User Experience NZ

UX and Design Research from a New Zealand viewpoint

UX research. Making every minute count

Posted on | July 5, 2010


Facilitating ‘face to face’ interviews with your clients’ customers is central to UX research. It’s also one of the most difficult of all UX skills to develop.

Valuable insights can be generated and captured during each session but you’re often having to cover a lot of ground in the time allocated.

After hundreds of these sessions I still find myself so deeply immersed in observing the participant’s experience of the product that it’s easy to lose track of these precious minutes, dwelling on one activity or area of focus at the expense of another.

I thought I’d share this very simple tool to help keep track of time and make the most of every minute of these sessions. It’s basically a modified clock face.

Grab yourself a wall clock and cut out a new paper face. Cut a slit from the edge to the centre so it can be slipped around the arms of the clock. Mark and name your time allocations on the new face.
At the beginning of each session, just wind the minute hand back to the start and you’re on your way.

For a 90 minute session mark the segments on a spiral going inward, like in the picture of this one I used recently. Oh, and I removed the hour and second hands too.




4 Responses to “UX research. Making every minute count”

  1. Mathew Sanders
    July 5th, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    This is fantastic, I’ve never seen anything like that before, tucking it away for next time I’m doing user research interviews :)

  2. Daniel
    July 7th, 2010 @ 10:09 am


  3. Tweets that mention UX research. Making every minute count : User Experience NZ --
    July 12th, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vicky Teinaki. Vicky Teinaki said: RT @zefamedia: Cool tool for UX research. Making every minute count [...]

  4. Ofer Deshe
    October 25th, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    I have used one of these DIY wall clocks before. The research that we carried out required highly structured sessions. The Bowmast Wall Clock that Nick made was an excellent tool. It helped us to manage these challenging sessions well. It was subtle, easy and effective.

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This blog was set up by Nick Bowmast as a place to explore and discuss User Experience in New Zealand. ...about Nick Bowmast