Presentation on theme: "IS214 Recap. IS214 Understanding Users and Their Work –User and task analysis –Ethnographic methods –Site visits: observation, interviews –Contextual."— Presentation transcript:
IS214 Understanding Users and Their Work –User and task analysis –Ethnographic methods –Site visits: observation, interviews –Contextual inquiry and design –Universal usability Evaluating –Usability inspection methods – including heuristics, guidelines –Surveys, interviews, focus groups –Usability testing –Server log analysis Organizational and Managerial Issues –Ethics; Managing usability
Methods: assessing needs, evaluating MethodNeedsEvaluation User and task analysis x Ethnographic methods x Observation, interviews x x Contextual inquiry& design x Universal usability x x Usability inspection– heuristics, guidelines x x Surveys, interviews, focus gps x x Usability testing x Server log analysis x
Intro to usability and UCD Usability concepts –Usability as more than interface –Functionality, content, and design User-Centered Design –Usability begins with design –At every stage in the design process, usability means using appropriate methods to perform user-based evaluation –Placing users (not cool technology or…) at the center of design –Iterative design
Understanding Users and Their Work To inform design & evaluation
User and Task Analysis Can’t ask “how good is this?” without asking “for whom and for what purpose?” Users –Selecting users: whom do you need to include? How many? –Categorizing users –Getting people’s cooperation Trust Tasks –Identifying & describing the tasks they (currently) perform –Technology design is work re-design User-task matrix
Ethnographic methods Methods and principles of social science research are fundamental to collecting, analyzing, interpreting data for needs and usability assessment –Reliability –Validity One set of methods: Ethnographic –Studying “users in the wild” –Learning their understanding of their work: purposes and practices –Seeing how they actually do their work (as opposed to formal work processes)
Site Visits Observing –Seeing people doing what they do, how they do it, under the conditions that they do it –Asking questions as they work –Tacit knowledge: people may not be able to articulate what they do –Recollection: people may not think to mention things, or not think them important Interviewing –Getting users’ understandings and interpretations –Ability to probe –Interviewing skills!
Contextual Inquiry and Design A systematic, ethnographically-based method for: –Collecting, interpreting, and summarizing information about work practices and organizational factors –Incorporating findings into design Structured approach to data collection, recording, interpretation Complex; requires that entire team be trained in it
Evaluating A design, prototype, or working system Not a clean distinction between design and evaluation
Usability inspection methods A variety of methods that consist of experts (not users) inspecting (not using) a design, prototype, or system Including: –Competitive evaluation –Heuristic evaluation Commonly-used method Easy Lots of information with not much investment Reflects short-term use; limited depth.
Surveys Useful for collecting data directly from users at various stages of design and development Can reach a large number of users Standardized questions, answer formats easy to analyze Issues of sample composition, sample size, and validity Only get answers to the questions you think to ask Question (and answer) wording affects results Lack of depth and follow-up
Usability testing Lab-based tests Usually standardized tasks observed under controlled conditions Good for getting performance data unsullied by variations in use conditions Bad for getting performance data under real conditions of use (ecological validity)
Focus groups Again, useful at many stages in process In-depth information from users Interaction among users helpful (or sometimes not) Limits: –small numbers –limited time period –effects of strong personalities or a sidetrack in the conversation Skilled facilitator! Hard to do well, easy to mess up
Server log analysis Analyzes data collected automatically Large numbers Unobtrusive Does not rely on use cooperation or memory Limits to the data available Inferences must be justified by the data
Analyzing and presenting results Lots of data that has to be summarized in useful form What is the purpose of your study? What do you know? What do you need to know? What recommendations can you develop from your data? How do you present your findings succintly and clearly, in a way that your audience will understand and use?
Ethics Do no harm to the people you are studying Choices of projects?
Managing usability How usability fits into organizations “We don’t get no respect”
Universal usability International usability Accessibility –Removing unnecessary barriers –Being aware of and designing for the variety of people’s capabilities –Incorporating multimodal information presentation and functionality
Topic we might have covered: credibility Larger issue: when presenting content not (just) functionality, need to understand how people use and evaluate information Factors that affect web site credibility: –Source: Institutional, personal Expertise; bias or interest –Currency (how up to date the info is) –Observable factors used as indicators of unobservable: Language, (absence of) mistakes Links, imprimaturs
Some final questions How do we understand users’ activities, needs, interpretations, & preferences? –Especially for things that don’t yet exist –Users and uses are varied –People can’t always articulate what we would like to know from them –The observer is not a perfectly objective “tool” How do we translate these understandings into recommendations and designs? How do we decide what trade-offs to make? –Among users (including organization vs individuals) –Between cost of design and priority of needs
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