Guerilla user research: CGT graduate studies website

At the bottom of this post, you can see the synthesis of your research summaries. I looked for common themes across all the 5 groups’ results and wrote this summary, which I sent to the CoT Web team.

I have also posted a longer document on Bb, in the Useful Resources folder. It includes the results from all 5 groups.

Please reflect on this guerilla user research experience. Consider questions such as:

  • How can you structure interview questions better in order to get useful information?
  • Is it better to focus on broader user goals (as Cooper advocates) or on specific work information (as the UX Book advocates)?
  • What do you take away from the experience of translating interview data to design requirements?
  • What did you learn this week as you applied the readings to a hands-on activity?

In the comments below, let me know what you thought about the format of this particular class. Or, at the very least, let me know you’ve read the post by rating, liking or disliking.


Twenty graduate students enrolled in CGT 512 – Human Factors of Human Computer Interface Design conducted a quick study based on peer interviews in order to identify potential graduate students’ needs related to the CGT graduate studies website.

Below is a summary of the research findings from all the independent research groups.

Content requirements for the CGT graduate studies website:

A. Why Purdue CGT?

1. What is Purdue CGT?! – clear description of what program is, what study will entail. Showcase:

    • Faculty
    • Faculty research
    • Student projects
    • Courses and plans of study
    • Value to students: Opportunities upon graduation

B. Admission requirements

2. Forms, procedures, requirements

C. Prepare for life at Purdue

3.     Get to know faculty and students – social networking links

4.     Ease transition by linking to important information about:

    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Cultural groups
    • Help with English language
  1. I enjoyed the format but it seemed like not enough time over material we had just read. However, I understand the point being made of sometimes time/money/resources are just not available. Also a very nice change of pace. 🙂

    • The class is predicated on the assumption that everyone read & understood the assigned readings and is ready to work with them.

  2. I liked the format of the class since it was very different from a classroom environment and it was more like practical training.

  3. Nice way to aggregate useful data. Are we only helping the web design team in content requirement? How about web design requirements, in our interview, many classmates mention about design improvement? Awesome exercise low cost and time.

    • We’ll be conducting usability testing (or maybe web experience analysis) on the site or on a working prototype, so that should help with features.

  4. I liked the format of the class. I like this kind of hands on over the lecture format. Also when I attended Cooper Interaction Design Workshop, the format and time requirement was similar. ( I begin to think that there is no real world work with enough time and money except in the large hierarchical company where my report is thrown away somewhere along the line)

    It required vigor. So after the class, I feel positively exhausted, like after workout.

    Also I learned something from doing it myself, which was maybe not possible only reading and lecture. I summarized what I learned what I learned in my blog. (Here ->

    Finally I particularly enjoyed the team work setting. It makes me Not lonely, makes me accomplish more, makes me learn more.

    • Thank you for the feedback on class! Look forward to reading your blog post.

  5. One of the best ways to learn is to do. So this kind of activity-based class is definitely good. Here is a question based one the activity we had for this week’s class: Is it better to have only 1 interviewers asking questions? Or is it better to have 2~3 people as interviewers? The downside of having 2+ interviewers may be it cost more time and the questions won’t be too focused, the upside, based on my personal experience and this week’s class, is that a interviewee tends to say more things quickly and intuitively if s/he is asked by multiple people, which will hopefully yield more/better raw data. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • Usually you do not scare the interviewee by having a panel ask them questions. Even though you can cover more perspectives with several interviewers, you want no more than 2 interviewers for one interviewee.

    • Xin_Cindy_Chen
    • October 5th, 2012

    “Is it better to focus on broader user goals (as Cooper advocates) or on specific work information (as the UX Book advocates)?” This is exactly the question I was wondering. Will the answer always be “both” or “it depends”?

  1. October 8th, 2012

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