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We’re looking for more user testers

The Koordinates design team is looking for more people to help with our research and user testing.

Dan

Posted by Dan Newman
April 20th, 2017

User Research

At Koordinates we’re continually looking at ways to improve the platform. This year, we’ve been working on making significant updates as well as introducing new features, which we need to frequently test as we tackle parts of the product that are often used by different people.

When we’re working on solving a particular problem, it’s not unusual for us to passionately debate the design interactions, what we should build and how that will impact people who use the product. To balance our internal decisions, instincts and what we can conclude from analytics, we need to include insights from users, which in many ways is the most valuable part of the process.

So, we need more people who use koordinates.com, the LINZ Data Service or one of the other sites on the platform to help with our research and testing. We’re looking for people both familiar and unfamiliar with the product, as this will make sure the improvements we make are great for both existing and new users. If you’re interested in helping out, but are unsure what’s involved, here’s a brief outline of how it works.

User Research

We incorporate user feedback at Koordinates in two different ways. The first is via our Design Research, which is mainly interviews with users. We do this with as many people as possible to build a broad view of who is using the platform and what they’re doing day-to-day with data. This research helps us understand common workflows – the tasks and order of these tasks to complete work. The design research sessions are either in person at a users place of work, or via a video call. They follow a similar format, where we ask general questions to find out the following details:

  • What is the person’s role?
  • What can we learn about the organisation or business they work for?
  • If they have a team, who do they work with?
  • How do they share or collaborate with data?
  • What type of data do they use?
  • What types of projects do they work on?
  • What knowledge of Koordinates and the data services on the platform do they have?
  • What other tools and products do they use?

Based on the above questions and the conversations we have with users the team has discovered some common themes that have already impacted updates to the product.

User Testing

The second and most important way we incorporate feedback is via user testing. In these sessions we watch people using the product to see what tasks they find easy or hard. We do this for both the existing design and new designs we’re considering.

We find this the most interesting and useful part of the process as it can help confirm if what we’ve learnt while researching solves the problem we’ve been working on. The process of user testing is relatively straight-forward: we simply ask you to complete some basic tasks with the Koordinates app, and then record in detail the steps you take. There’s no right or wrong way of doing things so the more we see, the more we learn about areas where we can make the design more intuitive and easier to use.

What’s the impact of User Testing & Research?

Based on what we’ve learnt so far from our research and testing, we’ve prioritised different areas of the product to improve. Some of these areas we’ve worked on previously are:

All of the above will continue to be evolved as we learn more. If you’ve used koordinates.com recently and have feedback on these changes, we’d love to hear from you (even if you’re not able to help test future changes).

What’s Next?

We’re especially keen to talk to people about the two areas of the product we’re working on next. The first area is data publishing and administration, where we’ll be working on making it easier to manage data. The second is searching for and exporting data. 

If you haven’t got to talk to us and would like to, you can let us know on Twitter or get in touch via our contact page.

We’ll make it worth your while with some cool Koordinates swag to say thank you. You’ll also be able to have a say in defining the future of the product. Win, win!