Needs and Usability Assessment
This course addresses concepts and methods of user experience research, from understanding and identifying needs, to evaluating concepts and designs, to assessing the usability of products and solutions. It also includes aspects of managing the research process and working with with other stakeholders to communicate results in an effective manner, including recruiting participants, setting up and conducting studies, analyzing qualitative data, and disseminating insights. The research emphasis is on methods of collecting and interpreting different kinds of qualitative data about user activities and practices, working both individually and with a team, and translating them into design decisions. The course includes hands-on practice with a number of major user experience research methods (such as observation, interview, survey, focus groups, expert review), and requires team activities and group work during class and for most assignments. We will also touch on a number of applied topics such as research in enterprise, consulting, and startup organizations, lean/agile techniques, mobile research approaches, and strategies for communicating findings and implications.