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Involving users - Why is it so hard to do the right thing?

Donna Spencer
November 08, 2008

Involving users - Why is it so hard to do the right thing?

Why is user involvement in projects the exception rather than the rule, despite the fact we know it is the ‘right’ thing to do? Taking a practical standpoint and without the boring and irrelevant theory, this presentation discusses the role of user involvement in web projects covering:

What types of projects need (and do not need) to involve users
Determine the value of involving users or the risks of not involving them
Methods and techniques appropriate for different situations
Low-contact, quick methods you can use to learn about users with little effort
Tips to help other people understand the value of user involvement

Donna Spencer

November 08, 2008
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Transcript

  1. Involving Users - Why Is It So
    Hard To Do The Right Thing?
    Donna Spencer
    Maadmob

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  2. About me
    • Freelance information architect/interaction designer
     8 yrs
     Complex websites, intranets, business applications
     Design, strategy, mentoring, training
    • Conducted loads of user research
    • Writing a book about card sorting - due soon

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  3. Key points
    • Images – veggies, exercise, alcohol

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  4. But first, what is user research

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  5. What is user research

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  6. Why would we do it?
    • Your users may have different:
     experience with computers
     understanding of the domain
     working patterns and working arrangements
     ways of describing their tasks
     contexts in which they will use the product
     goals for using the product
    • You will learn interesting things!

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  7. How we do it

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  8. Why don’t we do it?
    No money
    We are the users
    Too hard
    The outcome
    really doesn’t
    matter
    The client
    actually doesn’t
    care
    We already
    know what users
    need
    Someone already
    ‘gathered
    requirements’
    Don’t know who
    our users are
    No time

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  9. What helps us do it
    Included it in
    proposal budget
    Team have the
    skills to
    Client cared about
    doing well
    Acknowledged that
    we don’t know the
    users
    Explained that
    requirements
    weren’t enough
    Have easy access to
    users
    Made it fast

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  10. How to decide...

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  11. How to decide
    • How important is it to the organisation
    • Risk if we get it wrong
     Impact on the users
     Money spent
     Profile
    • Need to convince others
    • Existing knowledge of users
    • Ability to iterate
    • Ability to collect feedback

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  12. How to decide

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  13. Personal blog

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  14. Conference website

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  15. E-commerce system

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  16. Big internal business app

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  17. Making it easier…

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  18. Making it easier
    • Start with existing materials
     Staff who have contact with users
     Website analytics
     Search terms
    • Small research, not huge
    • Focus your research – don’t try to learn everything

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  19. Share it!
    • Personas/scenarios

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  20. Share it!
    • Personas/scenarios
    • Analytics reports
    • Analysis of feedback

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  21. Questions & thanks
    • http://maadmob.com.au/
    • 0409-778-693
    [email protected]
    • Twitter etc: maadonna

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