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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: [Sigia-l] Research then prototype OR prototype then gather user feedback

RE: [Sigia-l] Research then prototype OR prototype then gather user feedback

From: Jared M. Spool (
Date: Tue Dec 20 2005 - 09:12:18 EST

At 08:41 PM 12/19/2005, Mitchell Gass wrote:
>Cooper's persona-based approach to design, which Kim is largely
>responsible for, is all about up-front research and applying what's
>learned throughout the design process.

The (navel-gazing?) question is really whether creating an initial
prototype solely for the purpose of outing your hidden assumptions is or is
not part of the up-front research process.

I believe that research is best served when you can get as many of your
assumptions on the table, so you know what you're challenging as you gather
your data. My experience is that, once the assumptions have been stated,
it's easy for observers (especially inexperienced observers) to see where
those challenges are false. When you don't explicitly talk about them, I
often hear things such as, "I didn't really see anything I didn't know"
when we return from a site visit or a usability test, even though there
were many challenges to our thinking during those sessions.

So, I'm not suggesting anything that would go against the (extremely wise)
teachings of Goodwin/Cooper and Rettig.


Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
978 777-9123

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