Below is a simple guide to find out if you have users involved in your project.
- A person who is not part (employed or service team) of a contracted consultancy.
- A person who is not part (employed or service team) of a client company project team.
- A person who does not represent the primary targeted audience (based upon user screening protocols).
- A person who does not provide an independent non partisan (providing both positive and negative experiences) view.
If your user falls into any one of these groups of people they are not a user and your not involved user experience.
There are a number of other pointers to work out if your results have been skewed to fit a perspective or project politic.
‘Everyone said the same thing about their experience’
This is statistically impossible, they could say a similar thing, the exact same thing is a fix to match a person or a perspective.
‘We got very positive feedback’
This is impossible, feedback by it’s very nature is both positive and negative, both are critical to get a balanced view.
‘We passed usability testing at 95%’
This is impossible, usability testing is not a pass or a fail. Usability testing is designed to find faults and is conducted throughout the project not just at the end. If there was a success factor for usability testing it would be to find lots of faults in time for them to be corrected.
Watch out for these and others as you gain experience.
Unfortunately many people are missing the point of users.
As practitioners we are not interested in their opinion we are interested in their experiences, filtered through testing scenarios and biographical behavioural templates.
We don’t do market research (opinions) we conduct user research for pre-referenced psychological design (alignment).