We’ll all need to work hard and quickly to make that happen. For UX researchers, affinity diagrams are often used for analyzing and synthesizing user research findings by patterns and themes. Raise concerns and talk through them. An affinity diagram, sometimes also known as a cluster map, is used to organize information and is the output of affinity mapping. One of the classic tools in the UX designer’s toolbox is an affinity map (sometimes called an affinity diagram). The leader should announce what the different steps of the process are and how long the workshop will take: No talking as you sort, please. We’ll try to make sense of that in the end. It is a handy tool in a designer’s belt, often employed for data analysis and brainstorming. Affinity mapping is often thought of as a team sport, but individual affinity mapping can be extremely valuable, too. Affinity diagrams are the ideal brainstorming tool for projects involving large teams, large data sets, or a wide range of ideas. Hi, If you look at the core of affinity mapping process, it doesn't require a separate tool actually. Go through your notes (on your own or with a group) and write down anything that stands out to you as important on its own sticky note. The KJ Method: A Technique for Analyzing Data Derived from Japanese Ethnology. People learn kinesthetically by writing down, picking up, and physically engaging with sticky notes. At each stage of the sorting, make sure you discuss (or reflect on) the patterns you’re seeing and how they relate to your research questions. Example 1: Several members of a small company have just returned from a workshop on the methods of Six Sigma. Affinity diagramming helps us shift from casting a wide net in exploring many possibilities, to gaining focus on the right solutions for this audience. Read the room and move on to the next step if people pop up their heads and put down Sharpies before the 10 minute… Let’s work to get these sorted within 30 minutes (or however much time you feel it will take). Find participants from different teams and/or outside the UX community. Affinity mapping is a collaborative exercise where different perspectives can help uncover user barriers. What does related mean in this context? Attendees’ experience with user research and affinity diagramming. Summary: Affinity diagramming has long been used in business to organize large sets of ideas into clusters. In particular, anyone who: I used to think that, as a user researcher, my job was to make the information I collected about users as understandable and digestible as possible for my team. Watch Affinity Diagramming: Collaborate, Sort and Prioritize UX Ideas, 5 minute video with Hi, If you look at the core of affinity mapping process, it doesn't require a separate tool actually. You can tweak each one to fit your own style, but the skeleton looks like this: Affinity mapping can be useful as a group activity or individually. 4. Because it’s all about extracting insights and noticing themes, affinity mapping is especially useful in strategic phases of the design lifecycle—particularly the empathize and ideate stages . It also gets stakeholders engaged and invested in your UX research … Make sure everyone understands the topic, and brainstorm ideas on Post-it notes for 10 minutes. Also in other broad application like business brainstorming or idea generation it may be called a cluster map. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a bunch of designers standing in front of sticky notes on a wall, an affinity map is what you were probably looking at. 21. The term “saturate” relates to the method in which everyone covers or saturates the “space” with images an… He spends way too much time riding bikes, cooking, traveling, and drawing silly comics you can see at www.jonnygrass.com/comics. In the end its all about the outputs. CareerFoundry is an online school designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills that will get you hired. The ideas commonly come from a brainstorming session. With that, you should know how to do it right. Anyone who sorted a category can start. You can use it to better understand users and their needs, to define product requirements, or to plan future product features. Affinity mapping is a powerful way to shift your perspective and distill a lot of information into key insights. Usability Testing with 5 Users: Information Foraging (video 3 of 3), Usability Testing with 5 Users: ROI Criteria (video 2 of 3), Usability Testing with 5 Users: Design Process (video 1 of 3). In the end its all about the outputs. Thats the reason why there are many software. I’ve used it on many projects on which I’m the sole researcher and designer, and my UX students use it all the time on individual research projects. For example, an attendee with 3 votes could assign two votes to one issue and one vote to another. 200+ Awesome UX Tools For UX Designers What are customer journey maps and why do they matter? Let’s start with a detailed research example, and then we’ll wrap up with a quick adaptation to an ideation session. However if it needs to be performed within the people who are not at in place or cant be for somewhat reason, you can run it through a tool. Determine priorities (e.g., by taking votes). This person’s job is to: 3. Again, spend some time looking at each idea and sorting them into groups according to whatever themes you find useful. In short, the affinity diagram shows the common issues, themes, and scope of the customer problems and needs in one place. This is because of the added value that the movement and physical aspects bring. 27. But you want to find connections that might be valuable for you, so keep in mind the research questions or business goals that drove your research. Some people will be fast and will be able to sort multiple categories. Attended all or some of the usability-test sessions or design workshop, Has an interest in the design that was tested, or in any changes that will be made to that design. In this case affinity diagrams are sometimes referred to as the KJ method or an affinity map. Affinity diagrams help organize information into groups of similar items—particularly useful when analyzing qualitative data or observations. In this step, team members write down ideas or facts on separate sticky notes. You’ll get a job within six months of graduating—or your money back. I have played around with both. Organizing the notes in groups. This is a method to visually organize ideas and find cohesion in the team’s concepts. Two common use cases for affinity mapping are synthesizing qualitative research findings and analyzing ideas in early design ideation. In it, users sort index cards with category names and commands written on them.). Teams can use affinity diagrams as a means of consolidating ideas and information into manageable groups for further prioritization, analysis, and understanding. 32. It’s okay for the rest of the attendees to make related points or ask questions now. Affinity diagramming is also known as affinity mapping, collaborative sorting, snowballing, or even card sorting. Using the same example above, let’s say your research synthesis made it clear that your users’ biggest pain point is that they don’t have a way to actively put their new language skills to use. “Affinity diagrams” are a UX designer’s tool, used to capture and synthesise qualitative data. An Affinity Diagram is a tool that gathers large amounts of language data (ideas, opinions, issues) and organizes them into groupings based on their natural Relationships. This list includes a few of the tried and trusty UX tools we use daily, as well as others that we’ve heard good things about. Pluck a note off the wall and read it. Two common methods are the one-hundred-dollar test and the NUF test. She is the creator of NN/g's Intranet Design Annual and UX Certification Program. Affinity diagram. So, it’s important to have a leader to keep the meeting moving quickly and productively. 23. The Affinity Diagram is a method which can help you gather large amounts of data and organise them into groups or themes based on their relationships. If you’re synthesizing research, you might want to include cross-functional team members to capitalize on this. Now grab another note. B. Affinity diagrams rely on Post-It notes to create the visual map. Affinity diagramming is a useful tool for UX designers, product managers, and organizational leaders to come up with ideas and turn them into insights, and then, into an action plan. Karl Ulrich, 2003. 15. Below are some general timing guidelines for each step: Benefits of sorting after each session are that: Anyone can come to the affinity-diagramming meeting. The ratings are totaled, and the overall score is used to rank the ideas. Affinity diagramming is a useful tool for UX designers, product managers, and organizational leaders to come up with ideas and turn them into insights, and then, into an action plan. Stand by it and read each finding, then summarize the category. Every comment or quotation from each interviewee is a potential data point. Perhaps a bit cagey? By understanding these 5 … Prioritize and select which ideas the team should pursue in more detail moving forward. Now let’s look briefly at how to use the same tool to gather and organize design ideas in a later stage of the process. As an individual method, it’s a relatively quick way to pull out insights from your research notes and overcome your tendency to favor certain narratives (i.e.confirmation bias). Don’t be idle. For webpages, some common categories are: Search, Global navigation, Homepage, Legibility, Footer, Page layout. Learn how to incorporate Affinity Designer into your own UX design process. It takes a lot of time, and the same benefits may be achieved with just a quick discussion after each test. The resulting clusters and the determined priorities are the end product of the affinity diagramming. This list includes a few of the tried and trusty UX tools we use daily, as well as others that we’ve heard good things about. Put some pens or markers and blank pads of sticky notes on a table. Pernice pioneered UX research methods beginning in the early 1990's, and continues to evolve user-centered research methods and processes to best collaborate with organizations. Just before the meeting begins, enlist some help and put all notes on the wall, in no order. Sort each of those categories into subcategories. Affinity mapping is a quite simple method, it’s about grouping data, insights, ideas into similar clusters. The main point of an affinity diagram is to find trends, and put things into categories. Online Affinity Diagram mapping process. Often used in UX, affinity diagramming is adapted from the KJ diagramming method (named after author Kawakita Jiro). Affinity diagrams help you organize information into groups of similar items to then analyze qualitative data or observations. Affinity Designer is a cross-platform vector design tool that's simple, streamlined, and easy to use for UX, UI, and responsive web design. Also, feel free to change your mind and regroup notes as you go! One method that helps teams collaboratively analyze research findings as well as ideas from ideation sessions is affinity diagramming. 2018-02-18 Affinity mapping for synthesizing research, How to run a remote design thinking workshop. Whichever rating gets the most votes is the rating assigned to the problem. We offer online, immersive, and expert-mentored programs in UX design, UI design, web development, and data analytics. By hierarchically grouping the data, or affinity notes that reveal the problems and needs, it acts as the voice of the customer and … When working solo, I like to use this free Sketch template. It helps the team gain a shared understanding after each user. 8. An affinity diagram is a tool often used to organize data and ideas. It is a physical, tactile, and editable design artifact that’s invaluable for showcasing trends, themes, and … Give everyone a time limit, let’s say 5 minutes, to write or sketch as many ideas as they can come up with, each on a different sticky note or index card. While I still feel these things are true, I have learned that insulating stakeholders from all the false starts, design ideas, details and messy notes taken in tests does them a disservice. An affinity map is a tool that can be used to organize ideas into groups based on their natural relationships. To understand how to synthesize qualitative research—such as user interviews, ethnographic observation, or usability testing—with an affinity map, let’s imagine a scenario. 37. The Affinity Diagram Tool An Affinity Diagram is an analytical tool used to organize many ideas into subgroups with common themes or common relationships. Comfortable? For instance, a project manager may ask a project team to identify reasons why a project is behind schedule. 12. For UX researchers, affinity … If there is already a note that says the same thing, stack the notes on top of one another, so the most descriptive note is the only visible one. In this example, you’ve completed eight interviews and taken detailed notes for each interview. We do hope to make this list as up-to-date as possible, so we’d love to hear from you if there are any of your favourites missing or with outdated details. Also, more people means more perspectives. Just like a brainstorm, the goal is to get a bunch of sticky notes on the wall. Affinity diagramming is a great way to sort through dense research data and get to the root of findings. An Affinity Diagram is an analytical tool used to organize many ideas into subgroups with common themes or common relationships. If multiple people sorted a category, they can present it together, or choose one delegate. All team members should put their ideas generated in the lensed brainstorming activity up on the wall. Customer journey mapping 3. When the time limit is up, have everyone post their ideas on the wall. NUF stands for: New, Useful, and Feasible. Affinity mapping is well suited to teamwork because it’s physical, interactive, and many people can participate at once. Beginning with AI moved on to Sketch and then currently using Affinity Designer. People have been grouping data into groups based on natural relationships for thousands of years; however, the term affinity diagram was devised by Jiro Kawakita in the 1960s and is sometimes referred to as the KJ Method. When it comes to UX, understanding your users’ needs can be complicated. The goal is to use your sorted sticky note wall to answer questions and drive your thinking. Describe what people should be doing at each phase of the workshop. FAQs about affinity diagrams While affinity diagramming as a method can be used by individuals as well as groups, in UX, it is used primarily by teams for quickly organizing: Affinity diagramming in UX usually involves two steps: A. Write the main points on flipchart paper so all can see them. (However, in UX, ‘card sorting’ stands for a very specific research method for determining the IA of a site or application. After you’ve passed out the writing materials, it’s time to jump to it. An affinity map, also known as an affinity diagram, gives designers a complete picture of their early research process. Don’t be too discriminating at this point. The technique was invented by Jiro Kawakita, a Japanese anthropologist. Use your soft skills to gauge how they’re feeling; are they in a rush? The diversity of knowledge and backgrounds a group brings can yield more creative insights or better ideation. 28. As you sort notes into clusters, feel free to write headings for each cluster on the wall or with a different color sticky note. Imagine that the team identifies fifteen reasons. Facilitate moving past any issues that may arise, such as helping the person who seems lost, or pairing people when one is idle and another is very busy. … I have played around with both. Announce that design-workshop meetings will be scheduled, if appropriate, to design based on the outcome from affinity diagramming. That’s why UX designers practice affinity mapping. Use markers and blank sticky notes to write down any new categories. It can deter stakeholders from coming to the final, posttest affinity-diagramming meeting. You’re a designer for a foreign language learning app and you’ve conducted user interviews to identify pain points and future needs your users have with the product. 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