622 Lecture

622 Lecture #2


  1. Research Design and Project Planning
  2. Interaction Maps

Research Evaluation

  1. Who are the users of the SI website? (One of the first question, which ones we need to focus on?)

    • Students (They were broken down into multiple types)
    • Employers
    • Alumni
    • Prospective Students
    • Faculty
    • Prospective Faculty
    • Researchers
    • Parents
  2. Who are the stakeholders?

    • Users (one type of stakeholders)
    • Admissions Department
    • IT Department
    • University (Management)
    • Administration of SI
    • Marketing Department
  3. What are the users trying to do? (Prospective students)

    • Whether to apply, and then how to apply?
    • What's the cut-offs? Information around admission?
    • Employment opportunities
    • Research Projects
    • Culture of the program
    • Look & Feel?
  4. What are the most important tasks for the users?

  5. What are the most important tasks in the eyes of other stakeholders?
  6. Why does this thing exist?
  7. Does it serve its intended purpose?

Systematic process of collection and analyzing information to increase our understanding of the phenomenon under study. It is the function of the researcher to contribute to the understanding of the phenomenon and to communicate that understanding to others

What's the Point?

Why are we doing research? How your results will be acted upon?

Make a list of issues or ways in which the product's UX impacts the company 1. Collect issues and present them as goals - "People should be able to apply online easily 2. Prioritize goals - Apply for program -> Learning about this semesters course offerings 3. Rewriting goals as questions to be answered.

(This repeats and aligns with the System 2 thinking that is rational. )

What Questions can be answered?

  • What are they looking for? => interview, analytics
  • Who is visit get site? => intercept survey, analytics
  • Are people able to figure out the application process? => usability test
  • Is there a better way to present program information? => Competitive analysis
  • Are there issues with the site design that are likely to cause confusion, frustration and abandonment => heuristic evaluation?

Which questions be answered quickly and cheaply?

Other things to look out for

  • Integrating research and action: How is this syncing with the development process?
  • Timing of studies: We need to know what he users are before we do usability testing
  • Budgeting (time and money): How much time and finance we have as they might need more human effort
  • Form and type of deliverables: Can it be communicated over beer? Do we need a huge report for our stakeholders?


  • Product Manager
  • Designers
  • Developer
  • UX Researchers
  • Tester
  • Upper Level management
  • Marketing/Sales

What role does your client contact play?

The Stakeholder Interview

  • You should talk to your client ASAP: Have an hour long conversation to connect and let them, know who you are and knowing what they want out of this.
  • What are the goals of the product?: What are the goals they think are?
  • Are there ways its not meeting those goals? How would the complete project would look like?
  • Are there any questions you'd like to have answered? What are they most concerned or pre-occupied with?
  • Who are the intended users?
  • What do they need to be able to do?
  • What are the consequences if they can't do those things effectively? E.g. If people can't apply, we get a smaller pool and not the best likely
  • Do you believe your users can do what they need to do now? If not, what are the barriers?

Practical Issues - Can you put us in touch with current or potential users for interviews? ( A minimum of 5) - Can you help us distribute a survey to current or potentials users? (A list or something) - Can you help us identify and recruit potential users for usability testing? (How can we get these contacts?) - Do we as a team have access to a fully functioning version of the product? If not, can we? (Need this right away) - Who are your key competitors? How do you think your product stacks up agains theirs?

Limitations for 622 - Limited up-front information gathering - No review of prior data or documentation - Cursory business analysis - No method selection - No Integration with development process

Interaction Map

Way to deep dive and get into the product. The maps built are supposed to done at the early stage, we are reverse engineering of what has already been done. Goal: (Will be done after stakeholder interviews, stay open minded you might be wrong at this stage)

  1. Go through site to identify key interaction paths
  2. Sketch and plan map scope
  3. Capture and screen shots along key paths (Scoping is important here)
  4. Layout map
  5. Plan 3-minute elevator pitch to describe users, goals and key paths.

The Forest vs The Trees

The experience of hiking in a forest where you can see is just Forest, vs looking at a map and looking at the abstract representation, so in some way we are making a map of the interaction experience. Example. Himss

Interaction Map Sample

What are the different alternatives? - Storyboards - Sitemaps (content management) - Flow Charts - State Charts ( A variation of state charts, Generalized Transition Networks (Kieras 83) )

The basic Structure of Interaction can get complete rapidly, need to choose what to represent and no hard and fast guideline about how to do this.

What is an Interaction Map good for?

  • Design and planning
  • Evaluation
    • Get "into" the system quickly
    • Assess supported functionality
    • High-level characteristics

Suggested Process

  • Start at home page, where people start
  • Grab Screen shots of each screen
  • Draw Transitions from links/controls to resulting screen
  • Develop visual language to represent
    • Nested Processes
    • Decision points
    • Repeated screen elements
    • Collections of similar pages
  • Decide what not to represent

Ballpark Time estimates

  • Preparation: 10 hours
  • Recruiting and scheduling: 2 - 3 hours/participant (Counting for Slack)
  • Conducting Research
    • Usability: 3 hours / participant
    • Interviews: 2 hours/participant
  • Analyzing
    • Usability - 2 hours/participant
    • Interview - 2 hours/participant
  • Preparing a report: 12 hours
  • Presentation: 6 hours

Make sure there is Division of Labor