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Subject:RE: User research From:"Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 15 Jan 2003 13:15:52 -0500
Sean Hower <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com> wrote:
>And don't forget to try to get a good cross sampling of people to observe and interview. The common mistake is to interview only power users or only newbies. You want to get a broad spectrum of participants to really understand what's going on. This will cost you time and money though. So it becomes a balancing act.
There is another dimension to this, as well. The purpose of at least some software is to help people accomplish their goals more efficiently and effectively. So the emphasis is on THEIR goals, not the software developer's goals. The catch is that people who hold similar positions in different companies may have quite disparate goals, different approaches to doing their jobs, different views about what makes your software worth having.
There is a component of corporate culture in how your software is perceived. So if you are doing onsite observation and interviews, you should try to do so at a few different customer sites. That may be a stretch in terms of getting the budget, so if you are restricted to just one site, you should at least keep this factor in mind as you design your solution.
A new book on Single Sourcing has been released by William Andrew
Publishing: _Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation_
is now available at: http://www.williamandrew.com/titles/1491.html.
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