Researching Usability

Weekly Round-Up: 22nd January

Posted on: January 22, 2010

Firstly, apologies for the long gap in blog entries. My Dad passed away aged just 57 in Dec from skin cancer. Consequently I took an unscheduled break from work and with the holidays on top of that and then catching up on everything when I got back, the blog has been neglected. However, since my return I’ve manage to finalize the summative report on the heuristic evaluation which I’ve been blogging about. I’m hoping to write a separate blog with some of my conclusions as requested in the next week or so. This week’s round-up is slightly shorter than usual but normal service will resume next week!

Now that the summative report is complete, attentions have turned to the next 6 months of the project. Researching the evaluation process with regards to existing frameworks and structures is next on the agenda and will inform the evaluation of ux2 outputs. Evaluation of the technological outcomes from the project will initially be conducted next and will include persona research followed by usability and usefulness testing of the prototype.

Alan Cooper talks about qualitative research in his book ‘About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design’. In the book he uses the term ‘Persona Hypothesis’ which is a good term to describe the first stage in synthesizing personas. It attempts to discuss questions such as ‘What different sorts of people might use this product?’, ‘How might their needs and behaviours vary?’ and ‘What ranges of behaviour and types of environments need to be explored?’ In the case of this project these questions relate to the type of library user who would visit library@nesc, what their needs would be and how they vary. Borrowing from existing persona research will help to generate such a hypothesis and enable recruitment for subsequent user interviews. The existing persona research being reviewed for the project is documented on the ux2 wiki.

1 Response to "Weekly Round-Up: 22nd January"

My condolences on the loss of your father, 57 is much too young.

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