User Needs Assessments
Why User Needs Assessments are Beneficial
They are used to:
- Determine the scope and significance of users' needs
- Investigate the ways in which differences in user characteristics might affect their ability to successfully use a web site or software product
- Design curriculum and technology that enable intended users to achieve educational standards and goals
- Answer such questions as:
- Who are the target users in terms of demographics?
- How will the product or site be used? How often? Under what conditions?
- What do users need to know to use the product or site effectively? What are the prerequisite skills, knowledge, and preparation?
- How will the product or site be integrated into the environment for which it is intended?
- What are the barriers, if any, to using the product or site?
When User Needs Assessments are Conducted
User Needs Assessments are conducted primarily in:
How User Needs Assessments are Performed
They involve using:
- Surveys and focus groups to determine what users want, need, expect.
- Task analyses to determine how users accomplish actual tasks (e.g., task frequency, task importance, and workflow).
- Requirements definitions to determine what the product needs to do.