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Posts Tagged ‘UCD practice’

The Ergonomics Society is about to embark on a redesign of its website, and earlier this week I posted out the first deliverable from the stakeholder kickoff meeting: the user segmentation model. This deliverable, like the others, is assumptive in the sense that it has been drafted by SMEs and other proxy users, rather than through primary user research. Well, you gotta start somewhere.

Now it’s time to review the second deliverable: the profiles for each user segment. Note that I call them ‘profiles’ rather than personas: at this stage they are too elementary and skeletal (and anonymous) to really be considered anything more than notional profiles. Ideally we’d now flesh these out via a programme of focused user research, and we have available a modest budget which could be applied to support such an undertaking. I’d be interested in folks’ opinions on how to best use that for this kind of activity.

Now, let’s look at the profiles themselves. These were created during a 20 minute breakout in the stakeholder meeting, so they’re far from the finished article. Also, there was only time to cover the 5 highest priority segments, i.e.

  • P1. “Information Consumers”
  • P1a. Society Members
  • P2. Society Customers
  • P2. “3rd Party Service Consumers”
  • P2 “Staff Information Consumers”

But as I said above, you gotta start somewhere. They’re included inline below as png images. Alternatively, you may wish to view them in pdf form (which I’ll upload shortly).

Coming soon will be the scenarios for each segment – for those to be meaningful, we need these profiles to authentic and believable. As before, comments on both these deliverables and the process are more than welcome.

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The Ergonomics Society is about to embark on a redesign of its website, and on Thursday last week we held the stakeholder kickoff meeting. The purpose of this meeting was threefold:

  1. To bring together the key stakeholders to establish a common vision for the project
  2. To develop a basic UX framework upon which subsequent design work would be based
  3. To establish a baseline for subsequent project planning and resourcing (including any user research requirements).

We had only three hours to achieve all this, so there wasn’t much time for prolonged discussion. Present at the meeting with me were Dave O’Neill (CEO), Sue Hull (Conference Manager), John Winter (Membership Development Manager), Kia Horrocks (Conference & Membership Administrator), Tina Worthy (Web Editor), Lauren Morgan and Lauren’s colleague Maya (student rep).

First, we took a minute to write down what we thought should be the vision for the Society website, before sharing these as a group. It turns out that our individual visions were remarkably consistent, with most including some notion that the site should be both a comprehensive information resource for the profession as well as an advert or showcase for UCD. For example: “to be the information resource for ergonomics and human factors profesionals and to be a showcase for great UX design”.

The next activity was a group session to establish the key audience segments for the wesbite. It transpired that there is little in the way of previous user/market research available, so we had a fairly blank state to begin with. After  considerable whiteboarding and iteration, we finally identified the following key segments with their respective priorities (where P1 is highest, P3 lowest):

  • P1. “Information Consumers”, e.g. researchers (both individuals and corporate), academics/teachers, press, advocates of ergonomics / human factors, etc.
  • P1a. Society Members, i.e. anyone who is currently classed as a member (on any of the grades)
  • P2. Society Customers, i.e. anyone paying for Society products & services, such as conference delegates and advertisers
  • P2. “3rd Party Service Consumers”, i.e. agency clients, short course attendees, and prospective ergonomcs students (i.e. anyone engaging services via the paid listings)
  • P2 “Staff Information Consumers”, i.e. same as the first group but employees of the Society
  • P3 Website Editors, i.e. Society staff responsible for web content, such as PR / Comms, membership etc.
  • P3 Website Developers. i.e. Society staff responsible for web development

You might be wondering why “Information Consumers” was given a higher priority than “Society Members”. The answer lies in the Vision statement, which suggests that the primary purpose is to serve the profession more generally, rather than those individuals who happen to be members at any given time. (On reflection, this decision – or my interpretation thereof – may benefit from a little further examination.)

BTW, during my time as a UX PM at Microsoft we used the expression “eating your own dogfood” to describe the practice of adopting the products or techniques that you promote. Likewise, I am keen that we “eat our own dogfood” in this exercise, and are seen to be applying UCD best practice within our own web design & development project work. Comments and feedback on both the process and the deliverables are therefore more than welcome.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on transcribing the draft profiles we developed for the priority segments above. More soon – watch this space.

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