31 de outubro de 2008

User Research

Inspire is Adobe's online magazine on user experience and design. I found this interesting article by Sharma Handel about "User Research". At first sight it looks like the old user testing, usability practice we are so used to seeing in the Information Architecture arena, but it's not. User Research is a brand new field of study focused on what is in the user's mind even before he reaches your website, drives your car or wears your sweatshirt.

One thing that really caught my attention was that User Research is entirely based on the scientific method to postulate its findings. As the author points out:

User researchers often misunderstand the nature of this process, and as a result fail to make unbiased and insightful observations, and to use these observations to develop a real set of hypotheses and predictions about user behavior. Insights come from observing users and developing models of their behaviors. The goal is to test our assumptions, beliefs and models – not to test the resulting designs or products we build.

This is absolutely elegant from a research standpoint - although if you are from any science research field this wouldn't cause any surprise to you - and really worth going further.

Read the entire article, stop and think for a couple of minutes on how this could be so beneficial for any product/service you're designing.

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Sr. Rodolpho Arruda.

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Sávyo dos Santos Souza
Diretor de Projetos | ADM Consult - Empresa Júnior de Administração da UFRN