Digital Experience: Task flow analysis
The purpose of the project was to detect a digital interaction where users have trouble navigating, searching or interpreting information and recommend a viable solution to resolve such task flows and thereby script a better digital dialogue. We chose the task of asking users to ‘Search for the tuition fees to a language course in any university’.
What is a digital conversation?
A Digital Conversation is a scripted dialogue which takes place between a person and a computer via any digital medium such as web browsers, mobile phones and interactive television.
Task assigned : Find tuition fees for an undergraduate/graduate language course at any university.
Searching for the right course that suits you and finally deciding upon which college/university to go is a complex decision and the most important part of this decision making is knowing the tuition fees.
The problem with searching tuition fees on university websites is that sometimes they are not displayed upfront or hidden somewhere and hard to find. In order to understand how users performed the task of searching tuition fees, we conducted interviews and performed a task analysis in a group. Later, we individually proposed a solution to fix the user’s search flow and getting the information upfront.
Identifying users for interviews
We brainstormed in order to define who our users are and decided to interview students and young professionals who might be learning or intending to learn languages. We randomly approached students in our university and some professionals we personally knew to conduct interviews and task flows. In order to start the process, we first created a background inquiry and task-based questionnaire.
Creating a questionnaire :
We formulated a questionnaire to inquire the background of users and how their choices were affected by various factors and how they would possibly navigate. We tried to understand the process by performing the task ourselves and noting down pain points. We thus refined our questions to focus highly on the preferences and task-flow methods. Below mentioned are some of the questions we asked.
If you choose to learn a language what would be your motivation/goal behind it?
How did you finalize which course/university to choose? / On what criteria did you choose this university?
What aspects would you look for while choosing a language learning course?
Did you face any challenges while searching information? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Task to be performed by users : ” Can you find tuition fees for a language course at a university/college? “
We interviewed 15 people. The users were assigned the task and based on their final outcome 5 out of 15 people failed to find tuition fees. We also received a lot of feedback through the interview process, which revealed that in spite of the fact that they found fees during the task, they have faced problem finding tuition fees before. Below is a user flow of how users typically searched and navigated while finding tuition fees.
Design process : How we figured out problem areas in task flow
Task Analysis and affinity diagramming
We collected user responses on how users completed the defined task. We then analyzed the data from interviews in a group. It was interesting to know what seemed to be a heap of data collected with no evident connections, started making sense after regrouping. This study gave insights into different behavior patterns and problems and informed my solution.
Based on the affinity diagramming exercise, we discovered that users were affected by multiple factors while making choices. There were also some key psychological factors behind making certain choices.
Background and preferences of users
What affected decision making?
Alice Rossi, Student
Wants to learn Spanish to communicate better with her patients.
Alice Rossi is pursuing medicine at Jefferson University. She wants to learn Spanish and Mandarin as she feels that knowing these widely spoken languages will help her empathize with patients when she starts her practice.
Wants to learn languages to communicate with clients
Shri works at a global travel company in Amsterdam and his work involves travelling and interacting with clients in different parts of Europe. He wants to be more approachable and feels knowing more languages will help him interact better. He want’s to find a short weekend course within the city.
Problem Solving : Possible solutions
After studying user flow diagrams, it appeared that users relied a lot on google for all their search requirements. I contemplated various ways to solve the problem. It made sense not to break or divert their behavior entirely, but instead insert a solution within their flow. Hence, I decided to use ‘ Google’s knowledge cards’ to provide a quick view of tuition fees.
Change in the entire user flow
An additional step of creating a database.
People prefer university websites
One time plugin.
Plugin hampers flow.
Every website works differently.
People trust google.
Inject additional step within user flow.
Information at a glance.
Without tampering website.