Presentation on theme: "User Needs Robert Munro 2005. Users and user needs Identifying the users of a multimedia product: who is your audience? is it one homogenous group."— Presentation transcript:
Users and user needs Identifying the users of a multimedia product: who is your audience? is it one homogenous group of users, or a variety? is your audience best defined in terms of: occupation, language(s) spoken, nationality, recreational activities, age, level of education, other… why?
User Assessment How do you know what users need? your own expertise – what assumptions are you making? ask people with better knowledge ask potential users – will the possible scope & scale of multimedia productions be clear to them? user research: “user research is a reality check. It tells you what really happens when people use computers. You can speculate on what [users] want, or you can find out.” (Jakob Nielsen, 2004)
User Assessment 1.The users’ goals 2.Personal, social and cultural characteristics 3.Previous knowledge and experience 4.The context of use 5.What features will users value?
1. The users’ goals What are the users trying to achieve? This will determine: Your choice of the genre of the production Your choice of the development platform The method(s) of distribution Will different users have very different goals? how many of these can you address? how many of these will you address?
2. Social and cultural characteristics These will depend on the user community and the project objectives, and could include: For what language(s) will the users be speakers, hearers, readers and/or writers? Restrictions on the content of the materials The appropriateness of grouping certain materials
2. Social and cultural characteristics You will not be able to predict the full importance of social and cultural characteristics: Incorporate users in the production (prototyping, screenshots, storyboards)
2. Personal characteristics If the user group is small, the production can be tailored to the specific user(s), for example: recording of an event for a small diasporic community a sampler for visiting royalty
3. Previous knowledge / experience What computer literacies do the users have? What genres & platforms of multimedia material have they used? Are they familiar with the contents of the material? perhaps more familiar than you are
4. The context of use What is the (expected) context of the use of the production? private use public use - individual or multiple users? mediated use - a guided demonstration, a teaching tool…
5. What features will users value? Will depend on the genre and context of use, and could include: Accuracy and comprehensibility (dictionary) Relationship to context (museum kiosk) Fun (language learning)
Example: Hearing Voices Users Visitors to the museums Khoi and San speakers
Example: Hearing Voices The users’ goals: discover information about the sound installation, its context and themes
Example: Hearing Voices Personal, social and cultural characteristics Users may not read English The users will be from a variety of language backgrounds Therefore, the functionality should not rely on text
Example: Hearing Voices Previous knowledge and experience: We expect that most visitors have the computer literacies allowing them to navigate a point-and-click Some speakers of Khoi and San languages who visit specifically for the exhibition may not have previously used computers
Example: Hearing Voices The context of use: It is an exhibition in a museum It should complement the installation it is accompanying in both content and design It is a public environment, allowing multiple people to concurrently view the kiosk
Example: Hearing Voices The context of use: The time a person may spend viewing the kiosk could vary greatly: 20 seconds to 2 hours It is unmediated (visits by speakers of Khoi and San languages are mediated by the artist)
Example: Hearing Voices What features will users value? Information about: the artist, the exhibition, Khoi and San languages, language endangerment The choice of brief and/or comprehensive information Quick to learn / intuitive / unintimidating (especially because it is public) Heritage materials: songs, stories (especially because it is a museum)
References Nielsen, Jakob. 2004. Acting on User Research. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20041108.html http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20041108.html