Why do a user needs assessment?. One question is to understand why people would want to use a product or service in the first place. Oftentimes, we assume that we know why people buy products, but we may not know their full line of motivations in reality.
A user needs assessment helps us get to the bottom of that. Another question is, how people use or don’t use a product or service. Sometimes after you’ve designed a service in a particular way, people find that they want to use it for a different purpose, in a different manner.
All of these are again, questions of needs assessments. You might also want to understand what people like or dislike about a product or service. That’s certainly important to understand to improve the product or to find more customers.
And finally, we can ask questions like what else people might want to expect from a product or service. All of these kinds of questions and similar ones are all questions that we would answer through a user needs assessment.
You’re balancing what you already know about the situation, about the product or service, with an open free form discussion so that you’re able to hear things that you might not be able to anticipate.
That is exactly the point of User Needs Assessment: to hear things that you haven’t already anticipated. Most Semi-structured interviews involve some kind of script or what’s called an interview protocol, where you have a list of questions that you use as a guideline for the interview, even though you won’t follow them strictly. What you want to do is encourage a conversational style between you the interviewer, and the person who’s being interviewed, and because it’s meant to be free-form you should expect to go off script very often.
Affinity diagrams or clustering exercises are about bundling and grouping information, and this can be one of the most valuable methods to employ. In this exercise, you have to sort the information from the interview, the observation, user quotations, and questions that arise in the future based on ideas that seem to be related in some way.
This tool is used to know what are the user’s pain points?. What are they feel?. What problems are they trying to solve?. We then generate to solution or goal from their point of view.
Personas & Scenarios
Personas are users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users. This information might include age, gender, behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and background information, and demography. While scenarios are an imaginary situation that describes the interaction between persona and particular product to achieve user goal. Scenarios should be written from the persona’s perspective, usually at a high level, and articulate use cases that will likely happen. It helps designers to understand the user flows which they can create solutions.
User Journey Map or Storyboard
It illustrated the step-by-step journey that a user takes to get their goal. How they might interact with the websites, mobile apps, or while making a decision. It consists of storytelling and visualization to address user needs.