In order to better understand the needs of the user and to keep my design process unbiased as much as possible, I referred to a number of sources on how to identify the users needs in regards to their interaction with a digital system and the overall experience they get from it.
Goals are not the same as tasks or activities. A goal is the expectation of a certain outcome from an end-condition. Whereas, activities and tasks are intermediate steps that lead someone to reach that goal or set of goals.
Cooper A, Rerimann R and Cronin D. (2007). About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Wiley Publishing, Inc.
I went through class notes on defining usability goals and referred to the sources. Usability aims to make the most efficient use of a person’s interaction within any given system. Looking at how a user performs a task and then questioning the level of its outcome helps generate the usability goals. This questioning can be broken down into the following main areas; effectiveness of use, efficiency to use, safety to use, having a good utility, easy to learn and how easy it is to remember them.
Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. and Preece, J. (2011). Interaction Design: Beyond Human- Computer Interaction (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.
Using the headings, effectiveness, efficiency, safety, utility, learnability, memorability and with my persona in mind I started to identify what the users needs were and how they were using the app.
For each heading I listed at least one issue that was not or was poorly addressed by the apps interface. For instance on the Catalogue app there was not an option that allowed the user to gather items they might want into a specific cache area for future reference.
I looked at the User Experience goals, which are less about functionality and more to do with how satisfied the user feels in interacting with the system. User Experience goals differ from Usability goals in that they are concerned about how users experience an interactive product from their personal perspective, rather than assessing how useful or productive a system is from its own perspective.
To help with this I divided the user experience into two main areas, Desirable Outcomes and Undesirable Outcomes and incorporated these in the creation of the persona. An example of which for my Persona was that she wanted the app to be practical and attractive or helpful and easy to use. What she didn’t want was something that was hard to use or difficult to understand or boring and clumsy.
To gain further insights into problems a user might face within a digital system I looked at a test sample by Steve Krug [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QckIzHC99Xc&feature=player_embedded].