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Kyle Soucy is the founding principal of Usable Interface, an independent consulting company specializing in product usability and user-centered design. Her clients have ranged in industries from pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer to publishing powerhouses like McGraw-Hill. She has created intuitive interfaces for a variety of different products, everything from web sites to touch screen devices. You can connect with her on twitter.
When conducting user research, we all know that asking the right questions is just as important as how you ask them, but how do you know exactly what questions to ask? What if the discussion topic is very personal? How do you get a complete stranger to open up? There is a better way to conduct an in-depth interview, and it doesn’t involve a clipboard. Just imagine what you could discover if the participant’s answers weren’t limited to a predetermined set of questions. This is where collaging can help.
Collaging is a projective technique by which participants select images that represent how they feel about a particular topic. The participants then explain to the moderator the reason they chose each image. The collage becomes an instrument through which participants are able to express needs and feelings that they might not otherwise have been able to articulate. This information enables us to better understand the user’s world and how to design for it.