Defining and DesigningTechnology for People Sean Van Tyne Product Camp So Cal 2010
Defining and Designing Technology for PeopleThe Pragmatic Marketer, Volume 8, Issue 2, 2010
We can only design solutions for peoplewhen we have a deep, detailed knowledge ofthose people’s needs.We build upon our prior knowledge andexperience to design and develop betterproducts.Each new generation of solutions improvebased on market and customer feedback.
Understand customer activities with Activity-Centered DesignDr. Donald Norman has suggested a hierarchical structure of activities, tasks, actions, and operation to better understand customers’ interactions with solutions: • Activities are comprised of tasks • Tasks are comprised of actions • Actions are made up of operations
Understanding the tasks of the activities helps understand the customers’ intentions.Focus on activities our customers perform rather than their requests.Systems that support the activities support the people who perform them.Understand the activity, and the solution is understandable.
Who: Role Why: Goal What: Scenario Activity How:Group your customers and users by similar roles based on their goals and the type of activities they perform.A role is a set of connected behaviors.Usually people with the same role have similar job- related responsibilities, duties, and goals.
Who: Role Why: Goal What: Scenario Activity How:Review market segmentation demographic data and interview stakeholders, customers, and users, in order to gain insight into their goals.A goal is a result one is attempting to achieve.Observe the customers and users using the solution in their environment and develop diagrams of the various customers’ workflows and note where the goals and underlining activities are similar and different.
Who: Role Why: Goal What: Scenario Activity How:Once the various roles and goals are understood, think through the scenarios needed to realize the goals. Scenarios describe a user’s interaction with the solution.
Activity Tasks Actions OperationsDetermine what activities are needed to completethe goals by roles.An activity is a specific behavior or grouping oftasks.Develop a diagram that illustrates the activities. Anactivity diagram shows activities and actions todescribe workflows.
Activity Tasks Actions OperationsActivity diagrams divide the activities into tasks neededto complete the user’s objective.A task is a unit of work. The task itself may be a single stepin the process or multiple steps or sub-tasks that make upthe task.Tasks analysis looks at tasks as outcomes that haveactions.
Activity Tasks Actions OperationsActions usually result in some form of commitment. For example, selecting the “OK” button in a software interface or pressing a button on a device that results in a desired outcome.And an operation is the outcome of the user’s action. The operation is the program initiated and yields the results of the user’s intended goal.
Develops prototypes to elicit customer feedback to validate the solutions activities, tasks, and actions meet their needs.Define the layout and placement of fundamental design elements in the interface design that visually represent the activities, tasks, and actions.Validate the general workflow navigation, information grouping, information hierarchy, terminology, labels, and general interactions in terms of activities and tasks that need to be complete to meet the customers’ goals.
Test that your visual design — color scheme, fonts, iconography, branding, and all graphic elements - support the company’s brand and enhance the ease of task completion and efficiency.Define the behavior of how your customers and users interact with your solution. Focus on the tasks that need to be completed and the actions associated with the task and underline operation. Focused on making products more useful, usable, and desirable.Work with customers and users to conduct reviews of prototypes for feedback. Conduct usability evaluations to measure effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. Be sure to measure task completion, time and task, and the emotional response to your solution.