Research is essential to a project’s success. It reveals, clarifies, and establishes the foundation on which the application resides. Overlooked needs and requirements in this critical phase greatly diminish the quality and overall usability of the design. Take time to thoroughly understand the app’s UX requirements by learning more about:
- Who is using it?
- Where are they using it?
- What are their tasks and workflows?
- What are the objectives and expectations?
- What problems is it solving?
- What processes must it include?
- What features are supported?
- What tools and templates are currently available?
- What are the technical capabilities and constraints?
The Stakeholders (the people who determine the project’s success)
- What are their expectations?
- What factors determine the user’s success?
- What factors determine the project’s success?
Research Tasks and Deliverables
As you conduct your research, complete each of these tasks to develop a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the needs, goals, and requirements for the UX Design.
Key Research Tasks
- Develop a concise Mission Statement.
- Define the objectives and expectations for the application.
- Continue to refer back to this statement throughout application development to avoid feature-drift and to stay on goal.
- Review all project and application materials.
- Interview and observe users.
- Interview subject matter experts (SME’s).
- Interview project stakeholders.
- Interview project technical leads.
UX Design begins with extracting and documenting user requirements. Understanding the needs, wants, and expectations of users creates the best user experience possible. Great apps go beyond meeting user requirements; they may solve problems that the user didn’t even know they had.
Identify Required Features and Content
- What are the user’s primary tasks and goals?
- What features are essential to accomplishing those goals?
- What is the hierarchy of importance of features and content to support user workflows?
- What are the key tasks for the majority of users?
- Feature prioritization may be role dependent. A successful app design may require role-based presentation of content and/or complete screens.
As early as possible, interview users for a general understanding of their goals and requirements. Get to know their needs, wants, limitations, and preferences. Watch for patterns to emerge in the gathered data and observe unique variables. Typical users include:
- Crew Chief
- Crew Commander
- Range Control Officer
- Range Engineer
- Range Operator
- System Engineer
Visit Users On Site
Whenever possible, observe users in the process of doing their job on site. Take into consideration how the app fits into the physical environment in which it is used. Ask the user what they’re doing and observe what they’re doing — this will often uncover findings that aren’t revealed during an interview.
Develop User Personas
- User Personas capture the user’s goals, motivations, and limitations.
- Using the information gathered from user interviews and observation, create a profile that conveys a common understanding of the users for each role, including their primary motivations.