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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Dug Falby <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 5 Dec 2008 09:34:28 +0000
text/plain (48 lines)
Hi Matthew,

Agree with Caroline's comments.

I have also done observations in call centres and I wanted to add a
further recommendation. Don't skimp on context of use observations:

- how is the lighting in the centre?
- do folk look happy or stressed?
- what is the pressure level? Look for motivational post-its, visible
awards, a ranking chart and so on. The mood of the centre impacts how
people deal with the software
- make a point of observing the actual workstations in use: do users
take notes on a separate pad of paper and input later? Do they
multitask across multiple apps in multiple windows? How big are their
screens, how big to they set their windows (I recently observed a
call-centre where they had high resolution screens but tended to put
everything in a 640x480 window)?

I almost always discover insights we hadn't imagined in workshops and
focus groups by doing context-of-use observations. Given it costs
almost nothing to do, I'd say it's got by far the greatest risk/reward
ratio in creative discovery :-)

Finally I wanted stress another one of Caroline's points, you need to
handle technical failure as well as possible. Consider what happens to
the sequence of forms if the browser crashes. What if the machine

All the best,

Dug Falby
+44 75 15 66 16 55

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