Keys? Wallet? Phone? Ahhh…

What I have learned about people and how they use technology.

 

 
A day in the life on desktop and mobile  The output of field study on what tasks people would do on their mobile device verse their desktop computer.


A day in the life on desktop and mobile
The output of field study on what tasks people would do on their mobile device verse their desktop computer.

The video diary   Recording how someone deals with a particular activity over time is an incredibly powerful technique and often shines a light on how technology can improve that activity.


The video diary
Recording how someone deals with a particular activity over time is an incredibly powerful technique and often shines a light on how technology can improve that activity.

User Wants rated, ranked and sorted    A multi-page document that organized user wants into activities. The importance rating (the dots) came by looking at the impact a particular want or feature would have to the activity.


User Wants rated, ranked and sorted 
A multi-page document that organized user wants into activities. The importance rating (the dots) came by looking at the impact a particular want or feature would have to the activity.

The first time I saw the importance and potential of user research was looking at the raw data from a diary study in which we asked people to write down every time they used their Treo Smartphone over a week. I was struck by something unexpected—something we take for granted today. For participants, taking their Treo with them was just as critical as taking their keys and wallet. The surprise was that making/receiving phone calls (on their smartphone) didn’t make the list of top activities. 

The immediate impact of the study helped me redesign the Treo Photos app as I learned how and when people used their device to share pictures. But what I saw in the study was a change in the center of gravity on how people wanted to use technology.