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Synopsis 48hour-test


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User Centric Des

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Synopsis 48hour-test

  1. 1. 3rd Semester 48 hours Test, June 2010 Synopsis: User Centric Design (UCD) Basic defintions: User Experince (UX) is about how a product (object, website, software, hardware, mobile device etc.) works on the outside, where a person comes in to contact with it and has to use it. UX quality is measured by the level of satisfaction and average user gets from the product. Good UX has good function, good design, tailored to a typical user for the particular context it is being used in. A good UX encourages site users/customers to ,,convert“ to the next level (i.e. subscribe to the site or buy a product). Conversion rate is a common way of measuring the effectiveness (ROI) of a user experince. How many visitors sign up for your newsletter, how many casual browsers are „converted“ in to active buyers etc. A bad UX drives people away from your site, makes them feel stupid, even angry or frustrated. User Centered Design (UCD) is a project approach that puts the intended users of a product or site at the centre of its design and development. It does this by taking the user into account every step of the way as the product is being developed. The development and involvement of the users are carried out in an iterative fashion, with the cycle beinig repeated until the project‘s usability objectives have been attained. Basic UCD workflow: 1) Concept, 2) Research, 3) Prototype, 4) Test, 5) Build/amend 6) Testing/ building until right, 7) Launch, 8) Post Launch Testing. Five Planes Model: The Elements of User Centric Design UCD has to take all stages of the products development in to consideration. When it comes to software interface (mainly concerned with tasks) and hypertext system (mainly concerned with information) the The Five Planes Model provides a conceptual framework for talking about user experience problems and the tools to solve them. The Five Planes is in many ways similiar (even the same) as the Core Process Workflow we were introduced to at the 1st semester, and I have used in all my previous school projects. The five planes are built from
  2. 2. 3rd Semester 48 hours Test, June 2010 bottom to top, from an abstract level to a more concrete level. Decisions made on the lower planes can have ripple effect all the way up the chain. At the same time decisions made on upper planes can sometimes force reevaluation (or valuation for the first time) at lower planes. Decisions can therefore have ripple effect in both directions. The Five Planes of UCD are devided in to: 1) Strategy (define sites & user centric goals, do research (Interviews, Focus groups), create Personas), 2) Scope (decide content & functional features, create user stories & scenarios), 3) Structure (develop site structure, information architecture, use Card sorting & user stories), 4) Skeleton (wireframes, navigation, placement of photos, text, buttons etc.) and 5) Surface (visual design, concept, colors, mood boards etc.). Work on the next plane shall start before the work on the previous plane is finished. User Centric Strategy Before we start UCD we need to develop a user centric strategy. Ask ourselves: “Do we know what the problem is, and does this (product, website) solve the problem for those that will use it?” In order to define users centric goals we ask: “What should the user be able to do?” We then find a way to improve efficiency. This basically entails: Helping people work faster and helping them make fewer mistakes. In order to do that we define the average user. Defining the average user consist of three steps: 1) Create attributes list (Primary goals for visiting the website, Roles: job seeker, information seeker, client etc., Demographics: sex, age, income, single, married etc., Experience: education, tech know-how etc., Organizational: type of job, type of company user works for etc. 2) Prioritize and define (Which attributes are more important for the user centric goal and the site goal?), 3) Describe segments or user groups to do research on. When this preliminary research is done it is time to choose the research techniques to use. User Centric Research – 7 methods Research techniques can be devided in to qualitative (insight) and quantitative (validation) research. Qualitative research is about discovering new things with a small sample size. Qualitative research doesn’t prove anything, since you’re talking with a limited number of people. But it’s very valuable at uncovering insights that you can then test or prove. It’s open-ended and often reveals things you didn’t know. Examples of qualitative research are: 1) Focus groups, 2) User interviews, 3) Field studies, 4) Card sorting and 5) Usability testing. Quantitative research is about testing or proving something with a large sample size. Quantitative research is better at telling you what is happening (e.g., your log files tell you that 35% of site visitors never reach a product page), and qualitative research is better at telling you why it’s happening (e.g., usability testing shows that some users don’t understand the concept used in the site’s navigation). Quantitative is more factual and scientific in its nature. Good example are: 6) User surveys and 7) Site traffic or log file analysis.
  3. 3. 3rd Semester 48 hours Test, June 2010 Another way to look at user centric reasearch is to study what people say (goals & attitudes they have) versus what they actually do (behaviors). Qualitative and quantitative research and what people say versus what they do research support different research goals and complement one another. Personas and User Stories: Tools for User Centric Design When research is finished we create personas as a way of understanding the user. Personas are descriptions of typical users. By building a fictional representation of users that is based on real research and observation, we are able to empathize with them and understand their needs . Personas can be Marketing-targeted personas that model purchase motivations or Interactive personas that are modeled toward usage behaviors. Personas must be actionable. “What are their goals, attitudes and behaviors?”, are the basic questions we should ask ourselves. When creating personas we should draw them up as real as possible. The persona description should include: Photo (not posed but natural) – Name (normal one) – Age – Location (for cultural and sometimes behavioral differences) – Occupation – Biography (important information, facts, anecdote, stories that makes the persona more real). In many cases it might also involve details like: Education – Salary – Motto – Online/ offline activities – Loyalty towards a brand – Tech/ Computer knowledge – Social network behavior – Motivation to use brand – User goals. Effective personas must accurately depict a number of specific users of your product or website. To achieve that goal, personas must be supported by research. There are three primary personas, based on the type of research and analysis performed: • Qualitative personas • Qualitative personas with quantitative validation and • Quantitative personas. User stories By creating stories about the personas we are able to able to cast a more meaningful vision of the project. We create a list of single line stories that include the role of the user and the activity they wish to perform. After creating a list of user stories we prioritize them according to the importance they have to our project. Then we combine the user stories into scenarios or more complex pathways. One example might me: “As a student of history researching for my thesis I can use Search feature to find out if the website has any information on my subject. If the search results are not satisfying I can fill out a Contact form to ask the sites author for advice. I can also send him/ her/ the site an email to empathize the importance of my request.”