Gathering Information6:10 with Nick Pettit
In this video, you'll learn how to gather the preliminary data that will help you conduct user requirements gathering activities.
[?mellow guitar music?] 0:00 Think Vitamin Membership - Est. 2010 membership.thinkvitamin.com 0:03 UX: UCD - Gathering Information with Nick Pettit 0:07 Now that you've been introduced to the concept of user-centered design, 0:13 let's learn how to gather information. 0:17 Before you start conducting user activities and gathering requirements, 0:19 you need to understand the product that you're working on. 0:23 You also need to understand the domain that your product resides in. 0:26 Because we're talking about websites in this case, 0:30 you know that your product will live on the web, 0:33 but more specifically, you need to learn about the market segment that it serves. 0:35 For example, if you're building a finance and invoicing application, 0:40 you need to familiarize yourself with that domain. 0:44 Let's say that you're working on a pre-existing e-commerce site, 0:46 like amazon.com, for instance, 0:49 and you're trying to improve it. 0:51 The best way to learn about it is to actually use it. 0:54 Now, I know this might sound obvious, 0:57 but if you were developing an e-commerce site, 1:00 it's really important to try it out. 1:02 So have you tried purchasing merchandise 1:04 and getting it delivered to your house? 1:06 What was the experience like? 1:08 Was there a follow-up email sent to thank you for ordering? 1:10 What happens if you try to return it and get your money back? 1:13 Using a product yourself is the easiest way 1:16 to find the pain points. 1:19 Another way to learn about your product and learn about your users 1:21 is to gather metrics. 1:25 Fortunately, in the web industry, there is no shortage of tools 1:27 that can be used to gather hard data, 1:30 like Google Analytics, for example. 1:32 Taking that data and turning it into wisdom 1:34 and actionable items is the tricky part. 1:38 We won't dive into web metrics in this chapter, 1:40 but just know that it's a tool that you can use to better understand your product. 1:43 Another way to better understand your product 1:48 is through early adopter feedback. 1:50 It's pretty common to see web apps like mockingbird be in beta, 1:53 and it's worth giving users a chance to try out your product before it's released 1:58 so that you have a chance to make some major modifications to it. 2:02 Another great way to gather feedback is by listening. 2:06 As you're probably aware, customer service communications 2:09 can still travel through the more traditional channels 2:12 like phone and email, but social media has become a new avenue 2:15 for customers to voice praise and complaints. 2:20 Using sites like facebook and twitter 2:23 is a great way to better understand the marketplace 2:26 that your product will reside in. 2:28 And finally, you should look at the competition. 2:30 If you're developing a new mockup tool, 2:34 you should become intimately familiar with competing products, 2:36 like balsamiq, hot gloo, and mockingbird, 2:39 and the dozens of other mockup tools out there. 2:42 You should even try to make a chart and compare them. 2:44 Understanding the product and its domain 2:48 is just one part of the equation. 2:50 You also need to understand your users, 2:53 and while the methods for gathering product information 2:55 also tell you some information about your users, 2:57 there are other analytical methods that work a lot better. 3:00 The first way you could do this is by developing user profiles. 3:05 A user profile is a detailed description of your user's attributes, 3:08 such as their work experience, education level, age range, 3:13 what role they serve in their organization, and so on. 3:16 User profiles don't represent an individual, though-- 3:20 they just represent the whole group that you're targeting. 3:23 These will help you when recruiting people for usability activities. 3:26 From the user profile data, however, 3:30 you could develop personas. 3:32 Rather than explain what a persona is first, 3:34 let's just make one. 3:37 Let's say that you're building a travel website. 3:39 Jane Smith here is a 22-year-old college student from New York City. 3:41 She has a paid marketing internship, and right now she earns about $22/hour 3:47 and works 28 hours a week for a total of $22,000 a year. 3:53 The PC laptop she has was a high school graduation gift 3:58 about 5 years ago, so it's a bit out-dated 4:03 and runs an older version of Firefox just well enough to get by. 4:06 It's only saving grace is that she's on a campus internet connection 4:10 which is pretty fast. 4:14 Jane also likes to travel, and she really wants to visit Las Vegas with her friends. 4:16 Building these types of personas 4:21 help make your users a bit more real, 4:23 even if the personas are made up. 4:25 A persona should have an identity, a photograph, 4:27 a skill set, and goals, 4:31 and because we're developing web software, 4:33 we should also make note of the technology that's being used. 4:35 Developing personas, especially with photographs, 4:40 will put a human face on your challenges. 4:43 Once you understand your product and have a few personas developed, 4:46 you can start to develop scenarios. 4:50 So, let's walk through one. 4:52 Jane and her friends are about to finish college, 4:54 and they all want to take a trip to Las Vegas together 4:57 before they go their separate ways. 4:59 Jane wants to be as economical as possible, 5:01 but she doesn't have much time in her busy school schedule 5:04 to spend hours and hours finding the perfect deal. 5:07 Will Jane be able to use your travel site on her mediocre laptop 5:10 to find cheap flights from New York City to Las Vegas 5:15 and get 2 hotel rooms for her and her friends, 5:19 and have enough money left over to see a few shows? 5:22 Scenarios should include personas that you developed, 5:25 and they should outline a situation. 5:28 They should also have a desired outcome and a time interval. 5:30 Users will want web applications now and 10 years from now 5:34 to be as fast as possible, so adding in some time pressure to the scenario-- 5:38 such as Jane graduating soon and being too busy to hunt for deals-- 5:44 will help you understand the pain that users feel, 5:48 even if it's artificially generated. 5:51 Gathering detailed information about your product and your users is essential. 5:53 In the next video, we'll learn how to prepare for user requirements activities. 5:59 [?mellow guitar music?] 6:04 Think Vitamin Membership - Est. 2010 membership.thinkvitamin.com 6:07
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