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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don & Petrick “User Requirements” from Design Research, pgs 70-80

Market research focuses on general trends and patterns rather than the goals and needs research focuses on general trends and patterns rather than the goals and needs of specific users.

However, Market research does not do as well at providing designer with focused insights into the specific behaviors of users within these market segments.

In identify Market Segments, each axis represents the most relevant variables from the market research. The x’s represent the segment with behavioral characteristics distinct enough to warrant the creation of personas.

Before embarking on independent design research, absorbed everything you can regarding the target market, the customers and the competition.

About usability testing, often, the team that worked on a product can no longer be objective about what’s working. This type of test can provide a fresh set of non-biased eyes.

Stakeholder Interviews with key executive and subject matter experts are often a quick way to understand the product’s strategic direction.

In user interviews, you are trying to elicit their goals and needs by focusing on how they perform their current tasks independent of the specific product being developed.

Personas are archetypal users with specific goals and needs based on real market and design research.

The personas provide a common understanding of whom the product is being designed for.

Cooper recommends that designers limit their personas to one to three primary personas and perhaps two to three secondary personas.

A sure-fire way to defeat the success of personas is to define the goals and needs in terms of functionality that already exists.

If you do not do this before the design phase, you will hit repeated roadblocks that require you to try to create this crucial understanding of the customer “on the fly.”

The final deliverable often includes a persona “menu” which is a one-page document containing a summary view of all the personas.

For prioritizing persona needs, create the Persona Needs Chart and identify which personas share each need. And then, sort the list so that the needs shared by the most personas are shown at the top.

Place the outline number of each feature and function in the appropriate row to map it to the user need or needs that it meets. This helps the cross-functional team to understand the relationship between marketing goals, business needs and user needs.
You have integrated data from all point in the organization and from all relevant user perspectives.


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