Why add user experience to your project?
After all, time is money, and getting good UX means taking more time, right? Absolutely right! And what could waste more time than a project that goes to market incomplete, with gaping usability holes, or without addressing the needs of its target audience?
Your users, particularly those in the autism space, need all the time they can get to take advantage of your marvelous products and services. We’re trying to help encourage independent, satisfied, employable adults here, so time is of the essence. Adding user experience to your project provides you an “insurance policy,” that your final product or service WILL meet the needs of your customers, that the solution WILL provide adequate therapeutic or adaptive support, that upgrades or new versions WILL have a head start on the competition because you are already in an active dialog with your real life users!
It makes sure you are filling the right need.
For good ideas: Sometimes a solution goes out in search of a problem. If you have a good idea and need to know who it’s going to help and why, we can handle that. What we can do to help:
- User interviews, observation and analysis: evaluates how real people approach your idea, how they interact with it and whether they require additional items (like a tablet device or a set of headphones) to use it as you expect. This process can also expose new opportunities for development because people love to help.
- User and domain analysis: examines the product or service’s problem space to get comprehensive understanding of how the solution fits in with the user’s expectations. If the problem you are trying to solve is a well known one, your potential users will already have an idea of how they would solve it.
- Requirements analysis: illuminates the scope of your idea. This process reveals the breadth and depth of what it will take (engineers, designers, materials, time) to make your good idea a reality.
For good products and services: Maybe you need to quantify the value of your product before you present it to investors. Maybe you want to be sure it works with regular people the way it worked with the engineers before you go into production. What we can do to help:
- Expert review: verifies that the product, as it exists, does what your potential user expects it will do. This is not always as easy to predict as it sounds, particularly in the context of autism, where people sometimes get the richest benefits from unintended uses of a product or service.
- Usability and acceptance testing: validates the usability of the product or service before going to market. Considering the variation in cultural understanding within the autism population, it’s important to evaluate solutions carefully before assuming that the potential customer understands how to get the best results from it.
- Traceability: organizes the discovery, analysis and outcomes so the entire process is transparent from start to finish. Where did the idea start? As an existing product or service, does it do what you designed it to do? Were there disconnects between the idea and its execution? This is especially useful for products which will experience regular upgrades or enter a maintenance phase of their lifecycle. Traceability allows the innovator to reproduce his or her results in a predictable way, producing more precise time and resource estimates for future iterations.