10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE STARTING A SOFTWARE PROJECT

Identifying the Stereotypical User

In designing products, it helps to imagine a few real life stories of how actual (stereotypical) people would use them.

Who will be using your product? You? Your staff? General Public? Niche audience?

Imagine two different scenarios of people who might be using your software. Tell us as much about that person as you can.

  • Where will it be accessed?
  • How many people do you expect will use it?
  • How often will it be used?
  • ie. Will it be checked 3 times a day or only used sporadically?

Activity

Scenario 1:

Mike is a 47-year- old General Manager of a cleaning company, he spends a lot of time working on invoicing, stock management and staffing. The board of directors need to streamline some of the issues that are keeping Mike from focusing on growing the business. They have looked at off the shelf solutions but nothing is quite right so are now imagining a custom software that would work both for the business and could also be potentially sold to other cleaning companies.

The software will be used predominantly by management staff but there would also be a web based application that staff would be required to use while on site at their various corporate client’s locations. The system requires multiple logins, inventory management and be connected to their accounting system.

Mike is a savvy business man but technology is not his strong suit, the cleaning staff also have varied experience with technology so the user interface needs to be simple and intuitive. There is also a high turnover of staff so onboarding new users and removing old users needs to be simple. Staff will be accessing the application multiple times each shift and data needs to be sent back to head office after each shift.

Storyboarding for UX

UX = User Experience

It’s your programmers job to take your idea and turn it into a reality. The storyboarding process can be done with your programmer. However some people want to come into a meeting with a software developer fully prepared. It’s important that you and your programmer share the same vision, but even more importantly your software makes good logical sense and is intuitive for your end user. What is the easiest way we can get the end user from point A to point B with the lowest level of frustration. Storyboarding is great for allowing us to imagine problems and barriers before the design process starts.

Some storyboarding ideas are:

  • Using post it notes to represent each action, how many actions does it take to get from A to B or A to Z.
  • Can this be reduced? Will a user ever want to go from to C to A? How will they do that?

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