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Kids World

From the Frontiers of Research to the Heart of the Enterprise
O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
July 22-26, 2002 -- San Diego, CA



User Experience Research for Open Software Developers
Mike Kuniavsky, ThingM
Lane Becker, Satisfaction Unlimited

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 8:45am - 12:15pm
Location: Marina IV

Software is not written for machines, it's written for people. Whether a network monitoring tool or a game, every piece of software exists to solve someone's problem or to satisfy someone's need. This means that there's a human in the loop, and understanding what that person wants, needs and is able to do is critical to creating a piece of software that they're going to use and to want to use. In turn, understanding the user makes the development process more efficient by helping prioritize features and reducing debate.

This tutorial will introduce software developers, project managers and UI designers to a broad range of user experience research techniques that will help them create software that's tuned to people's needs.

The techniques covered will include:

  • Contextual Inquiry. The process of studying people in their work or play environment to understand what problems they're having that can be solved through software.
  • Usability Testing. The technique of watching people use software to understand its strengths and to uncover problems.
  • Feedback analysis. Separating good ideas from flames.
  • Using logfiles to understand behavior.

People will come away from this tutorial knowing how that understanding their users and their users' needs is not only important, but it's a lot easier than they may think.

Download presentation file

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