January 19th, 2010
When we do our jobs well, important decisions are made correctly. Designs are improved. Experiences transition from frustrating to delightful. Assuming we do our jobs well.
Doing our jobs well is very hard work. A thousand details need to line up just perfectly. If we don’t get things just right, important decisions are made wrong. Designs regress. Experiences frustrate even more.
As user experience professionals, it’s all about the assumptions we make. If we assume correctly, things go well. It’s when we make false assumptions that problems occur. How do we know when our assumptions are any good?
In this week’s article, we look back to an article originally published in 2006; Interview-Based Tasks: Learning from Leonardo DiCaprio. In the article, I address the assumption question head-on by looking at a testing technique known as interview-based tasks. This non-traditional approach to usability tests helps work around the assumptions built into standard task design, allowing teams more flexibility and insight into what users actually need from the design.
When using interview-based tasks, the art of asking the question is critical. How you prepare for the interview, build rapport with the interviewee, and how to work with varying levels of experience and expertise will determine how successful the interview-based task is completed.
That’s where Steve Portigal comes in. Our next UIE Virtual Seminar is on Deep Dive Interviewing Secrets: Making Sure You Don’t Leave Key Information Behind. This is a not-to-miss-seminar if you want to know more behind the art of the question.
Have you tried interview-based tasks? What insights did you gain from it? How else have you checked the assumptions that go into your work? Join the discussion by submitting a comment below.Tweet