Main conference presentation

What are your users REALLY thinking? An objective way to uncover the subjective

David Robins, Jason Holmes, Janna Korzenko

Monday April 14 2008, 2:00 - 2:45PM

Information architects need to quickly characterize audiences. Through Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, we can better understand the way different people experience information. Because people are intelligent in a number of ways (e.g. “word smart,” “music smart,” or “picture smart”), they exhibit different behaviors when interacting with information.

This session will demonstrate how Q Methodology can be used to identify the extent to which multiple intelligences exist in an audience. Using that characterization, we can then have solid data on which to build personas, services, or content. The power of Q Methodology lies in the fact that users are forced to make subtle distinctions among the range of the concourse, thus revealing latent subjective judgments.

Prior to the presentation, we will conduct a Q sort on volunteers attending the conference using stimuli that will reveal tendency toward particular intelligences. The results of the Q sort will be presented. The discussion will include how the results could be applied to the development of personas. In addition, we will explain how Q Methodology captures subjectivity, the steps involved in the process, and how the analysis is performed.

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