Excerpt: Ten Questions to Ask When Defining a Resource’s User Base

By | February 7, 2000

From Alison J. Head’s DesignWise: A Guide for Evaluating the Interface Design of Information Resources (1999, Information Age Books; ISBN 0-910965-31-5; Amazon | B&N.com)

To ask about the resource:

  • What main tasks does the resource support?
  • What level of users is the resource aimed at?
  • Is the resource a tool for users with specific expertise (e.g. professional graphic artists) or is it a general tool?

To ask about the users and the setting:

  • What tasks are users counting on getting done with the resource?
  • What skill levels best describe the users (novice, intermediary, expert)?
  • Is there a match between the resource’s purpose and the user’s needs from a resource?
  • What training will be provided, in addition to the resource’s training features or guides?
  • Will the resource be an end-user tool or will hands-on assistance be provided?
  • Does the resource run on platforms that users are familiar with?
  • What processing limitations about the user base can you identify?