emergency weblog; or: epersonae; or: elaine nelson

in which I write about stuff

user experience design

first session, first half of notes lost to stupid conference center wifi. there's cursing.

Categories: conference notes, General, webvisions 2007

fuck. fuck fuck fuck fuck. I tried to save a post and it’s entirely fucking gone.

pardon my french. but I was getting something really useful written down.

goddamn convention center wireless.

context, emotion, complexity. missed a bunch of stuff about research, which we aren’t even doing.

thing I really want to capture from my lost post: people go through the motions like they know what they’re doing, because they can’t admit that they don’t. framing tasks with a path to knowledge.

get out there! can I set up a workstation at a branch?

in their project, went out and talked to people about statements, where their computers actually were, etc. not a useability lab! “you had to be there.”

social interactions, what people are made for. (except autism spectrum. hm. something meaningful there perhaps.)

and integrating with design & development.

strategies:

take the skinheads bowling! (engineers & designers into the field) even more powerful than making racer-boys watch usability tests.

getting empathy helps propel action, and making the research durable. (there are still things I remember from usability testing @ pierce. the woman who COULD NOT SEE the navigation.)

what if I can’t?! (his question) a continuum. getting everybody in the same room.  I have some hopes for being in the same cube neighborhood as strategic planning.

weird, just leaving the audio from testing on while people were doing work, and even that seemed to help.

there’s a conversation I need to have, and I don’t want to forget.

if you have to jump over a wall between research & others, research reports are where good insights go to die.  (what I heard about the last accreditation process @ Pierce.)

effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to thickness of binding. heh.

one good example….

Personas! (and hey, that’s the next session I was thinking of going to)  as a place where insight and empathy can meet.

case study: people and possessions. emotional relationships with stuff. (my much beloved bike.)

more common: show & tell (opportunistic more than proactive; when asked vs prostletizing).  anyway, behaviors tell us which patterns to design for.

groups of motivations. symbolic: my grandmother gave me. activity-oriented: love using the thing. also people who love looking for deals or just the right thing. misc: confirmation of choice, representation of self (both of those are ego & identity-based).

motivation as trigger for desired behavior.

and then personas. names, 1st person (quotes or assembled snippets), and then actions across motivations & behaviors. then looking at specific obstacles.

wwkd? (what would Kitty do?) a way to introduce empathy. a persona as a pattern that comes from observation.

we should totally do that. not the life cycles stuff that I’ve read, but actual members.

tshirt: “we are not the target audience” (can I mail those to pierce?)

skits?  ::wince::

dark side: revisit them periodically, to retire personas when no longer relevant.

mmmm…gantt chart. and now with research continuously! and then the whole iterative thing.

okay, I totally want to take the gang to lunch to talk about this stuff.

modified: with overlaps between research/design, research/design/development.  ::sigh:: but we don’t have much to do with the development of actual experience. (oh, hey, except maybe on the intranet.)

ideas are cheap, making them work is hard. mixing helps.

as you have conversations with the audience, you start to have ideas. then take 10 mins to share ideas at the end of new interviews. iterating the idea, cheaply.  I really, really, really want to do research for the intranet.

the long view. the history of interaction. (as I said in the lost entry, my intense loyalty to my credit union, even as I work for a different one!)

again:

1) understanding people

2) getting the understanding into design

passing on a mission. to make these things happen. (simple != easy)

amen. ;)

mathowie: let’s get practical. high-ups dissing personas, very polarizing. what to do? some people had been in a situation where it went very very wrong. also hadn’t been done well. and over-promised, over-generalized. (try in a smaller context?) “behavioral archetypes” heh. getting people to come along, either in person or through frequent reports.

hey, maybe the delay on the KB project is a good thing.  maybe I’ll have a chance to do some of this with members pre-launch.

Q: what about small agencies w/out the time? (not to mention all us one-man-bands!) field interviews aren’t that expensive, and then on the phone even cheaper. NOT out of market segments, surveys, etc. Mostly a person he specifically talked to, to enforce rigorousness. and just arguing. use books, articles, etc. (prophet from the east, as Dale used to say.)

Comment from some guy: cafe testing. buy people coffee. or bug friends & relatives. and after the first success, it gets easier to argue for it next time, working yr way up.

anytime you do it the first time, you’ll get things wrong. failing early & often, 1000 ways not to make a lightbulb, etc. (hey, this came up in an ENTIRELY different context 2 days ago.)

Q: when you’re involved, how do you keep from changing things? Mmmmm, epistomology.  Anything you do changes something, and the more you do, the more perspectives you get. (triangulating^N) dude, he just said triangulating! more data!

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