Saturday, August 25, 2007

Resolving Group Name Differences in a KJ Analysis

Using a KJ Analysis ...

"We’re big fans of the KJ Technique, a method that helps teams rank the important issues for a focus question, such as “What are the most important usability problems we need to fix in this version of the design?” or “Which user populations are most important to our business?”

In the method, teams brainstorm on potential answers to the focus question, group the answers, name each group, then vote on the group names that best answer the question. The method, in less than 45-minutes, allows teams to come to a democratic consensus on an answer, avoiding endless discussion for elements that turn out to be unimportant.

Our friend Cheryl recently decided to try the technique with her team and ran into a little confusion. Here’s what she wrote us:

After taking your “Making Sense of Usability Test and Field Study Data” webinar, I decided to try out the KJ Analysis with a team. I went t the UIE website and read the paper you published in May 2004. I ran a pilot with a group and ran into some problems.

I stumbled when it came to [the “Naming each group”] step and [the “Voting on the most important groups”] step in the technique. Folks had used different names for each of the groups of post-its. When I asked them to rank the groups, folks recorded their stars on their on group post-it — so a group may have had 9 stars, but it appeared as 3 stars on each of the three group post-its.

How do you resolve different names for groups? I’m a bit desperate — I need to figure things out by then end of the week. The “real” KJ process will occur early next week.

The problem Cheryl had is common for people trying this for the first time. The reason for these two steps is to work out the problems she encountered, so let me share some guidelines:

* When people are naming each group, they should be reading through the stickies and looking for a “theme”. The name will represent what they think the theme will be."    (Continued via UIE Brain Sparks)    [Usability Resources]

KJ  Analysis Naming Each Group - Usability, User Interface Design

KJ Analysis Naming Each Group

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