The Good Kind Of WrongHow solid research destroys your foolish assumptions                 Stuart Partridge               ...
Customer Experience                               Online Banking, Australia DivisionDesigning Better Online Experiences Fo...
Business context• A commercial education provider: an education salesbusiness.• 8 colleges covering a wide range of discip...
The situationPaper-based student administration system.Students wishing to administer their study –change their address, g...
The brief“Move the help desk online”
Easy, right?
Photo sourced from: http://www.nokiadna.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/headscratching.jpg
I need to know more.
The research• Demographic: 18-23 year-olds, mixed backgrounds.• Focus group of 12 students.• Online survey: 70/150 respons...
Assumption #1: We’ve got some onlinecapability. Just add more.
WrongFrom the student focus group:• Hated the current eLearning system - used it at  a minimum.• Hated Gmail. Passionately.
What was learned?1. Rethink the approach to an online solution.2. Orient service around student use and need.3. Research t...
Assumption #2:The site needs to be      mobile.
WrongFrom the online survey:• Students have ‘smart’ phones• Use their phones a lot...• ...but for SMS + talk, not for acce...
Students have ‘smart’ phones
Students use their phones a lot...
...But not for accessing online services.
...But not for accessing online services.
What was learned?1. No strong need for a mobile offering.2. Bigger fish to fry: concentrate on the   browser experience.
Assumption #3: People read.
WrongFrom the user testing:• Users weren’t reading instructions  eg Password strength.
What was learned?1. Go back to principles: less is more.2. You can always be more succinct.
Assumption #4:   Online helpfixes everything.
WrongFrom the user testing:If a task was too hard or solution wasn’timmediately obvious, students would quicklygive up on ...
What was learned?1. The current system had spoiled students.2. No straight-forward change-over to online.3. A staged appro...
It’s good to be wrong.
Thank youStuart Partridge   @stuartp
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The Good Kind Of Wrong

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'The Good Kind Of Wrong' is a ten minute talk I gave at UX Australia 2011 in Sydney, Australia. It uses a case study to show how a short, focussed research phase helped a business - and a designer - make key course corrections in an self-serve online student admin system.

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  • The Good Kind Of Wrong

    1. 1. The Good Kind Of WrongHow solid research destroys your foolish assumptions Stuart Partridge @stuartp
    2. 2. Customer Experience Online Banking, Australia DivisionDesigning Better Online Experiences For Our Customers
    3. 3. Business context• A commercial education provider: an education salesbusiness.• 8 colleges covering a wide range of disciplines including graphic design, business, natural therapies• Minimal online capability: - Moodle-based eLearning portal - Student email system via Gmail
    4. 4. The situationPaper-based student administration system.Students wishing to administer their study –change their address, get a transcript, lookat a timetable – had to go to the Help Desk.
    5. 5. The brief“Move the help desk online”
    6. 6. Easy, right?
    7. 7. Photo sourced from: http://www.nokiadna.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/headscratching.jpg
    8. 8. I need to know more.
    9. 9. The research• Demographic: 18-23 year-olds, mixed backgrounds.• Focus group of 12 students.• Online survey: 70/150 response rate.• Time spent observing the Student Help Desk.• Interviews & card sessions with Student Services staff.• Prototype user testing: 10 students
    10. 10. Assumption #1: We’ve got some onlinecapability. Just add more.
    11. 11. WrongFrom the student focus group:• Hated the current eLearning system - used it at a minimum.• Hated Gmail. Passionately.
    12. 12. What was learned?1. Rethink the approach to an online solution.2. Orient service around student use and need.3. Research technologies and modes of interface.
    13. 13. Assumption #2:The site needs to be mobile.
    14. 14. WrongFrom the online survey:• Students have ‘smart’ phones• Use their phones a lot...• ...but for SMS + talk, not for accessingservices.
    15. 15. Students have ‘smart’ phones
    16. 16. Students use their phones a lot...
    17. 17. ...But not for accessing online services.
    18. 18. ...But not for accessing online services.
    19. 19. What was learned?1. No strong need for a mobile offering.2. Bigger fish to fry: concentrate on the browser experience.
    20. 20. Assumption #3: People read.
    21. 21. WrongFrom the user testing:• Users weren’t reading instructions eg Password strength.
    22. 22. What was learned?1. Go back to principles: less is more.2. You can always be more succinct.
    23. 23. Assumption #4: Online helpfixes everything.
    24. 24. WrongFrom the user testing:If a task was too hard or solution wasn’timmediately obvious, students would quicklygive up on a task and ‘call the Help Desk’.
    25. 25. What was learned?1. The current system had spoiled students.2. No straight-forward change-over to online.3. A staged approach to change: change would happen over successive student years.
    26. 26. It’s good to be wrong.
    27. 27. Thank youStuart Partridge @stuartp

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