Understanding Your Users

Understanding Your Users

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

1st Edition - December 28, 2004

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  • Authors: Kathy Baxter, Catherine Courage
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080520087

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Description

Today many companies are employing a user-centered design (UCD) process, but for most companies, usability begins and ends with the usability test. Although usability testing is a critical part of an effective user-centered life cycle, it is only one component of the UCD process. This book is focused on the requirements gathering stage, which often receives less attention than usability testing, but is equally as important. Understanding user requirements is critical to the development of a successful product. Understanding Your Users 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, readers will learn how to prepare for and conduct the activity, as well as analyze and present the data —all in a practical and hands-on way. In addition, each method presented provides different information about the user and their requirements (e.g., functional requirements, information architecture, task flows). The techniques can be used together to form a complete picture of the users’ requirements or they can be used separately to address specific product questions. These techniques have helped product teams understand the value of user requirements gathering by providing insight into how users work and what they need to be successful at their tasks. Case studies from industry-leading companies demonstrate each method in action. In addition, readers are provided with the foundation to conduct any usability activity (e.g., getting buy-in from management, legal and ethical considerations, setting up your facilities, recruiting, moderating activities) and to ensure the incorporation of the results into their products.

Key Features

·Covers all of the significant requirements gathering methods in a readable, practical way
·Presents the foundation readers need to prepare for any requirements gathering activity and ensure that the results are incorporated into their products
·Includes invaluable worksheet and template appendices
·Includes a case study for each method from industry leaders
·Written by experienced authors who teach conference courses on this subject to usability professionals and new product designers alike

Readership

Usability professionals / user interaction designers / new web application designers / product designers and their managers

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    -How To Use This Book
    -Targeted Readers

    1. Introduction
    -User Centered Design
    -A Variety of Requirements
    -Getting Stakeholder Buy-In for Your Activity
    -The Methods

    2. Before You Choose an Activity: Learning About Your Product and Users
    -Learn About Your Product
    -Learn About Your User
    -Suggested Resources for Additional Reading
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Competitive Intelligence: Mining Design Concepts from Business School Libraries
    -Case Study, Personas: A Case Study by Microsoft Corporation

    3. Legal & Ethical Considerations
    -Ethical Considerations
    -Legal Considerations
    -Putting It All Together

    4. Setting Up Facilities for Your User Requirements Activity
    -Introduction
    -Using Your Company's Existing Facilities
    -Rent a Marketing or Hotel Facility
    -Building a Permanent Facility
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Designing an Innovative, Cost-Effective Usability Lab

    5. Preparing for Your User Requirements Activity
    Introduction
    -Creating a Proposal
    -Time of Day and Duration of Your Session
    -Recruiting Participants for Your Activity
    -Tracking Your Participants
    -Creating a Protocol
    -Pilot Your Activity
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Cultural Differences Affecting User Research Methods in China

    6. During Your User Requirements Activity
    -Welcoming Your Participants
    -Dealing With Late and Absent Participants
    -Warm-up Exercises
    -Inviting Observers
    -Think-aloud Protocol
    -Moderating Your Activity
    -Recording and Note Taking
    -Awkward Situations
    -Putting It All Together

    7. Interviews
    -Introduction
    -When Should You Conduct an Interview?
    -Preparing to Conduct an Interview
    -Conducting an Interview
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicating the Findings
    -Lessons Learned
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Preparing and Conducting On-Site Interviews

    8. Surveys
    -Introduction
    -Things to Be Aware of When Using a Survey
    -Creating and Distributing Your Survey
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Lessons Learned
    -Case Study, Using Online Surveys to Quantify Usability Issues

    9. Wants and Needs Analysis
    -Introduction
    -When to Conduct a Wants and Needs Analysis
    -Things To Be Aware of When Conducting a Wants and Needs Analysis
    -Preparing for a Wants and Needs Analysis
    -Conducting a Wants and Needs Analysis
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Modifications
    -Lessons Learned
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Understanding User's Healthcare Wants and Needs

    10. Card Sorting
    -Introduction
    -When to Conduct a Card Sort
    -Things To Be Aware of When Conducting a Card Sort
    -Group or Individual Card Sort?
    -Preparing to Conduct a Card Sort
    -Conducting a Card Sort
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Modifications
    -Lessons Learned
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, How Card Sorting Changed a Web Site Team's View of How the Web Site Should Be Organized

    11. Group Task Analysis
    -Introduction
    -Group Task Analysis
    -Preparing to Conduct a Group Task Analysis
    -Conducting a Group Task Analysis
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Modifications
    -Lessons Learned
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Capturing Tak Information for How People Prepare and Conduct Online Meetings

    12. Focus Groups
    -Introduction
    -When Is a Focus Group Appropriate?
    -Things To Be Aware of When Conducting a Focus Group
    -Preparing to Conduct a Focus Group
    -Conducting a Focus Group
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Modifications
    -Lessons Learned
    -Case Study

    13. Field Studies
    -Introduction
    -When Should You Conduct Field Studies
    -Things To Be Aware of When Conducting Field Research
    -Different Field Study Methods to Choose From
    -Preparing for a Field Study
    -Conducting a Field Study
    -Data Analysis and Interpretation
    -Communicate the Findings
    -Lessons Learned
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, Understanding the Staples Delivery Experience

    14. Concluding Your Activity
    -Introduction
    -Prioritization of Findings
    -Presenting Your Findings
    -Reporting Your Findings
    -Ensuring the Incorporation of Your Results
    -Putting It All Together
    -Case Study, A User Requirements Case History: Calico Configuration Modeling Workbench

    Appendix A: Learn About Usability
    Appendix B: Vendors that Offer Training in Usability Activities
    Appendix C: Vendors that Consult on Usability Lab Design, Sell or Rent Equipment, or Build Labs
    Appendix D: Vendors that Recruit Participants, Conduct Usability Activities for You, and/or Rent Facilities to You
    Appendix E: Requirements for Creating a Participant Recruitment Database
    Appendix F: Affinity Diagram
    Appendix G: Computerized Quantitative Analysis Tools
    Appendix H: Report Template
    Appendix I: Glossary
    Appendix J: References

Product details

  • No. of pages: 704
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2004
  • Published: December 28, 2004
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080520087

About the Authors

Kathy Baxter

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

Architect, Ethical AI Practice, 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

VP, Ads & Commerce User Experience, Google

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