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Applied user research (for interaction design): Introduction Rikard Harr November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Applied user research (for interaction design): Introduction Rikard Harr November 2010."— Presentation transcript:


2 Applied user research (for interaction design): Introduction Rikard Harr November 2010

3 © Rikard Harr 20103 Outline Who am I and who are you? What is Interaction design? Why do we need User Research? Course overview An initial sample of methods/ approaches –Ethnography –Contextual design

4 © Rikard Harr 20104 Interaction design “Interaction design (abbreviated as IxD) defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction Designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.The practice typically centers on "embedding information technology into the ambient social complexities of the physical world.”” (McCullough and Malcolm, 2004). “…the process that is arranged within existing resource constraints to create, shape, and decide all use-oriented qualities (structural, functional, ethical, and aesthetic) of a digital artifact for one or many clients.” (Löwgren and Stolterman, 2004)

5 © Rikard Harr 20105 Interaction design, increasingly important Old world Today

6 © Rikard Harr 20106 Why User Research? Interaction design should match the needs, expectations and capabilities of people Jacob Nielsen on user research: –User research is a reality check. It tells you what really happens when people use computers. You can speculate on what customers want, or you can find out. The latter is the more fruitful approach. Research offers an understanding of how users behave online, and is a solid foundation on which to build a design. Cost of speculation: Limited system use, conflicts, reduced efficiency, loosing customers to competitors The worst cost of speculating: Three miles island

7 Three Mile Island 1980 Partial core meltdown in a Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania near Harrisburg The accident could had been avoided with better designed UI A vault remained open due to a mechanical fault which aloud coolant water to escape A lamp had been designed to show when the engine that shut the vault was active, as the engine stopped as the vault was stuck, the lamp turned black. A temperature indicator that indicated high temperature were placed too far away and was not seen

8 © Rikard Harr 20108 Objectives of the course You are expected to learn a variety of concepts, approaches, and methods, which can be employed to understand users and inform the design of better interactive products To help you reach this goal there are –Classes –Literature –Assignments –Exam

9 © Rikard Harr 20109 Assignments and examination Assignment: –Think about an appropriate object of study –Apply concepts and methods studied within the course to a concrete system, device, application, or appliance –Formulate your ideas, criticisms, and design suggestions –Reflect on the method(s) you use –Provide a written account (about 2 pages) Examination –Task: Conduct a field study about how, where, when people get online –Conduct a pilot study and discuss it on Nov 23 –Conduct the main study –Write an exam essay (4000-6000 words) –Hand it in (no later than the 14 th of January)

10 © Rikard Harr 201010 Assignments, examinations and deadlines Assignment/examinationDeadline 1. Observation (ind)Nov 12 2. Personas (gr)Nov 26 3. Contextual design (gr) Dec 10 4. Examination(ind)Jan 14

11 © Rikard Harr 200911 Ethnography Background in sociology and anthropology “Ethnography: a branch of anthropology that deals historically with the origin and filiations of races and cultures.” ( Websters' Third New International Dictionary, 1993) “… the prominence of ethnography emerges from a growing plausibility of the diagnosis that many system problems emerge because their design pays insufficient attention to the social context of work.” (Hughes et al., 1995) In the context of HCI, ethnography is a means of studying work (or other activities), it involves researchers immersing themselves in the domain being studied so as to arrive at a qualitative understanding of what is "really going on" there.

12 © Rikard Harr 201012 Guidelines An observational technique, seeks to understand settings as they naturally occur Data collection In the first instance, avoid theoretical preconceptions Respect the setting and the participants Hang around while life goes on Never be without the notebook Interpretation See the work as socially organized from within the setting Understand the work and its activities in terms that members understand and use Treat activities as situated

13 © Rikard Harr 201013 Limitations of ethnography in design The "great divide" between the concerns of engineering and the concerns of the human sciences Scale Time demanding Textual to graphical mode of presentation Changed role of “researcher” Alternative types of ethnography Focused approaches to ethnography –Concurrent ethnography e.g. Air Traffic Control –Quick and dirty ethnography –Evaluative ethnography,, e.g. customer relations at a front desk –Re-examination of previous studies

14 © Rikard Harr 201014 Contextual design Developed to handle data collection and analysis from fieldwork for developing a software-based product “Holtzblatt’s approach was to adapt ethnographic research methods to fit the time and resource constraints of engineering” (Holtzblatt and Beyer, 1993) Used quite widely commercially Contextual Design has seven parts: Contextual inquiry, Work modelling, Consolidation, Work redesign, User environment design, Mock-up and test with customers, Putting it into Practice

15 © Rikard Harr 201015 Contextual inquiry An approach to field study where user is expert, designer is apprentice A form of interview, but —at users’ workplace (workstation) —2 to 3 hours long Team interpretation sessions –Cross-functional teams meet to hear the whole story of an interview, combines unique perspectives Four main principles: —Context: see workplace & what happens —Partnership: user and developer collaborate —Interpretation: observations interpreted by user and developer together —Focus: project focus to help understand what to look for

16 © Rikard Harr 201016 Work models Grounds the team conversation in explicit representations In interpretation session, models are drawn from the observations: –Work flow model: the people, communication and co-ordination –Sequence model: detailed work steps to achieve a goal –(Artifact model: the physical ‘things’ created to do the work) –Cultural model: constraints on the system from organizational culture –Physical model: physical structure of the work, e.g. office layout

17 © Rikard Harr 201017 Consolidation, work redesign and user environment design Consolidated work models Work models need to be consolidated into one view of ‘the work ’, Affinity diagram Organizes interpretation session notes into common structures and themes Categories arise from the data Work redesign, what do we want work to be like? “Our best ideas for improving the work often comes from seeing how a particular person or group has solved their own problems” (Holtzblatt and Beyer 1993) Build new models of all types User environment design, the floor plan of a new system. Shows each part of a system, how it supports users and its functionality Focus areas, each provides the functions needed and work objects needed for an activity

18 © Rikard Harr 201018 Mock-up and test with customers Each focus area describes a coherent activity and is a coherent part of the UI Paper prototyping at users workplace Probes and observations Starts with rough prototypes and moves on Test of running systems and soon, putting into practice

19 © Rikard Harr 201019 The end

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