Ivan Vasilev

Affinity diagram

In order to continue working on the “FlyUX” project I am going to use a tool called affinity diagram. It was created by Jiro Kawakita (also called K-J Method – after his name) revolutionising the industry of Japan in the 1970. It was used as a management tool for scientists and engineers. The method was really effective for major projects such as construction of a power plants or underlying foundations of so called modern super fast Japanese trains.

What is an affinity diagram?

An affinity diagram can not only help the UX specialist (me 🙂 ) summarise ideas, but it will help (in collaboration with other colleagues) process them into a concrete problems I can work on later on. So here is what happened when I applied this method on FlyUX Project:

FlyUX also has its own affinity diagram

First I showed all the research materials to colleague of mine. While benchmarking the competition I compared four travel websites here. Afterwards I conducted both qualitative (on Lufthansa and WizzAir websites) and quantitative usability tests. I also took notes on sessions made for Aer Lingus and Eurowings mobile apps and websites.

To go through all the research materials took us more than 4 hours. After this each one of us wrote down the main points on sticky notes. On the picture they don’t look many, but in fact they are 56 different statements or proposals that we had to take into account and sort them:

Unsorted Affinity Diagram

After hour and a half long discussion I and my colleague sorted the diagram and gave each section a name.

The groups are as follows:

While discussing a lot of topics emerged. In the beginning the groups were 14 but we merged some of them, because they were pretty similar. The final diagram can be seen here:

  1. Structural and functional features/improvements
  2. Simplicity and clarity of the structure
  3. Useful/must have features
  4. Nice to have features on “Start search page”
  5. Step by step approach
  6. “Registered” users perks
  7. Frustration points in the process
  8. Data analysis
  9. Accessibility
  10. And Gamification is the last category in the list

Sorted Affinity Diagram

This method can really lead to faster analysis and more collaborative work. During the sorting phase everyone has a voice and can propose things which otherwise nobody thought of. Also everybody is on the same page and the process of creating the diagram makes people stand up and move.

Next step in the process is called “Customer journey map”. It helps the UX designer to map out all the steps during the use of a particular product. From the idea of searching for it to the actual purchase or experience.

Category: User Experience (UX), User goals, User research

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  1. Customer journey map | Ivan Vasilev (reply): […] this I summarised and categorised the findings. Then I grouped the issues using a method called affinity diagram here. Now I can proceed to the next step and map out the customer […]