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The Pocket Universal Methods of Design by Bella Martin, Bruce Hanington

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022 Critical Incident Technique

Understanding how users experience your product at critical moments to optimize future designs

• Ask individuals to describe a situation with your product or service.

• Collect positive and negative experiences through directed storytelling, interviews, or diary studies to identify:

The incident cause: What were the events leading up to the critical incident?

User actions: What were the behaviors that took place during the incident?

User sentiment: How did the user feel during the incident and afterward?

Incident outcome: Did the user change how he or she behaved after the incident?

Ideal outcome: What are possible future outcomes?

• Representative scenarios cover possible explanations and recommendations. ...

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