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Talking with Customers

Week of September 24, 2018
Monday, 3:30-5:00 PM - Hawes 203
Wednesday, 3:30-5:00 PM - Batten Hall (Hives) 207

Guest: Mariah Hay, VP Product @Pluralsight

Required Reading

  1. Chapter Three (Principles of Contextual Inquiry) of Contextual Design: Design for Life 
    Second Edition by Karen Holtzblatt, Hugh Beyer
    You can find this on Hollis eBook ISBN: 9780128011362

  2. Chapter Six (Universal Tools: Recruiting and Interviewing) of Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research 
    Second Edition, by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, & Andrea Moed
    You can find this on Hollis eBook ISBN: 9780123848703

  3. The Pineapple team’s Customer Research Plan (see below)

Recommended Reading

  1. Ten Things I've Learned by Cindy Alvarez

  2. Improve Your Startup's Surveys and Get Even Better Data by Elizabeth Farrell-Nunge

  3. Repeat Suggestion: The Mom Test  - Rob Fitzpatrick


Major Deliverable: Due Friday, 5pm, September 28: Final Draft of Customer Research plan. Include top questions (see below)! Post a link to the Assignment Master tab “Sep 28 - CRP2” with your team’s final Customer Research Plan.

Sep 24 SESSION PREP (<30 min).

Talking with Customers Warm-up: It is not just the questions we ask our prospective customers, but how we ask them! This week we’ll explore how to properly talk with customers to get to the answers you need as part of your product research. For class on Monday, please complete all required reading. For the  the Pineapple Customer Research Plan from PM101 ‘17, pay specific attention to slide 7: their top questions to ask their target persona, Oscar. Consider how the team when about prioritizing the top questions. Be prepared to discuss in class.


Sep 26 LAB PREP (<60 min).

  1. We will select 2 teams to present their almost-FINAL customer research slides for real-time feedback in the lab on September 26; focus on top questions to ask. Each team will get 15 minutes. Plan to use half of your time for presenting and half for getting feedback. Teams selected to present will be notified by 10:00am the morning of September 26. Julia and Christina will provide feedback to ALL teams within each FINAL presentation by October 5.

  2. As Individuals:

  • [DIVERGE] By now you have narrowed the primary persona for your application and you are developing your research strategy to include both Lo-Fi tests and interviews. Please consider the top three questions, with the EXACT wording that you'd use, that you'd pose to an interviewee who matches your persona type.

  • If your team has already met to discuss target personas and interview questions, it's fine to build on that work.

  • Bring a printed copy of your questions to Lab, or be prepared to display your work to a classmate on a laptop/tablet [CONVERGE].

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