7 Additional Ways to Focus on Users
Post from September 10, 2007 (↻ October 17, 2021), filed under Art and Design.
Smashing Magazine just published my article on 20 Ways to Focus on Users, and not only do I like to point to the article, I also like to extend it. A quick bonus level, so to speak.
“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.
Competitive product survey: Conduct and compare competitive product evaluations in order to determine product standards and to specify requirements.
“Quick and dirty” prototyping: Sketch design ideas in order to uncover and test the underlying concepts.
Rapid ethnography: Spend as much time as possible with people relevant to the topic in order to understand their behavior.
Scenarios: Illustrate and describe the context of use of a service in order to identify and evaluate the essence of a design idea.
Try it yourself: Sometimes missed, use the products you are designing in order to get a minimum understanding of the experience that users make.
Word-concept association: Let people associate words with (design) concepts in order to cluster user perceptions and to range in features.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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Perhaps my most comprehensive book: The Web Development Glossary (2020). With explanations and definitions for literally thousands of terms from Web Development and related fields, building on Wikipedia as well as the MDN Web Docs. Available at Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.