Right, well I've been thinking on this one a bit more, and although I can't contribute from a specific role (as mine is the unicorn user experience designer), I might be able to start the discussion rolling. So feel free to give examples, as I'd really love to know what people in specific roles do actually do on a semi regular basis, and also to correct me if what I've put isn't quite correct etc :).
So the fields that I'm rubbing up against at the moment are:
- User Research
- Information Architecture
So I'll go through my understanding of these two areas, and the types of activities and tools that we've been working with to help us.
Starting with who. Who are our users, or at least who are our main users, as with the saying: "designing for everyone you design for no-one". First we wanted to understand what jobs our users do, their motivations, why they get up and go to work each day, what drives them to do what they do. Then we wanted to find out what a typical day is for them, the kind of work that they do. What they currently use to help get their jobs done, their pain points and frustrations, as well as the things they really enjoy.
All this information was gathered through hour interview sessions.
From there we are creating personas, and persona grids, and will work on journey maps.
Later on we will be using user research to validate ideas, as well as current products.
This will either be through sketches, interactive prototypes, html mocks, or even existing products.
For us IA is involved in working out how to organise and create a flow with our products and internal wiki, that are optimised for our user base.
So from the journey maps and daily tasks of our users have been taken, and then we map out what they need to be able to do these tasks. Working on general flow with product site maps, then working down into the nitty gritty detail on navigating between these and what is necessary under each section.
Taking this back and validating with our users will also be important.
For the wiki IA we’ve been using OptimalSort with an open card sort, which has been great. We opened it to a select amount of internal staff first to test we were asking the correct things, then to see what the responses were. We will then take this information and groupings and create a closed card sort to clarify whether these groupings work or not. Hopefully after that, we will then be able to implement these navigation paths.
Right, well as I've said, these are quite specific to the work I'm involved in, so I'm interested in what others are doing in these areas, how they are doing it and why. Also please share in areas such as Industrial Design, Content Management, Interaction Design, Information Design, etc.