RE: [agile-usability] Re: Craftmanship doesn't scale... hence usa bility?
- This is a great discussion.
<Absolutely! Bringing the realistic tasks back from my interactions with
customers is one of the critical things I can do. And my development team
is outstanding at intercepting a lot of usability issues as they contructing
the product and putting the pieces together.>
Yes and more. Taking members of the development team with you on customer
visits can give them a rich picture that no verbal or written report can
ever capture. Seeing customers work not only gives us critical information
about work flow, it helps all of us to think more conceptually about how and
why users do what they do. I think we're pretty good at capturing tasks and
workflow and bringing it back to the team, and I think we can do more.
Often I think back on a customer observation and what comes to mind is not
necessarily the details of a work process, but how it exemplified a users
goal, or the users environment, or a critical stumbling block, or the
inter-relationship between business elements. Those "aha" moments are very
powerful and can be extremely useful in future usability decisions because
they capture both the how AND why's of a process. As Personas tend to do
for "user-centered" design, in-context observations are invaluable for
capturing the grand picture of "usage" and help place "customer stories" in
a richer context.
We researchers can then as Alain says, become coaches and partners. Our
time is spent structuring, coordinating, and synthesizing the visits. The
"report" then becomes a tool for enumerating tasks AND a trigger for
remembering all of the rich context that has been observed. A two hour
customer visit is worth a thousand words...
customer-driven product development
Aptos CA Seattle WA
(831) 277-6616 (206) 550-3027