The biggest goal of a user-centered project is … the user, of course! But we are many, different and several particular characteristics. How to define who is the person of my project?
Whoever works with projects will always have to start the project thinking: Who will use it?
It is the question that guides all decisions and draws the other questions like “where will you use”, including “why he does not use”. Those ones determine for the success or failure of a project, especially when it involves the user to acquire the product (generated by the project).
Let’s illustrate this discussion a little.
Imagine you are going to set up a bus stop. I imagine this to be a job that involves architects, designers, engineers (not just civilians). Finally, it requires professionals who know how to elaborate ideas and how they can be realized.
A bus stop (or a bus stop, whichever you prefer) is something that involves a quite diverse audience. In this universe we have people with special needs, people who carry objects, with children, among other situations and characteristics. Then the big question begins: to please Greeks and Trojans.
Are there technical standards to not miss so much? There … just go there at ABNT and ISO (depending on the type and location of application). But a project is not just technical norms, because they have the role of guiding the quality of the project. A technical standard will not say what kind of technology to use so that a wheelchair can be served in the best way. It will guide you about the dimensions of locomotion, among others (height, standardized colors for alerts and so on).
At this point we come to the point: Who am I going to design?
It is necessary to create a user profile (or multiple profiles), enumerating characteristics that aid the understanding of its behavior before the created object. Not making a mistake creating a beacon where users are blind.
In this creation of a persona it is ideal to write, concretizing and illustrating, characteristics such as: name, where he lives, with whom he lives, age, sex, has some need, schooling, language, nationality, habits, income, etc. This, although it seems that we are putting a lot of information, in fact we are creating a filter where we can discard some ideas or evolve others.
Example of person:
Maria Glórya, 19 years old, university student, attending the 3rd administration period, lives with her parents in the suburbs, has a family income of up to 2 minimum salaries, walks by bus and receives financial aid from the university, does not smoke, drinks socially with the galley on Friday after class and has no history of health problems.
This profile tells us a lot and presents a series of possibilities to filter the solutions for “Maria Glórya”. This person does not have health problems, nor of locomotion. This already tells us that she needs somewhere to wait for the bus, but that does not need to be something special. If she studies, having financial aid for her locomotion, she can not afford to miss the bus schedule so she will not be late and not be on foot – she would not have the money for a taxi, nor Uber.
For this person, those who do not have a trained look in the market would create diverse mechanisms like applications, warning signs, comfortable armchairs, and etc … In the frigid of eggs, it would not benefit from many of the applied technologies, since already leaves the class at the time of the bus pass and does not need to stay too long at the point waiting for the bus.
Do you realize that if I put only one paper nailed to the bus stop, informing his schedule and route, Maria will be much more benefited than if I made an application, having to take up more space on Maria’s phone? She is already highly occupied with college subjects and her grades, after all she is a scholarship holder and can not be distracted.
This is an example that draws a term: MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Being a term used to represent what will be implemented in the project and without it could not work. The idea is to develop something that addresses the “pain” of the user, so you identify what it is, eliminating wasted time with firells and other functions of a system (change color, position of button settings, etc.) .
This is only possible when we know the specific characteristics of the user. Eliminating considerations, focusing on the needs of the user and making the project feasible.
Well, this post was very long … but it’s because I have this feature of this Blog. I do not like summary information, I believe that knowledge needs to be explained.
In the next post I believe I will go talk for “how technology came to help”, not to be “one more thing in the user’s life”.