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Learning Complex Subject Matter

By Jim Ross During your user-research sessions, have you ever suddenly thought to yourself, “What the heck is this person talking about!?” I hate to admit it, but there have been times when I’ve come to that realization. This rarely occurs on projects involving products to which you can easily relate—such as online shopping, banking, or travel booking. However, when you’re doing research on complex domains—for example, observing the work tasks of investment managers, accountants, doctors, or scientists—it can be difficult to get up to speed on the subject matter quickly. Sometimes you must sit through several sessions before something clicks and you begin really to understand what the participants are doing and talking about. Read More

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