Walking A Mile In Your Users' Shoes

Walking A Mile In Your Users' Shoes

A talk about User Empathy, as presented at DevOpsDays Buffalo 2019


Jameson Hampton

September 26, 2019


  1. 6.

    Everyone needs applications! • Advertising • Finance / Banking •

    Health care • Education • Non-profits • Agriculture This is a PERK of our industry @jameybash
  2. 12.

    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. 21.

    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. 22.

    Then I actually went to DRC… …and it completely changed

    how I was thinking about the project @jameybash
  5. 23.

    Challenges I *Actually* Faced • Lack of resources, more than

    just wifi • Inexperienced user base • Language barriers • Lack of tech support • Trust issues @jameybash
  6. 24.

    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. 29.

    Layout/UI: Calendar View • What is user friendliness? • Something

    simple & intuitive to use • Relies on existing familiarity! @jameybash
  8. 30.

    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. 34.

    Screen Readers • Alt text for photos • Photos/screencaps of

    text • Unicode “fonts”/excessive emoji @jameybash
  10. 37.

    Cultivating empathy for your users is essential for creating an

    app that actually works for them @jameybash
  11. 38.

    Predicting what people’s pain points will be is hard –

    and developers are bad at it @jameybash
  12. 39.

    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. 40.

    Simple, clever solutions can often be just as valuable as

    highly technical solutions @jameybash
  14. 42.