Notes from Ash Donaldson's talk at Oz-IA 2006.
Most of the time, people gather poor requirements. We typically understand tasks, but we also need to understand the mental models, motivations, goals, and behaviors of users.
How we think.
Don Norman's layers: reflective, behavioral, and visceral.
Metaphors. We conceive of the world in metaphors. It's the only way we can understand how everything works.
Memory. We know how it doesn't work: it's not a filing system. Memory only remembers points and makes up the gaps between the points. Every time you remember something, you remember it differently.
"I know what people want!" The transfer of assumptions. You see things in your own frames of reference. The Echo chamber.
How do I ask you how do you behave when you can't tell me?
"Draw me an animal that represents X" People get distracted by embarrassment. Drawing provides a metaphor for them. "Why did you draw that animal? What is it about this animal?" Able to articulate their feelings. It's a good way of getting people's feelings out.
"If I see it, I can believe it." But you aren't going to see everything.
Pick a focus. Observe and take notes on that. Observe in pairs.
It's not just talking. Symbolic (55%), verbal (only 7%), and non-verbal (38%). It's not just what is said, it's who said it and how it was said.
It's an inexact process. The sender and receiver have their own perceptions, values, knowledge, expectations. There's also problems with message and feedback: encoding, decoding, noise, vibration, etc.
The problems with self-reporting: interviewer bias, idealization, rationalization. An interview is an unnatural thing. Things you don't want to ask: So what would you do now? and So if we did this, what would you do?
Master/apprentice relationship: let's them do their job, and can explain it in context ("situated recall").
Making research more valid
Triangulate your data. Use other sources of data like web analytics, market research, metrics, feedback.
Originally posted at Friday, September 29, 2006 | Comments (0)