We began class with an overview of the user-centered review process.
We identified the specific activities taken in 2 of the articles we read and mapped them onto the steps of the UCD process.
We spent the rest of the class working on an exercise to create a plan for user research for a system that would improve the UX in the PMU food court. Some of the main take-aways about user research are below:
- Appropriate research goals: to understand users, their goals, needs, mental models, and current experiences.
- Inappropriate research goals: to figure out what users want, or to treat them as designers. Unless you’re doing participatory design, this research goal is not very useful. Remember: users are not designers.
- Observation is queen. Whenever possible, conduct some sort of observation – ideally coupled with interviewing, as in contextual inquiry.
- We usually aim for in-depth understanding – qualitative data from a limited number of people rather that shallow information from large numbers of people.
We briefly discussed the various methods used to conduct user research: contextual inquiry, ethnographic interviewing, diary studies. See an informative slide deck about diary studies below:
One method that you can use to gain an in-depth understanding of users is task analysis. We did not discuss it in detail in class, but please do read about it and ask questions in the comments below.
Finally, remember to let me know if these class notes are useful to you, and to indicate in some way, by rating, commenting, etc. that you have read this post.