What’s User Experience and Why Should I Care?


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Presented at DocTrain East 2007 by Emily Wiese and Dr. Mike Patterson, APTIMA -- User-friendly. User-centered design. User experience. Experience Design. Human Factors. How many times do you hear these buzz words in your workplace? What does it mean to utilize users input throughout the entire product development lifecycle? How can technical communicators use principles of experience design and human factors to develop products that are both useful and easy-to-use? In this presentation, we will provide a basic introduction to incorporating the users experience into design: what it is, why it’s important, and how it can influence technical communicators work. We will discuss common methods for gathering user requirements, developing user personas, and using this data throughout the product development lifecycle. Case studies will provide insight into what works, what doesn’t, and practical tips for incorporating these methods into your own work.

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What’s User Experience and Why Should I Care?

  1. 1. What’s User Experience and Why Should I Care? An Introduction to Experience Design Ms. Emily Wiese Senior Human Factors Engineer Dr. Mike Patterson www.aptima.com Woburn, MA ▪ Washington, DC Senior Human Factors Scientist DOCTRAIN EAST 2007 Lowell, MA October 19, 2007 © 2007, Aptima, Inc.
  2. 2. First: Some Definitions User Experience: “…the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system” Experience Design “…the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments … based on the consideration of an individual's or group's needs, desires, beliefs, knowledge, skills, experiences, and perceptions.” (Wikipedia, 2007) © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 2
  3. 3. Experience Design Is Multidisciplinary Cognitive Linguistics Experimental Neurology Perception & Social Action Human Cognitive Industrial/ Psychology Artificial Science Organizational Intelligence Factors Experience Design User-Centered Design Bioengineering Interaction Design Engineering Computer Usability Information Science Information Environmental Systems Product Industrial © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 3
  4. 4. Why Should You Care? Edison invented the Mistakes Made: phonograph in 1877. 1: Did not listen to the user. – Actual use – Practical matters 2: Did not listen to the user – Standardization 3: Did not listen to the user. – Big name artists Market leader in 1907: – Victor Talking Machine Company’s Victrola Effective Experience Design = Positive User Experience = Successful Products © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 4
  5. 5. Not All Good Products Succeed… AKA: User experience is everyone’s job Experience design should not just be used during product development. Effective experience design spans across all aspects of the product: – Product Design and Development – Marketing – Documentation – Packaging © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 5
  6. 6. HP Printers: Package & Setup Manual Image Source: HP Deskjet 6980 Printer Setup Manual. www.hp.com © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 6
  7. 7. Case Studies 1. Medical center website redesign 2. Trainee assessment tool (rating instrument) redesign © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 7
  8. 8. User Experience To define a positive successful web experience… Design a site that is: – useful – compelling – attractive – easy to use – satisfying © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 8
  9. 9. Medical Center Redesign Web Site Redesign Effort Focused research and evaluation effort to better understand how visitors might access information in a single web site that integrates all clinical, research and academic content areas to inform a redesign. This included: – Conducted a user needs analysis what users access information about health services and patient care, education and research at the Medical Center. – Evaluated the usability of the current MC sites by identifying strengths and weaknesses within each site. – Improved the user experience of the consolidated medical center web sites by understanding the informational needs and providing a site structure redesign. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 9
  10. 10. Approach Provided a blueprint for design. Based, on – Information needed by the specific user groups to accomplish specific goals. – “If you build it, they will come” – understanding the connection. – Guiding process going forward (informing design). The website is THE customer-facing mechanism specifically for the user groups of concern. Goal: when you structure information and design for the user groups, based on their needs, you will gain success in two ways. – Recruiting increases. – The users success will carry over from a successful website to enhancing the MC’s reputation . © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 10
  11. 11. The Setting University medical center comprises several institutions – School of Medicine and Dentistry – School of Nursing – Hospital System Develop initial design for a usable, useful, and integrated web site © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 11
  12. 12. The Setting 5/29/2005 7/26/2005 - 7/29/2005 Kickoff & Phase I 7/5/2005 - 7/8/2005 Stakeholder Phase III Card Sorts Phase II Interviews Focus Groups 5/19/2005 9/2/2005 Contract Go Ahead Final Report Delivery 4/20/2005 9/30/2005 6/17/2005 - 6/24/2005 9/20/2005 Phase II Interviews 7/25/2005 - 7/27/2005 Final Presentation Woburn Phase III Card Sorts 8/1/2005 - 8/29/2005 Woburn Challenges Analyses, conceptual design & final report Diverse set of users Politics within MC MC point of contact “Buy-in” from the client Aggressive project schedule © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 12
  13. 13. Approach Five user groups – Prospective Students: Master's, MD, PhD, (8 participants) – Prospective Trainees: Residents, Fellowship and Post-doctoral candidates (8 participants) – Prospective Faculty (5 participants) – Prospective Patients (8 participants) – Referring Physicians (5 participants) Stakeholder focus groups Structured User Interviews – Three components of interview: information collection, usability evaluations of site, competitor sites Card Sort process Information Structure defined Concept wireframes produced © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 13
  14. 14. #1 Plan and Define Goals Objective: – Establish the goals and objectives of this redesign effort. Method: – Walkthrough and definition of business goals definition and user needs generated overall project goals (Stakeholder discussion). Benefits: – Provided an overall project framework. Deliverables: – Provided documentation of the key goals for the project. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 14
  15. 15. #2 User Needs Analysis Objective: – Perform a detailed user analysis to ground users’ comments in actual behavior with the website, identify the usability strengths and weaknesses of the current web site design within the context of specific task performance, and identify effective elements and usability issues with competitor’s web sites. Method: – In-depth interviews (3 step process) were used with selected representatives of each of the five designated users groups 1 ½ hours Three-part interview – Part 1: Information gathering – Part 2: Semi-formal usability test of current site – Part 3: Semi-formal usability test of two competitive sites Benefits: – provided rich insight into what MC website content users perceive to be important relative to the information they require to make decisions. Deliverables: – Content and usability design strengths / weaknesses of the current website, – User profiles / personas of the key user groups, – Identified expected / desired content items – (used in Task 3). © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 15
  16. 16. User Needs Results Interviews provided insight into: a) what content and functionality are most important to users; and b) how users actually use the web sites and two competitive sites. Example Themes – Nearly all user groups were unanimous in stating that the website content did not highlight the strengths of the program nor what distinguishes it from other programs. – The strengths of the program are missing altogether or buried in text-heavy paragraphs… users could not gain insight or why it would be worthwhile to go there. – Search functionality is hidden to the degree that few participants could find it. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 16
  17. 17. Persona Example Trainees – Prospective Post-Doc Daniel Shaw Daniel decided before entering the immunological field that a post-doc appointment would be a necessary step in order to gain greater knowledge and experience, make connections, and build a name for himself in research circles. He also saw it as a valuable tool to distinguish himself from other candidates when entering the job market. He considers the post-doc as a quot;stepping stone,quot; whereby he can improve his publication record and hence progress to a permanent position. He is preparing to start a two year post-doc assignment researching immunology and bioinformatics as part of a compilation of a vaccine database. Top five web site tasks for Daniel as a Prospective Post-Doc: 1. Find journal articles by specific researchers. 2. Find information on research topics and clinical applicability. 3. Search for statistics on a program. 4. Gather information and funding regarding specific labs. 5. Location information. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 17
  18. 18. #3 Information Architecture Process Objective: – Create an organizational framework for the information items in the Medical Center’s website. Method: – Three step approach: 1. Content and Function Identification 2. User - Categorizing, Organizing, and Labeling Information Content 3. Stakeholder - Focus Group and Card Sort Benefits: – The Aptima team identified, categorized, organized and labeled information items within this website. Deliverables: – Provided an information architecture / detailed site structures to visualize the architecture and user experience for the website. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 18
  19. 19. Information Architecture Results Information Structures About Strong Health • Overview Research (including that on specific disease conditions • Hospitals • Reputation Outcomes • Unique strength Patient Testimonials Medical Services Find A Physician Insurance Participation Health Topics Browse or keyword search Important Contact Numbers Maps & Directions Clinical Trials Visiting hours Important phone numbers Hospital hours Gifts & flowers General Visitor Information Parking information Patient’s Home Hospital chapel information Home Page Page Dining/Meals • Select Hospital Local lodging Welcome Message Patient Rights and Responsibilities Your Healthcare Team Select What to Pack? Hospital Patient Guide Getting Here? (Select Hospital Checking In: Patient Registration first) During Your Stay Leaving the Hospital Pharmacy services Medical records receipt / transfer News Community Classes / Events User Generated User and Stakeholder © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 19
  20. 20. #4 Design - Wireframes University of Rochester Medical Center Site Redesign Results Initial Design First Level Second Level © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 20
  21. 21. Results and Final Product University of Rochester Medical Center Site Redesign Successful process resulting in conceptual designs and information structure User goals and business goals addressed in final design concept © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 21
  22. 22. Summary Applied a user centered process to identify user needs. – Used a building block approach. The new site structure (emphasizing a goal & task oriented approach) addressed issues identified during the User Needs Analysis Task Information from the User Needs Analysis Task provided a functional basis for guiding the redesign process. Specifically: – Guidance for site design. Navigation. Consistency in layout. Visual look. – Guidance in content Selection of content type. Setting the content tone. The MC message. © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 22
  23. 23. Trainee Assessment Tool: A Brief History SPOTLITE: Rating instrument for assessing F-16 pilot performance Use environment: Simulated training environment Prototype developed & delivered: 2002 Customer use: 2002 – 2005 2005: – Customer initiated redesign to address usability and use issues that arose after long-term use © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 23
  24. 24. SPOTLITE Air-to-Air Version 1 © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 24
  25. 25. Step 1: Identify Existing Issues Method: Focus group and informal individual interviews Stakeholders & Their Perspectives: – Instructor pilots: Efficient use of time (Less is ore) – Training program director: Collect pedagogically and psychometrically sound data (More is more) The Results: – After 2+ years of use and analysis, stakeholders and Aptima had clearer understanding of their actual use of SPOLITE – Post-exercise measures may provide opportunity for more in- depth assessment – Tool architecture must support additional missions – Usability and “flow” issues related to measure order and measure saliency © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 25
  26. 26. Step 2: Brainstorm and Mock-up Design Concepts © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 26
  27. 27. Step 4: Review Mock-ups With Stakeholders Method: Focus group Results: – Design was well received by stakeholders – Some suggestions were well received by design team – Design was modified accordingly © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 27
  28. 28. Step 5: Implement Finalized Design © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 28
  29. 29. Step 6: Third-Party Usability Review of Version 2.0 (beta) Method: Heuristic evaluation Population: Air Force Academy Cadets Results: – Evaluation results were vetted by instructor pilots for domain relevancy – Recommendations implemented in most current version © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 29
  30. 30. SPOTLITE Air-to-Air Version 2.0 Redesign effort, while time consuming, addressed all of the stakeholders issues – Support post-exercise assessment – Interface is clear and intuitive to use – Design supports expansion to other missions and other domains (bonus) ~10 different SPOTLITE applications exist, all using same basic design © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 30
  31. 31. Summary Experience Design is for everyone Activities to ensure user satisfaction must occur along all aspects of product development and user interaction – First impressions matter – Lasting impressions are just as critical © 2007, Aptima, Inc. 31