About the Project User Research Template: The purpose of this template is to provide a place to document an application's user research information for reference during development. Top level items are information everyone in the project should be aware of. Some of the details in the lower sections may take some work and discussion within the project to complete.
Project User Research Profile
Short summary description of the purpose of the application, who it is for, and what those people can do with it.
Who is the application for?
- List of types (groups) of users
- User groups can be organized based on any type of dimension
- Some groups may be broken down in to sub groups
(Who is the application not for)
- Sometimes it is easy to identify who the application is not for
- This can help keep the scope of the project under control
Sample User Profiles
User Profile 1: For each group of users identified (or primary groups, or particularly special groups if many groups are defined), write a description of that user's characteristics based on a real user you know.
What kinds of tasks will they complete
- List of common tasks users will complete
- This does not have to be a complete functional specification, but major tasks and specialty tasks should be listed
- Include functionality that is planned but not yet implemented to help keep the future in focus
(What kinds of functionality will the application not support)
- List tasks or functionality the application will not address
- Sometimes it is useful to list this unintended functionality to help keep the scope of the application
- For example, a certain functionality may not be implemented because it is out of scope with the primary goals of the project, another application with a different focus does it better, or it is an extreme edge case for a user type which is not primary
Sample Use Scenarios and Cases
Use Scenario 1: For each task identified (or major tasks, or particularly special tasks if many tasks are defined), write a description of how that user would accomplish the task independent of how they would complete it within the application.
Use Case 1: If a use scenario has been implemented, include a matching use case which describes how the task use scenario can be completed in the application. There may be branching or multiple ways to complete the task, and this is a good way to document it.
Environment Conditions & Requirements
- List of environmental conditions for the user or the application to consider
- For example, an Internet-capable application would require an Internet connection
Short introduction to user personas on Usability.gov
In-depth discussion about creating personas on Boxes and Arrows