Learning Technology Services

Appropriate Agile for Everyone

User Analysis and Requirements Capture

As a company we always adopt a user-centred approach to software design and development. This does not mean that users are always right, but that their input is always informative. A well educated user group is a valuable asset. We recommend exploring, discussing and conducting experiments with users on a frequent basis. Our approach is based on minimally invasive techniques (so that we do not interrupt Business-as-Usual (BaU)), and may typically include:

Observations

Our starting point is to observe. We sit alongside users and track their activities in order to get a better understanding of what they do and what their issues are. This will include day-to-day operations, training, and other staff activities

Focus groups

Bringing together groups of users to discuss issues relating to a software system can be a very effective method. We enable and facilitate such groups including: developing and presenting content to the groups; eliciting information; promoting effective discussion; providing hands-on activities

Questionnaires

There are times when questionnaires are the most effective way to collect information - particularly from large user groups or customer groups. We have many years experience in designing, delivering and analysing questionnaire data. We design questions to capture the maximum amount of data with clarity, simplicity and minimum user effort. Online questionnaires are our default mechanism but other formats are used as appropriate

Structured Interviews

Structured interviews can be very effective and efficient. By designing them around core issues and questions, but providing suitable opportunities for open-ended, yet focused input, we gain the maximum information with minimum of disruption

Rapid prototyping and testing

Just asking users what they want is not a very effective technique - they mostly say that they want more of what they already have, only better. We could guess that. Informing the users about what is possible is very important - especially when considering the introduction of new technologies and solutions. We use Rapid Prototyping to develop simulated versions of aspects of a system so users can get their hands on them, try them and discuss them. We capture these interactions with observation, audio, screen capture and video. We also use hands-on experiments with prototypes to help us evaluate the value of alternative methods of solving interaction questions