Thursday, January 31, 2008

Session 316: How and Why to Bring End Users Into The Service and Web Design Process

  • two usability consultants + Toronto Public Library "User Experience Project Manager"
  • huge system with huge resources, but, the ideas can be scaled down and used anywhere by the rest of us!
  • types of user involvement: ongoing / periodic / one off
  • this session was FAB for me, as I'm doing a big web site usability project this year...good timing
  • provide multiple ways for the peeps to be / face-to-face / online + multiple research methods: interview / survey / town-halls / focus groups / usability testing / contextual inquiry...different levels of commitment / effort / anonymity
  • tools: 2.0 sites to engage users...ongoing dialogue + 1.o tools like surveys, polls, live chat, forums
  • capture unsolicited comments (ie. at the desk)...collect and study
  • Why involve users? WITH understanding
  • make your results available widely within your organization
  • start / continue / deepen converstaions with users
  • pull together ALL info you have from users...customer comments, survey results, informal (from staff) etc.
  • usability goals: need to decide is it to have 100% use with no help?...need a goal in order to evaluate success
  • determine REAL requirements of users...what they say vs. what they do...tricky
  • also consider industry standards and guidelines, including accessibility / best practices
  • "ethnographic research"...user-shadowing...watching how they use the site
  • consider using "personas" to profile typical users + usage scenarios...need to update / keep current as well
  • S.M.A.R.T. objectives: Specific / Measurable / Achievable / Realistic / Time-sensitive
  • new Toronto PL web site to come soon (competing priority with new ILS and Fed. Search)
  • "always in beta" for the Holy Grail...which keeps moving...

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