Posts Tagged ‘User research’

Midway Review@CIID

June 23, 2009

Yesterday at CIID we started our midway reviews for our final projects. Instead of having open presentations like we normally do, this time we are having 2 hour working sessions with our adviser and an external faculty member. The first 20 minutes was spent presenting our research, design challenge and concepts so far and the rest of the time was to discuss next steps and iterations. My presentation was yesterday with Heather Martin (my adviser) and Jozeph Forakis. The session was really valuable and gave me a lot of fresh perspectives on my idea. The presentation below shows what i presented along with a scenario for my concept.

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The rest of the scenario photos can be found here.

At the end of the day we enjoyed some Copenhagen sun and a beer…

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User research underway!

May 12, 2009

Since last Thursday i have been conducting user research sessions with a variety of people…some students, some couples and some families. I have even spoken to some extreme users and am conducting some experiments remotely!!  At the moment i am trying to keep my mind open to what i  might find, but it is also daunting how much information i get on a single research session. Some recurring areas that have come out so far are, wanting to make more time to speak to or see friends and family’s and having time to do things that really satisfy you and help you work towards your goals! Another insight which is been re occurring which i have found interesting it the fear people have in future and not ‘making it’ professionally! I still have a few more interviews to do and a lot of diaries to get back, so any thoughts at the moment could change hugely!

P1030911Eric mapping his priorities

P1030922Martin drawing how his life in balance has changed since he left home

DSC05111Rune deciding on his priorities on a daily basis

P1030925Martins new and old planner!

P1030942Starting to map out user research

From user reseach to design challenges…

March 15, 2009

After some last minute research visiting the tourist information and the Manager of Knowledge at the library yesterday we set to organising all our insights and inspirations from the week back in the studio. We had to turn all our observations into design challenges that we can brainstorming concepts around for next week. However to get to this stage there were many steps along the way…..

img_25471writing all our observations and quoates down on the classic post-it as well as making character profiles of everyone we spoke to and picking out key quotes from our video interviews.

img_2530We then identified all the insights that we thought we most relevant and  interesting enough to work with. The insights we thought we would be able to creat “how might we statements for”

img_2525Sid and I deep in thought about our process

img_2545The picture above shows us mapping out our research process, thinking about the methods we used, who we talked to and how they were effective.

img_2538We then took all our insights and worked out “what they meant” and then created  a “how might we statement” for each one. This took a very long time as we had at least 25 key insights that we wanted to use! But in the end is was definitely worth it as it allowed us to have a far clearer idea and see links and clusters between insights.

img_2536All of our insights, meanings and how might we statements!

img_25392After we had our  “how might we statements” we then voted on them to see what to carry forward and turn into design challenges! After much dicussion this is what we decided on!

Challenge 1. People coming to stay in Copenhagen all begin by following a very similar travel process. From researching their trip before they leave to visiting the top tourist attractions. During this journey they use a large number of existing services and pass through many public places, however throughout this journey the library rarely plays a role in aiding or improving their experience.

Currently ‘library services’ are mainly kept within physical buildings at centralized locations, our challenge is to give the library presence in other public and private places throughout the visitors travel experience. How can giving library services this presence help visitors become more acquainted with what copenhagen has to offer or simply provide a practical service in a more remote location.

Challenge 2. Many people who are new to an area seek the local library because its universal services make it reliable. The space makes them feel in touch with the community it serves. Internet access and other basic services are available for free. A special charm makes it a surprising place to meet strangers. At the same time, people visiting a new area
greatly value the advice and knowledge of local people.

Our challenge is to create a service that uses the library’s knowledge and visitors to help guests and new residents of Denmark feel like a local.

Challenge 3. People are constantly interested in learning about new countries and cultures, and are inherently different in that they chose to engage with them in different ways. In ways that interest them on a personal basis be it in the films they watch, literature they read, poems they enjoy, music they listen to or even food they relish. The library as an institution is a powerful source of content and information that people value as honest and truthful.

Copenhagen is a major port of entry for thousands of travelers everyday. Most of them stay to explore Denmark but a large number also transit to other places within Scandinavia. With this regard Copenhagen is a major source of content and knowledge for the entire region, and also a major factor into the insight into Scandinavian culture.

How might the library provide a service for visitors not from Scandinavia to explore cultural content within their area of personal interests?

Protected: User Research for new Library Service

March 12, 2009

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The library experience

March 8, 2009

For the last week we have been carrying out initial observations and research to gain insight into “what is a library? what role does it play in people’s lives?” After much discussions within the class we categorized all our brainstorming and looked at possible themes to explore further within our individual groups.

s7006304a sea of brainstorming!

On Friday afternoon we gave informal presentations on areas we wanted to investigate with further research and our plan for next week, and this is what we said…..

Finding a need

November 15, 2008

After we had returned from our visits to the nursing homes, our next task was to collate all our insights, stories, quotes and photo’s to find areas that we felt needed to be addressed.

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before we organized!

Because we had so much information and data is was a large task so we came up with four focus areas that we thought there was a need to look into. These were:

Integration of technology in the lives of the elderly

Communication tools

Personal Identity and social Interaction

Sense of ‘Home’ vs. ‘Institution’ and space for social activity

With these four areas in place we mapped all our insights into one of these headings and started to look for specific needs. We created a ‘need statement’ for every section and with every ‘need statement’ we backed it up with photo’s, stories we had heard and quotes. We also identified our Ultimate goals, opportunities, problems and further area’s of focus.

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Our four need statements we developed were:

“Common spaces need to express the same feeling of “home” as the private spaces do”

“Genuine friendships between residents based on shared interests, experiences and personalities”

“Better tools to facilitate communication with friends, family and life in the outside world”

“Need for digital devices designed for aiding the elderly in a variety of daily tasks and activities

These statements were all developed around the topics above that i discussed (problems, opportunities etc.) but for this post i will just talk about one need in more detail:

Focus Area: Communication

Need Statement:“Better tools to facilitate communication with friends, family and life in the outside world”

Relating Needs: More autonomy to communicate, Computers/communication devises that doesn’t look like computers, Education about email, mobile, phone (or can we design devices that are very easy/intuitive to use) Better access to news and current affairs.

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User Evidence:

”I am content about everything. My only worry is why my granddaughter doesn’t contact me”

”I have a son in Atlanta but I have to save money to call him”

”My only daughter lives in London and I never see her but I talk to her on the phone on Saturdays”

Ultimate Goals: Feel less isolated, Included in family lives and society as a whole, Become more comfortable with technology in general.

Opportunities: Video calls – being able to connect voice to face e.g. see grandchildren grow, Share/receive photo´s to get an insight of their daily lives, Pre-setup skype device for the elderly, Communicate with other residents who have speech/expressive problems, No interrupted communication between the elderly and the family, Use physical/ambient devices to show how people are feeling in other countries/cities/homes.

Problems: Families neglect elderly, They don’t have access to the internet, They are limited by physical constraints, Phone calls are too expensive, Staff has no time to teach new things.

Where do we go from here?

The following are more specific focus areas that will be looked into for more research and development

Space and Communal areas: Analyzing trends of use and activity in different spaces to help staff optimize their use

Social: A formal process for facilitating the creation of new social clubs based on the skills and interests of the residents

Communication: Easy to use communication tools incorporating what people use on the outside world, such as a networked objects

Use of Technology: Using technologies to create joyful and satisfying alone time e.g. Personalized memory games

Next we will be taking our insights on to our Graphical User Interface investigation to develop and prototype ideas!


User research….working with the elderly

November 10, 2008

Today we started  a week where we will be focusing on skills that we can use to conduct user research and gain insights. The week is being run by Michelle, Oren and Elliot from Red Associates, a strategic design consultancy based in Copenhagen, Hamburg and New York. Throughout the morning we had presentations about different user research techniques and methodologies that can be used in the design process to gain insights. We discussed the pro’s and con’s of different tools ranging from cultural probes (originating from Bill Gaver and Tony Dunne) to Participant Observations. Although i have  extensively used, discussed and designed these tools and processes during my years as a designer it was still great to have discussions with people from more diverse backgrounds about them and to here their personal thoughts, especially when we went on to talk about specific case studies.

After some in depth discussion our task for the week was then revealed……

We will be visiting homes for the elderly to gain insights on the following topics:

  • What is important for the elderly and the staff in terms of the SOCIAL LIFE for the residents
  • What is important for the elderly and the staff in terms of improving PHYSICAL ACTIVITY for the residents
  • What is important for the elderly and the staff in terms of improving AUTONOMY for the residents.

After brainstorming why these themes are important and the difficulties that might arise regarding them….we split into groups and identified  ‘burning issues’ we would like to investigate relating to each theme, these were:

Social Life

  • What transition does someone go through when moving into the home. Does the organization help them feel integrated and socially excepted
  • What are the common grounds between residents that can act as a starting point or catalysts for social interaction
  • What are the issues surrounding relationships, privacy and trust between the residents and staff.
  • Facilitating the elderly to make social contributions, give them a sense of achievement and involvement.
  • Individuality…how does the resident keep their personality and individuality when they are dependent on others in a lot of areas in their life.

Physical Activity

  • What facilities do they have to allow physical activities, it is encouraged and make appealing to the residents.
  • How often do the elderly leave the home to go on visits of excursions….and see the real world- do they have an input into this.
  • How can physical constraints affect mobility, day to day activities and social interactions,is their stigma attached to it specifically within the home.
  • Issues surrounding rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Using exercises to help medical related problems. Choice and compatibility of exercise.

Autonomy

  • Can the residents have an input into their daily routine and make decisions about their day to day activities
  • What is the mindset of the residents do they enjoy being looked after by the carers or are they frustrated by their lack on independence
  • The residents have a lot of life experience and different competences, are they allowed to help other residents, in support or any other expertise they might have.
  • Do the residents feel  that the help they receive makes them feel ‘safe and supported’ or ‘controlled’

For each issue we created a series of questions to ask the staff and residents that will hopefully trigger thoughts and opinions when we are taking to them.

During our visits we will use other research techniques to engage with the residents and the front line staff to gain a deeper understanding and empathy for their experiences within the home. After gaining our insights we will analyze our findings and use them in our first GUI investigation that starts next week.

We will be visiting two different elderly homes tomorrow and wednesday, which will be great to make comparisons. I will report back soon!