Focus your research prior to visiting the users and pay special attention to the following:
What types of users will be good to get involved in the upcoming user involvement?
What features about the users' lives may be relevant to the project’s purpose?
What assumptions do you have about the users, and are they correct?
- Book a meeting with your project team.
- Print two-three copies of the poster, preferably on A1-sized paper, or draw on flip chart paper.
- Start with a brainstorm of all the types of users you potentially could focus on in your upcoming research. In a project with the Ministry of Business and Growth, the brainstorm focused on types of employees who in one way or another was involved with purchasing new devices in the care sector, for example, nurses, HR employees and the purchasing managers.
- When you have made a shortlist, select the two-three types of users that you immediately see the most potential in involving.
- Then fill in a poster for each user type.
- The poster consists of four points:
Point 1: "Who do we want to influence?". Here, you make a short personal profile of someone who is in the target group, you would like to influence with your development project.
Point 2: "What is ____ for the person?". Here, you begin by describing the topic you want to know more about. In the example above, the team would write “purchase of equipment”. Next, you brainstorm on what the topic is for the user. Be sure to think broadly. Shopping, for example, is both a tangible action to place an order, something that allows the front staff new opportunities to display their professionalism, something that can create new cooperative relations, etc.
Point 3: Here, you and your team directs attention towards the statements of purpose that, for example, have been defined in a mandate. Based on them, what is your immediate suggestions on changes in the person’s actions / attitudes / emotions you wish to create with the project? Let these hypotheses guide you in the subsequent user research.
Point 4: "Why is not this already the case?". Here, you share your assumptions about why the person is not already doing / experiencing / feeling as you described in point 3. Talk about where you have this knowledge from, and how sure you are, that your assumptions are correct. Use this brainstorm to exclude items you already know enough about, and choose subjects where you can be challenged on your assumptions.
After you have completed the posters, you are better equipped to selecting methods and a focus for the subsequent user research.