Spring’15 class notes: Day 6: User research – part 1: planning

29 Jan

The goals for today’s class were for you to be able to:

  1. Explain the role of formative user research in the UCD process
  2. Set appropriate goals for user research
  3. Plan user research for various problems
1. Explain the role of formative user research in the UCD process

I told you about a project I’ve been working for and how important user research was for figuring out what the problem was, who the users were, and what to do about it.

2. Set appropriate goals for user research

We practiced together to write goals that tap into our users’ deeper motivations and life goals rather than only accomplishing tasks. We used these slides.

3. Plan user research for various problems

We worked through a total of 3 problems and you determined research goals, data collection methods, sampling strategies, etc. Please remember that the general goals of the project are not the same as the goals you set for the user research part of the project. So, while the general project goals can be “to create a better smart watch,” the goal for user research is always to understand something about people. For example, what about their watches/phones currently makes their life simple or complicated? For the problem with designing a game to teach 2nd graders math, a good goal for user research would be simply to find out what is fun for 2nd graders, and how they learn best.

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