A Claims Analysis is an examination of product features based on their assumed effects. Stakeholders present their “claims,” or hypotheses about the positive or negative effects of a design element or feature, and those hypotheses are examined for their likelihood. Because this allows everyone to consider the unforeseen consequences of a feature, this helps when scope is being defined and when a change to an existing feature set is proposed.
Different stakeholders will have different experiences and expectations, so include a variety of participants in your analysis. Claims about a new feature can be gleaned from Stakeholder Interviews or Brainstorming sessions as well.
SCHEDULE TIME & GATHER MATERIALS
Time per Claim: 15 Minutes
Red and green post-it notes
Spreadsheet for capturing outcomes
CARRY OUT THIS METHOD
Before the meeting, prepare a short list of 2-4 questionable features that require discussion.
Display a feature to stakeholders on the whiteboard.
Ask stakeholders to write their name and the positive consequences they claim the feature will have on green post-its.
Then ask for their claimed negative consequences, written on red post-its.
When finished, cull the post-its for duplicates.
Discuss the magnitude and likelihood of the consequences claimed.
Discuss whether design changes could eliminate the negatives or enhance the positives.
Discuss the feasibility of these design changes.
Repeat steps 2-8 for each feature on your list.
Capture the whiteboard results in a spreadsheet and distribute to stakeholders and the design team.
TIPS AND RESOURCES
Try these tips
Too many negative claims will often doom even a promising feature.
Too many positive claims may push a problematic feature into production.
Be an advocate for the user – always be receptive to the concept that if the user wants it, the user experience designer will try to overcome obstacles to deliver.