Wednesday, March 14, 2007
That's Right, Field Studies: The Best Tool to Discover User Needs
The most valuable asset of a successful design team is the information they have about their users.
Because when teams have the right information, the job of designing a powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface becomes tremendously easier.
When they don't, every little design decision becomes a struggle.
While techniques, such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys, can lead to valuable insights, the most powerful tool in the toolbox is the 'field study'.
Because frankly, there is no substitute for real deal facts, hands on, relevant content and data. And to those that value and celebrate meeting deadlines, deadlines based on guess work and assumed knowledge, over real field studies and research, are only fooling themselves (and sadly, their clients).
Field studies get the team immersed in the environment of their users and allow them to observe critical details for which there is no other way of discovering.
That's Right! Read it all: Field Studies.
(Having just spent the last 2 years working for an agency that to this day "working" without providing Job Jackets for the design team, I can only say that it's a relief to finally be back in control of what I consider the most fundamental approach to getting the results that matter for the client: 101 Research!)
Thanks to Jared M. Spool