I’m about to start another round of user research – an intensive week of looking over people’s shoulders and talking to them about how they do a particular set of tasks.
I have an idea of the requirements for the end system at the moment – about as good as most of the developers would normally be working with – based on second-hand feedback from users.
Because I have a twisted sense of fun, something that I like to do is write up assumptions & requirements and mock up some interfaces before I do the research. When done, I hide this work away for a while.
After I have finished my research, thought a lot, written a report, requirements and a good set of scenarios, I get out my first set of work and compare them. Every time I have done this, I have found that my first set of work would not meet real needs or would be almost unusable for real tasks.
I wish I could share with you some of my current assumptions & requirements. It would be fun to show how different they can be (I can’t for privacy reasons). Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll have some good stories that I’m able to tell…