This project aims to bring some of the affordances of consumer social networks to teaching and learning, and will deliver applications within CamTools, our Sakai-based VLE. This is an informal blog by the project team at CARET, University of Cambridge.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Bridge between research and design phase

On Friday 13th March until Wednesday 18th March, we had an intensive period of discussions and workshops with the people from Flow Interactive.
These days would be a wrap up of the research phase and a preparation to the design phase, focusing on tweaking the personas so they’re ready for usage during the design phase, writing scenarios based on the personas, and defining the user and business requirements. Defining requirements, based on the personas and therefore also on what real users want, is necessary for the designers to be able to know what approaches should go in the future system in order to answer the users’ needs.

Define user requirements from persona goals
Each persona had a set of goals, focusing on life goals, end goals, experience goals, motivations, and challenges.
We went through each of these goals and rephrased them into requirements.

E.g. From Kate’s persona: ‘Discover what other people are working on.’ Becomes a requirement like this: ‘The user needs to be notified about relevant people or content they wouldn’t otherwise know about.’ K

Writing user scenarios
A user scenario is a good way to feel you one with the persona and to see how this user could eventually use the system. It’s actually a story describing how the user (that particular persona) might use the system and how it’s an answer to his needs. In the end we came up with detailed user scenarios for every persona.

Concept generation
Based on the requirements, we started brainstorming on how these requirements could turn into concepts within the system. This was just a kind of warm up for the design phase, a pool of ideas for future design. Each of those concepts got written down on post-its.

Harriet jotting down concept ideas

Prioritise concepts for design activity

We made a big grid: ‘user value’ against ‘effort required’. We discussed where every post-it note should fit on the grid.
For the further design, we will pin our minds on the post-its in the area ‘high user value’ vs ‘low effort required’.

Team discussing the prioritisation of concepts on grid

Finished prioritisation of concept ideas

The document below can also be found in text.

> Focus on personas and scenarios - also describing HOW to create these


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