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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.

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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:

1 User Needs Robert Munro 2005

2 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?

3 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)

4 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?

5 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?

6 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

7 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)

8 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

9 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

10 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…

11 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)

12 Example: Hearing Voices  Users  Visitors to the museums  Khoi and San speakers

13 Example: Hearing Voices  The users’ goals:  discover information about the sound installation, its context and themes

14 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

15 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

16 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

17 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)

18 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)

19 References Nielsen, Jakob Acting on User Research.


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