In continuation to my previous post, I’ll add some more techniques which can be used for information gathering.
Prototyping allows to gather information by faking the production environment. In this technique, quite a lot of tools can be used to collect information, such as software programs to monitor/record mouse clicks or keystrokes, camera to monitor visual activity, etc.
Basically, what type of tool should be used is solely depend upon what type of information you want to collect. The cost of prototyping might be high because information gathered from this approach can be easily validated with a reason that prototyping is experimental rather than the responses received from users.
Note: Prototyping is preferred in the scenarios where it is impossible to shadow a person.
Prototype can help you to get below sort of information:
- Use of technologies, tools and applications.
- Verification of workflow.
- Customer specific quality requirements and goals.
- User interface related issues.
Another approach which can be used to gather information can be User Instruction. In this technique, users actually train you on the tasks that they perform. This allows you to participate in each and every activity and view each and every step from the user’s perspective. In this technique, user can gain more knowledge as compared to reading documents.
Note: In this method, it is mandatory for the user to be habituated to teaching others else it would be very frustrating for both the parties.
It is always advisable to get the instructions for the same task from multiple people as same task can be performed differently by different people. In this way, you might get to know the shortcuts to perform the task.
In this technique, a presentation is given on a particular topic to a group of people and post session they provide feedback to facilitator. This approach is based on group interviewing techniques in which group of people consists of all the stakeholders which are part of that process.
Note: One should have properly defined topic and must have ability to keep the group focused.
This technique might not be successful, if participants are located in different-different geographic locations. This technique may also fail, if the group of people participating in defined session doesn’t belong to that activity or doesn’t have much knowledge about the activity is performed.
That's all I have to share. Hope you enjoyed reading.