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Walking a Mile in Your Users' Shoes

Walking a Mile in Your Users' Shoes

As given at RevConf '19

Jameson Alea

June 06, 2019

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  1. Everyone needs applications! • Advertising • Finance / Banking •

    Health care • Education • Non-profits • Agriculture This is a PERK of our industry @jameybash
  2. Observations on those demographics… • They might kind of look…

    like us. • When we build applications, we think about what would feel intuitive. • If a developer works for Stack Overflow, and their application feels intuitive to them, maybe it’s pretty safe to guess that it will be intuitive to most their users too. @jameybash
  3. Challenges I Expected To Face • Privacy concerns: ◦ Implemented

    custom PIN system; no storing images on camera roll • Chain of custody ◦ Digital “paper trail” of everyone who accessed files • Lack of wifi ◦ Planned a NoSQL solution to rely on eventual consistency @jameybash
  4. Then I actually went to DRC… …and it completely changed

    how I was thinking about the project @jameybash
  5. Challenges I *Actually* Faced • Lack of resources, more than

    just wifi • Inexperienced user base • Language barriers • Lack of tech support • Trust issues @jameybash
  6. Non-standard solutions to non-standard problems • A lot of market

    research & highly specialized equipment • Being willing to build stuff from scratch • A completely different kind of UI than what we’re used to @jameybash
  7. Layout/UI: Calendar View • What is user friendliness? • Something

    simple & intuitive to use • Relies on existing familiarity! @jameybash
  8. Mobile App • You could make the most perfect application

    in all the world, but if it’s not available for the device that your users actually use, it is worthless to them. @jameybash
  9. Screen Readers • Alt text for photos • Photos/screencaps of

    text • Unicode “fonts”/excessive emoji @jameybash
  10. Cultivating empathy for your users is essential for creating an

    app that actually works for them @jameybash
  11. Predicting what people’s pain points will be is hard –

    and developers are bad at it @jameybash
  12. Make sure you’re solving the right problems by meeting your

    users and getting a feel for what it’s like to be them @jameybash
  13. Simple, clever solutions can often be just as valuable as

    highly technical solutions @jameybash