- Get the internal stakeholders to list the categories of information they think users of the product care about, in order of importance.
- Then, ask users what categories of information they care about. Don’t anchor them with the categories you’ve come up with — ask open ended questions.
- Present the results in a three-column table: Column 1: information category. Column 2: how we thought users ranked it. Column 3: how users actually ranked it.
- Benefits: “It shines a light on the fact that what the people in the room think is important and what users or customers think is important are often not the same thing. It forces everyone in the room to step outside their preconceptions and inherent biases and put themselves in the shoes of users and customers. And it’s the quickest way I know to develop a clear, simple model for Information Architecture, saving everyone a tremendous amount of time, debate and headache.”
(1) Thank you Daniel Riedler for the tip.
(2) It’s worth watching the video — it’s short, well produced, and informative.
(3) If you yourself are a typical user of your product, it’s easier to get user-centric design intuitively right. But if you’re not a typical user of your own product, forcing yourself to write down what you think users care about is critical. It uncovers your assumptions, opens them up for discussion, and makes them easy to test.
(4) This can also be useful within the Job To Be Done framework: once you’ve stated your users’ Job To Be Done, list and rank the requirements for performing the job successfully, and then validate them with users.