Understanding Your Users

1st Edition

A Practical Guide to User Requirements Methods, Tools, and Techniques

Authors: Kathy Baxter Catherine Courage
Print ISBN: 9781558609358
eBook ISBN: 9780080520087
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 28th December 2004
Page Count: 704
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We all know of products (software, web sites, and web based applications) that are designed without input from the actual end-users. Thanks to a growing awareness of usability and market pressure, product teams now understand the importance of understanding their users and the consequences of poor usability. Now, many development teams incorporate usability into every stage of the product lifecycle—not just in usability testing. By collecting user requirements at the earliest stage of development, you immediately gain an understanding of what users need for their work, how they can improve their work with new systems, and their mental models of their domain. This information is invaluable when trying to create a superior product.

User Requirements Gathering is an easy to read, easy to implement, how-to guide on usability in the real world. It focuses on the "user requirements gathering" stage of product development, and it provides a variety of techniques, many of which may be new to usability professionals. For each technique, users will learn how it would ideally be used, and what part of the process it is best used for, and then will focus on how to use the technique in terms of collecting, interpreting, and presenting data—all in a very practical and hands-on way. A case study is included for each method; one or two will be included from Oracle projects, but cases from other companies are also included.


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Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Kathy Baxter

Kathy Baxter is a Principal User Researcher at Salesforce. Her research focus has spanned web search, privacy, advertising, enterprise applications, mobile, and more. Previously, Kathy managed the UX Infrastructure team, which supports research globally across Google including research ethics, participant recruitment, research labs, and the development of research tools. Prior to Google, she worked as a Senior Researcher at eBay and Oracle. She received her Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology and Masters of Science in Engineering Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Principal User Researcher, Salesforce, CA

Catherine Courage

Catherine Courage is SVP Customer Experience at Docusign. Her team is focused on driving design thought leadership and execution throughout the company in order to deliver a seamless experience across all products and services. Prior to joining Citrix, Catherine was the Director of User Experience at salesforce.com. She also worked at Oracle as a Principal Usability Engineer and manager of the Customer Design Partners Program. In 2011, she was selected by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of Silicon Valley’s "40 Under 40" young tech leaders. She holds a Masters of Applied Sciences specializing in Human Factors from the University of Toronto.

Affiliations and Expertise

SVP Customer Experience, Docusign CA