the data you’ve gathered by talking to real people. Personas exists to represent the human in human-centered design. They embody the behaviors and priorities of real people and act as a reference point for decision-making in the development process.  Good personas are one of the strongest product tools you can have. Wikipedia

Product Roadmap

A strategic communication document that describes your future vision for the product and how you will get there.

Product-Market Fit

Happens when a product satisfies a strong market/customer demand, it is accomplished by creating a value proposition that fits your target audience. Wikipedia.

Synthesis

Synthesis is the process of making sense of your data. It brings the actionable insights out of your research. There is not one way of doing synthesis, but a good way of breaking it down is in four steps. 1) Collect and organize your data (notes, images, videos)  2) Review the data by going through it and noting down insights, things of interest, patterns and creating findings. 3) Sort and Cluster the findings using either card sort or affinity clustering. 4) Identify insights based on the patterns that emerge. A good breakdown of synthesis process can be found at UX Matters and from Gov.uk.

Target Audience

Target Audience is a definition of the group of people your product is solving a problem for or providing a service for. Wikipedia.

Technical Roadmap

 A strategic communication document that describes your future vision for your R&D technology efforts and how you will get there. It helps prioritize decisions within R&D efforts by mapping technology need dates with expected completion dates. It is thereby a strong tool that aligns product and engineering. The technology roadmap is often owned by the engineering teams in collaboration with the product lead. See an example.

Use Case

Simple, linear path that clarifies how will someone use the product or service, what different types of people are involved, and whether or not the product or service (as envisioned) will actually be usable. Wikipedia

UX Roadmap

A strategic communication document that describes your future vision for the user experience over time. By applying the perspective of the user experience, the roadmap focuses on what people will be able to do with your product and how in the future. The UX roadmap is often owned by the design team in collaboration with the product lead. See an example.

Value Proposition

Concise statement about why a product or service is relevant, differentiated, and defensible, and how it is uniquely delivered to specific audience. Wikipedia.