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Re: User research and mobile development

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  • belen barros pena
    Hi all, First of all, thanks to the people who have replied to my question. Loads of interesting stuff. I ve realised I should have given a bit of background,
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2011
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      Hi all,

      First of all, thanks to the people who have replied to my question.
      Loads of interesting stuff.

      I've realised I should have given a bit of background, so there it
      goes. I'll try to keep it short:

      1. Mobile work is spreading fast, but information architects /
      interaction designers are not necessarily ready

      Over the last few months I've been speaking to information architects
      and interaction designers working mainly on desktop (like myself)
      about how to apply usability testing to mobile projects. Mobile is
      spreading quickly to companies where there is a lot of desktop design
      experience, but not that much mobile experience. Although user
      research techniques are essentially the same, there are certain
      mobile-specific issues that practitioners should know about and
      address. What I've found is that professionals with mainly desktop
      experience do not necessarily know about these issues, and as a result
      they are finding hard to incorporate user research activities into
      their mobile projects.

      2. Qualitative user research techniques for validation

      What I meant by user research was not so much quantitative research,
      but qualitative, done with existing or prospective software users.
      Things like diary studies, interviews, contextual enquiries and
      usability testing, which you can do before design and development
      starts, or during design and development to validate design decisions.
      It is the latter that interest me particularly, because they require a
      more agile approach (less prep, less users, less analysis), and
      therefore introduce additional challenges.

      3. Why am I asking this?

      I am preparing a talk for the IA Summit (which I suspect will address
      mainly people working on desktop projects) on how to apply
      quantitative user research techniques (like usability testing) to
      mobile projects, particularly for validation (i.e. once design and
      development have already started).

      If you have any experiences you'd like to share, techniques or
      approaches (from desktop or new) that have worked well for mobile, it
      would be really interesting to hear about them. I will of course cite
      the source and share all the materials gathered.

      I hope it makes sense, and thanks again for the replies.

      Belen

      On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM, belen barros pena
      <belenbarrospena@...> wrote:
      > Hi all,
      >
      > I am posting this question with permission from the list moderator. I
      > hope it's ok with the rest of you too. There it goes:
      >
      > I am doing some work around user research for mobile apps and
      > websites, and it would be really interesting to know how many of you
      > do some kind of user research as part of your development cycle
      > (usability testing, interviews, etc).
      >
      > Do you validate designs, prototypes or early builds with prospective
      > users in any way? Do you do user research before starting development
      > to explore different design options? Or maybe you don't do it at all.
      > If you don't, why not? Is it lack of time and money, or are there
      > other reasons?
      >
      > You can answer on or off list. I'll compile the answers (if any) and
      > distribute the outcome.
      >
      > Thanks!!
      >
      > Belen
      >
      > PS: sorry for cross-posting. I am reaching to a couple of
      > mobile-related lists, so you might get this twice.
      >
    • belen barros pena
      Hi all, Sorry for the delay in compiling the answers to my question about user research. Better late than never (I guess): http://bit.ly/jotALs Many thanks to
      Message 2 of 3 , May 8, 2011
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        Hi all,

        Sorry for the delay in compiling the answers to my question about user
        research. Better late than never (I guess):

        http://bit.ly/jotALs

        Many thanks to the people who took the time to reply.

        All the best,

        Belen

        On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM, belen barros pena
        <belenbarrospena@...> wrote:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I am posting this question with permission from the list moderator. I
        > hope it's ok with the rest of you too. There it goes:
        >
        > I am doing some work around user research for mobile apps and
        > websites, and it would be really interesting to know how many of you
        > do some kind of user research as part of your development cycle
        > (usability testing, interviews, etc).
        >
        > Do you validate designs, prototypes or early builds with prospective
        > users in any way? Do you do user research before starting development
        > to explore different design options? Or maybe you don't do it at all.
        > If you don't, why not? Is it lack of time and money, or are there
        > other reasons?
        >
        > You can answer on or off list. I'll compile the answers (if any) and
        > distribute the outcome.
        >
        > Thanks!!
        >
        > Belen
        >
        > PS: sorry for cross-posting. I am reaching to a couple of
        > mobile-related lists, so you might get this twice.
        >
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