During my internship at Samsung R&D, I contributed to user research for several of Samsung’s offerings. One that I learned the most was usability study for the Galaxy S9 device search app. In this project, I worked alongside my senior researcher to conduct user research on a design prototype and a beta release of the app. Together we synthesized research findings and communicated our insights to the product team. This helped the team to develop a holistic understanding of user behavior which led to significant improvements in product usability.
To comply with Samsung Electronics NDA, I do not disclose any confidential information nor the study results. The information provided here is a reflection of my process and does not necessarily reflect the views of Samsung Electronics.
Search on a smartphone is often not the end goal, rather it is part of a bigger user journey. This was the basis of our framing which implies we had to look beyond the search interface in order to obtain an in-depth understanding of user behavior.
During this phase, I interviewed key stakeholders to understand product goals and their assumptions about user behavior. This informed the overarching research questions which were the basis of our study protocol.
After recruiting study participants, we began with a pilot test to make sure our study protocol can yield useful results. During the tests, we kept our questions open-ended, avoided instructing participants, and tried our best to make them not feel being tested!
This helped to surface behaviors that were previously unseen. For instance, we observed behaviors of using ‘search history’ and ‘app suggestions’ had interesting privacy implications. To better understand such behaviors we later conducted a diary study with a few selected participants.
With each round of usability study, we conducted a thorough analysis of the research findings. Using affinity diagrams helped us to identify themes and synthesize the result. Lean documentation and debriefing after every test reduced the need for revisiting raw data which helped us to ramp up our analysis.
Briefing the product team on our observations early and often led to the rapid consumption of research findings. This impacted product decisions consecutively and helped us to get buy-in when we presented our analysis. We delivered sufficient documentation to the product team and a lean copy to senior stakeholders. To help the team build empathy with users we hosted a UX lunch and Learn event where we shared some of the most inspiring user insights with the team.
Collaborating with a wide range of professionals served to elevate my skills in UX Research. I was fortunate to work closely with visual designers, software developers, UI designers, interaction designers, content strategies, and front-end developers during my time at Samsung. This breadth of talent improved both my ability to collaborate and my understanding of a range of domains.