Appeal & Attractiveness Assessment: Assessing the initial and long-term 'curb appeal' of a product
- Visual Preference Surveys
- Appeal Assessment Surveys
- Industrial Design
- User Interface Design
- Information Design/Information Architecture
Design Patterns: The ‘blueprints’ from which engineers and developers build the real product
Field Studies and Related Observational Research
- Behavioral Sampling
Human Factors Analysis
Human Factors is the discipline that deals with optimizing the relationship between people and things. At this stage, Human Factors Analysis would involve looking at known ergonomic issues with the type of product that is still in the conceptual stage. For instance, if the product concept is beginning to look like a chair, there are known standards for chair dimensions.
It will sometimes be possible at this stage to perform a cursory Task Analysis. Task Analysis is a low-level description of steps required to use a ‘thing’. Task Analysis can be thought of as Scenario creation, but at a far more detailed level. For example, the beginning of a Task Analysis for watching TV might start with:
- Subject picks up the remote control device.
- Subject looks for a button labeled ‘Power’
- Subject presses the ‘Power’ button while pointing the remote control device in the general direction of the television set.
And so on...
Ideation & Brainstorming
Ideation refers to any deliberate intervention to elicit as many ideas
from a group of people in a relatively short period of time.
Brainstorming is a particular type of ideation; a facilitated session
where a group of product stakeholders, having looked at the available
data from other methods, identify as many problems and solutions, pros
& cons and so forth as possible. A hallmark of brainstorming is
that criticism of any idea put forth is explicitly forbidden.
- Charettes (a creative process akin to visual brainstorming used by the Design Professions, particularly Architecture, Urban Design and Industrial Design)
Market Research (focus groups, structured interviews, conjoint, etc)
Naming & Categorization: Discovering the right names for UI elements (e.g. buttons) or physical controls and how they should be grouped so that people can easily find them
- Word-Concept Association Studies
- Online Card-Sorting
- Cluster Analysis
Persona & Scenario Development: Modeling the types of people who use your product (or you want to use your product) and how they actually use it
Prototyping & Modeling
Prototyping is a critical aspect of all product development, online or physical products. The types of prototypes vary according to whether the task is repairing a bad user experience, enhancing a good user experience or developing a completely new product. Some prototyping methods are only used for online systems and some are only used for physical products.
Prototypes play a fundamental role in iterative Usability Testing.
- Pilot Testing
- Statistical Validity and Reliability Assessment
- Implementation (online and paper-based)
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Analysis of text data (e.g.‘additional comments’ questions)
Usability Evaluation & Testing
- Remote (on location)
- Remote (via web)