Jens Oliver Meiert

7 Additional Ways to Focus on Users

Post from September 10, 2007 (↻ August 1, 2016), reflecting Jens the .

Smashing Magazine just published my article on 20 (Alternate) Ways to Focus on Users, and not only may I point out the article but even extend it with a few additional methods. A quick bonus level, so to speak.

  1. “A day in the life”: Compile the activities and conditions that users experience over an entire day in order to derive design decisions for everyday life products.

  2. Competitive product survey: Conduct and compare competitive product evaluations in order to determine product standards and to specify requirements.

  3. “Quick and dirty” prototyping: Roughly sketch design ideas in order to reveal and test the underlying concepts.

  4. Rapid ethnography: Spend as much time as possible with people relevant to the topic in order to grasp their behavior.

  5. Scenarios: Illustrate and describe the context of use for a service in order to identify and evaluate the essence of a design idea.

  6. Try it yourself: Obviously but sometimes forgotten—use products you are designing in order to get a minimum understanding of the experience that users make.

  7. Word-concept association: Let people associate words with (design) concepts in order to cluster user perceptions and to range in features.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is a German philosopher and developer (Google, W3C, O’Reilly). He experiments with arts and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Amazon. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

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Last update: August 1, 2016.

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