Chapter 2. The ABCs of Using Data

IN CHAPTER 1, WE argued that crafting experiments to address design decisions is a creative process and that experiments can help you to make defensible design decisions based on your users’ needs and feedback. Our goal in writing this book is not merely to evangelize the collection of data from experiments for its own sake. Experimental data provides no value on its own. Rather, we want to show you that using thoughtfully collected data can be a key tool in serving your ultimate design goal: to build the best possible experiences for your users.

No matter what type of company you work for, we expect that one of your biggest challenges will be designing great experiences for all of your users. Your users may be diverse in many ways. Each of them bring their own experiences, competencies, and expectations that will in turn drive their behavior. Going on intuition alone, even the best designers and product teams would struggle to design experiences that meet the needs of all users all the time. Effective use of experimental methods to collect data about your users lets you develop insights about their diversity, their similarities and differences, and how your designs affect them. In effect, your experiments are a way for your users to tell you what they think of your designs. Gathering data from experiments helps you make design decisions that are based first and foremost on your users and providing them the best possible experience.

In this chapter, ...

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