After user research, we all have to face large volumes of raw research data. How to turn those data into useful insights and gain deeper understanding of your audience always a topic for discussion. “One of the key objectives of user research is to identify themes or threads that are common across participants.” Steve Baty has listed ten patterns used in UX research for demonstrating a recurring theme, with data or objects appearing in a predictable manner.
- trends—A trend is the gradual, general progression of data up or down.
- repetitions—A repetition is a series of values that repeat themselves.
- cycles—A cycle is a regularly recurring series of data.
- feedback systems—A feedback system is a cycle that gets progressively bigger or smaller because of some influence.
- clusters—A cluster is a concentration of data or objects in one small area.
- gaps—A gap is an area in which there is an absence of data.
- pathways—A pathway is a sequential pattern of data.
- exponential growth—In exponential growth, there is a rapidly increasing rate of growth.
- diminishing returns—When there are diminishing returns, there is a gradually decreasing rate of growth.
- long tails—The Long Tail is a pattern that rises steeply at the start, falls sharply, then levels off over a large range of low values.
Even we already know those patterns, to uncover them from research data still a daunting task. The author indicates that forms is a critical toolset for UX designers. There are other tools for illustrating patterns such as sketches, diagrams etc. By using these tools, we could successfully manipulate and visualize data; and identify and interpret patterns.