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Posts Tagged ‘Scenario’

ISO 9241-210: Human-centred design for interactive systems

Since founding UXLabs I’ve been involved in all sorts of design projects: both large and small, from simple to complex, start-up to corporate. In that time I’ve noticed some practices that seem to work well, and an even greater number that don’t. In this post I summarise a few as slightly tongue-in-cheek ‘myths’ of the UX design process. I should point out that the specifics here refer to UX projects that involved some element of search or information discovery, but the principles themselves apply much more broadly.

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A short while ago I posted the slides to my talk at HCIR 2012 on Designing for Consumer Search Behaviour. Finally, as promised, here is the associated paper, which is co-authored with Stephann Makri (and is available as a pdf in the proceedings). This paper takes the ideas and concepts introduced in A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour and explores their practical design implications. As always, comments and feedback welcome 🙂

ABSTRACT

In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In this paper, we propose a model of information behavior based on the needs of users of consumer-oriented websites and search applications. The model consists of a set of search modes users employ to satisfy their information search and discovery goals. We present design suggestions for how each of these modes can be supported in existing interactive systems, focusing in particular on those that have been supported in interesting or novel ways.

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A couple of weeks ago I posted the slides to my talk at EuroHCIR on A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour. Finally, as promised, here is the associated paper, which is co-authored with Stephann Makri (and also available as a pdf in the proceedings). I hope it addresses the questions that the slide deck provoked, and provides further food for thought 🙂

ABSTRACT

In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In previous work [13], we proposed a model of information behavior based on an analysis of the information needs of knowledge workers within an enterprise search context. In this paper, we extend this work to the site search context, examining the needs and behaviours of users of consumer-oriented websites and search applications.

We found that site search users presented significantly different information needs to those of enterprise search, implying some key differences in the information behaviours required to satisfy those needs. In particular, the site search users focused more on simple “lookup” activities, contrasting with the more complex, problem-solving behaviours associated with enterprise search. We also found repeating patterns or ‘chains’ of search behaviour in the site search context, but in contrast to the previous study these were shorter and less complex. These patterns can be used as a framework for understanding information seeking behaviour that can be adopted by other researchers who want to take a ‘needs first’ approach to understanding information behaviour.

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The Ergonomics Society is about to embark on a redesign of its website, and earlier this week I posted out the first and second deliverables from the stakeholder kickoff meeting: the user segmentation model and the user profiles. Now, we follow these up with the final deliverable from that session: the user scenarios.

First, a caveat: actually, these aren’t really user scenarios, at least not in the text book sense of being a rich narrative weaving together users, tasks & artefacts into a coherent, goal-oriented context. Instead, these are more like nominal placeholders, representing the key goal-driven activities of each of the segments, ready to be further refined and expanded through user research. These scenarios, generated during a 30-minute breakout session, are listed below (grouped by segment):

As an Information Consumer, I want to:

  • Source an interviewee today to talk about <specialism>
  • Find a practical solution to a <ergonomics topic> problem in my workplace
  • Find diagrams to demonstrate <ergonomics process/service>
  • Find current research on <ergonomics topic>
  • Find out what ergonomics is

As a Society Member I want to:

  • Find out how to join
  • Pay my membership fees
  • Understand the rules to become registered
  • Avoid the conference late fee
  • Find an ergonomist in <region> working on <specialism>
  • Find out when my CREE accreditation expires
  • Understand how to take a career break

As a Society Customer, I want to:

  • Register for an event
  • Place an advert
  • Find out where the ads are placed on the site

As a 3rd Party Service Consumer I want to:

  • Find a consultancy service that matches my needs
  • Find an educational course that matches my needs

As a Staff Information Consumer I want to:

  • Talk an enquirer through finding an ergonomist
  • Direct someone to a page on the website
  • Check details on awards
  • Check details of events

As a group, we then prioritised the scenarios according to business and user value, as shown below. There shouldn’t be too many surprises in this – if we got our segmentation right, and our profiles prioritised appropriately, then what comes out as the high priority scenarios should really be consistent with that. Nonetheless, I’m a but surprised that only one Information Consumer scenario made it into the top right quadrant. They are all pretty high on user value – it’s just that the business value of those scenarios isn’t as high.

Scenario prioritisation

Scenario prioritisation

So – what’s next? Well, we now have our basic UX framework / requirements which will form the basis for iteration planning and a reference point for design decision-making. Our next step is to use this and start on all the PM stuff, e.g. clarifying scope, timelines and budgets. I’ll be setting up a meeting shortly to kick this off. If you want to contribute, to either the process or the outputs, just let me know.

Slide 34

A Find out how to join
B Pay my membership fees
C Understand the rules to become registered
D Avoid the conf late fee
E Find an ergonomist in <region> working on <specialism>
F Find out when my CREE accreditation expires
G Understand how to take a career break

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