When small words mean a lot: Transcripts, black boxes and evaluation

By Gordon Rugg

You can get a fair amount of information out of what people tell you in interviews and questionnaires and focus groups. However, you can’t get at all the information in a person’s head using those methods. The result is that you often have to use different methods, and/or that you have to glean more information out of what you got with the interviews or questionnaires or focus groups.

One very rich source of information is small, apparently insignificant words that people use; words that often get left out of transcripts because they’re not “real words” or because they’re swearwords or whatever.

This article is about how you can use these words to get an extra dimension of information about real-world problems.

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Knowing the unknowable, revisited: Why clients can’t know their requirements, and some ways to fix the problem

By Gordon Rugg

Why don’t clients and customers make their mind up about what they want?

There are several reasons, all of which make sense in hindsight, but that aren’t immediately obvious.

This article is a short introduction to one of those reasons, that can be handled swiftly, cheaply and easily. I’ll return to this topic in more depth in later articles.

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