Nutrition profile


This asynchronous research method allows users to write their answers to a question, which gives your team insights into user's thoughts and opinions.

A talk-back board at New York Public Library. Photo taken in February 2020.

A talk-back board at New York Public Library. Photo taken in February 2020.

Cooking time


Depends on the length of time you leave the board up to receive answers to your question. It can be completed in a quick 2-hour session if you successfully recruit people to participate. In most cases, you might want to leave the board up for a week or so to reach more people and discover something deeper.

Perfect for


When you have a simple question and are looking for people's unfiltered thoughts and opinions. When you don't have a lot of time or money to spend on user interviews, or when a research method is needed that can be handled by a single person on the team. Talk-back boards are also great for new team members to tackle as an introduction to user research, as well as being a good method when social distancing is required.

Prep work


Identify a specific question to ask your users. If you are planning for ongoing research, create a backlog of questions for future talk-back boards.

In coming up with the question, consider what problems users are facing and what gaps you have in understanding of users. Next, decide whether this board will be a physical board (e.g. white board), or a digital one (e.g. Padlet), or a combination of both (e.g. answers are submitted through Google forms and written on sticky notes that are placed on the whiteboard).

Document your question and create a timeline for the research.

The setup can be a simple question at the top of the board and sticky notes that the users can write their answers on.

Students interacting with a talk-back board at University of Arizona Main Library on March 3, 2020.

Students interacting with a talk-back board at University of Arizona Main Library on March 3, 2020.

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