Users' Goals

23 Jan 2007 - 8:06am
7 years ago
2 replies
447 reads
Ludovic Beauquel
2007

Hi folks

I just wonder ... in his book About face, Alan Cooper says that we need to
design to meet the users goals (or something like that)
so how can we know what their goals are ? not the ones that they says they
are ?

/ludo

Comments

23 Jan 2007 - 9:35am
Chris Hallenbeck
2006

Interviews. He developed a specific interview style that is designed to
get at both a user's business and personal goals, but without leading
them to any answer. It works quite well. He also recommends
ethnographic study.

Christopher D. Hallenbeck | Senior Director Product Management
-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Ludovic Beauquel
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 5:07 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Users' Goals

Hi folks

I just wonder ... in his book About face, Alan Cooper says that we need
to
design to meet the users goals (or something like that)
so how can we know what their goals are ? not the ones that they says
they
are ?

/ludo
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23 Jan 2007 - 9:38am
DrWex
2006

On 1/23/07, Ludovic Beauquel <ludovic.beauquel at gmail.com> wrote:
> I just wonder ... in his book About face, Alan Cooper says that we need to
> design to meet the users goals (or something like that)
> so how can we know what their goals are ? not the ones that they says they are ?

I'm fond of a particular aphorism in situations like this:
"Ask people and they will guess at what they want. Watch them and you
will know what they need."

By this I mean that I personallly favor techniques such as Contextual
Inquiry that involve close contact between the design people and the
people who will use the product, as early and often as possible.

I also believe that it's important that the design team undertake the
work of becoming at least basically familiar with the peoples' tasks,
work environment, jargon, and so on prior to attempting observation. I
learned this first-hand during a trip to Japan. I visited a temple in
Kyoto and attempted to observe what went on there, but without
speaking Japanese nor understanding the religion.

On returning home I showed my pictures to a friend who had lived at
that temple for two years. She remarked "You're looking at the wrong
things." That is, my lack of basic understanding invalidated my
results because I wasn't placing myself in contact with the right
things, people, and activities. I have subsequently tried to apply
this lesson in other situations where I am attempting to understand
peoples' goals.

Does that answer your question?
--Alan

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