For this week, I'd like you to read two pieces on the needs assessment approaches I have focused on for this lesson. The first paper covers the scenario-based design approach. It goes into fairly deep detail on how scenario-based design should play out.
The second paper focuses on personas, how they are used, how they are developed, and why they are useful. Remember, scientists are people, too, so you're getting a particular viewpoint here that you can safely assume is not always agreed upon by everyone. So, some of the things I will have you read will take a stance on an issue and defend that stance, which is a good way to spark useful class discussion.
Scenario-Based Design by Mary Beth Rosson and John M. Carroll.
While you're reading, I'd like you to consider just how far you could take the recommendations that Rosson and Carroll lay out here when it comes to applying scenario-based design principles where you work. Would you have the resources to delve deeply into the process, or would you need to scale things back and do something that builds from the basic principles here but does not take as much time and effort?
Personas, Participatory Design and Product Development: An Infrastructure for Engagement by Jonathan Grudin and John Pruitt at Microsoft Research.
This paper pleads for personas, and all the social/political baggage that comes with them, to be an essential input in the design process. This prompts a couple of key questions: How much detail in personas is too much? When would a persona potentially get in the way of fulfilling design goals? I would like you to discuss these questions in light of what you think is reasonable given realistic time/resource constraints, and also to address how (if at all) it may be a bad idea to focus on external factors like personalities, political views, etc.... when it comes to using personas in system design. To get credit for this assignment, you must post at least one original comment and respond to at least one comment by your fellow students. I encourage you to include links to other content that bolsters your argument.
Joining the Discussion
The Lesson 2 Reading Discussion should be completed in Canvas.