Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ad Hoc Interviews

In an attempt to do some product and user research, without seeing real users in action, we brought together a group of folks who observed users and asked them about what they saw.

I started with some opening questions to get them started, but then they generally went on and addressed many of my questions without being asked.

I summarized what they had told me, the positive and negative experiences, the environment in which the device was used, the difference between a new patient and a follow up patient in their use patterns and things they thought the device should do.

We got some great input and some more names of folks even closer to the user, the folks who performed the study with the users. We will go talk to them next.

Sometimes, you start where you can and keep taking steps in the right direction. We hope to be participating in study follow-ups this fall. Then we will actually be in the room with the user and their working device. Up till now, usability had only used demos or prototypes of the product that didn't actually do anything, so the tactile experience was missing in the U testing. Now we can observe them using the real thing, baby steps with impact!

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