#ISCLondon – How Users USE Information

International SharePoint Conference – Developing an End User Adoption Strategy

Information Architecure

Information Architecture starts with the User: I Love Users

Information Architecture: structural design of shared information

Do not (only) look at their current folder structure
folders are easy way to put information, but makes it difficult to find

“If I store it, thats how I use it, but how do others use it?”

Key Components in defining Information Architecure

  • Content – what does exist?
  • Context (business, organizational) – why does the content exist?
  • Users – how does users use the content?

How to search?

Most people use the Google-Model
The users think:
“I ask a question, magic happens, and the system gives the answer”

But this doesn’t work because
– users don’t know what they search
– users don’t know how they search (querries, spelling)
– users don’t have patience

There are different ways how people search

  1. Users are looking for exactly one item e.g. a certain form – if the query is clear, search is usually good, since only a few results show up
  2. Users are looking for everything – users don’t know what they search, so they have no expectations of the results
  3. users kind of know what they want, but they are not really sure (exploratory) – usually queries are not good, because users don’t know how to get to the answer
  4. users try to find something again

SharePoint uses the Berry-Picking-Model

  1. Search
  2. View results
  3. Refine
  4. Repeat

How to learn from users

TALK to USERS, not management
– Ask
– Listen
– Test
– Repeat

…but remember: users don’t know anything!

…but remember: Opinion Right
Just because it’s somebody’s opinion, doesn’t mean it’s right.

…So, Instead look for patterns in the answers.

How to test user adoption?

  1. Surveys – are not a good choice, only the people with strong feelings will fill it int, usually the ones that hate it
  2. Wireframing – Usefull because it does not interfere with design
  3. Card Sorting (http://boxesandarrows.com)
    open: participants are given cards showing site content, no pre-established grouping
    task: let them group
    closed: participants are given cards showing site content, with an established initial set of primary groups
    task: let them sort cards into groups

    look for significance: the more people the higher the significance

Usability Testing

Usability’s Quality Components

  • Learnability – how easy can users accomplish basic tasks?
  • Efficiency – how quickly can tasks be performed? (NOT number of clicks, but predictability, I know where to click)
  • Memorability – after a period of non-use, how easy can a user re-establish proficiency?
  • Errors – how many errors does the user/system make? how servere? can the user recover?
  • Satisfaction – how pleasant is it to use the design?

Usability Heuristics

  • visibility of system status – do I know where I am?
  • match between system and real world – does it match natural flow?
  • user control and freedom
  • Consistency and standards
  • error prevention
  • recognition rather than recall
  • flexibility and efficiency of use
  • aesthetic and minimalistic design
  • help users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors
  • help and documentation

Performing a test
– before, during and after
– with at least 5 users, not stakeholders
– define list of common tasks (find this form, go to this place and upload a document)
– run the test (& don’t help!)
– analyze and report

What to do with results
– use as proof for nay-sayers
– provide best cost justifications
– identify simple issues that when fixed will greatly improve user acceptance

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