Sherwin, suggests taking a 5 step approach to conducting user research. He states that it is important to avoid our own biases in the design process as we need to consider design solutions for people who are not like us.
I will be using the 5 step process in conducting research for this project. This will involve the following:
At this point I will need to take into consideration what questions need answered and what knowledge gaps I need to fill at this stage in the process.
I need to discover how users from the target demographic use their device, what are the capabilities of the devices they own and do they have opinions of mobile ecommerce interfaces from previous attempts at using the technology, this could include trust issues and frustration at poor usability, loading times and poor search functionality on the mobile sites they visit.
What do I believe I already know about the users and potential solutions to their needs?
My research at the start of this project uncovered some interesting trends and points to consider. In particular, I believe that users from the selected demographic are less likely to buy from mobile ecommerce. I have also pinpointed usability as the main cause of frustration among users attempting to complete tasks on a monile device.
How do I plan on filling gaps in my knowledge and what methods, considering time and people available, could I use?
I plan on creating a survey to find out, from my target demographic, whether usability, loading times and trust, or a combination of these characteristics have caused issues in the past. I will also ask the users what devices they use to identify if there are problems with the capabilities of their devices that may have resulted in a poor experience in using mobile ecommerce websites in the past.
I also plan on involving the users throughout the design process. Through the use of focus groups, I can observe how users use their devices on current ecommerce sites, question users about what they liked or disliked about the sites they visited and also ask users to consider low-fi prototypes I have created and provide them with simple paper templates to allow them to show me how they would expect the interface to look at each stage of the shopping process.
Gathering the data through the methods selected. Once the survey is complete I will investigate the data collected to see what areas have cause frustration for users in the past. This will allow me to then focus on the areas with the highest levels of frustration in later iterations.
At this point I will be able to answer my research question and determine the best way to approach my final iteration.
According to Nielsen, redesigning user interface on the basis of user testing can substantially improve usability. In four case studies that Nielsen has investigated the improvement in overall usability was 165% from the first to last iteration.
As the graph above shows, as the iterations increase and the interface is redesigned the usability of the interface will increase.
With this in mind I will be taking an iterative approach to the process to ensure that users have the opportunity to give feedback before final elements are decided in the mobile interface.