Since the last post I wrote about this report, I have received feedback which was mostly positive and shows that my report is heading the right direction – which is always good!
There were just a few issues with citing which I have now addressed and also it was suggested that I need to find at least 3 sources to back-up my arguments whether or not the design was a good example of user-centred design. Most of my case studies only had the ‘supplier’ and the customer as sources, but now all of them have at least one other source providing insight. Usually this is in the shape of user reviews from places like TripAdvisor or Google Play, but I’ve also found that some of my case studies won awards for usability or the objective that the user-centred design was trying to achieve was awarded. I feel that this add a lot more validity to my report. Contextual references have also been used, for example one of my case studies is making it easier to donate a charity online and also engage with more supporters online and I’ve found evidence that suggests that charity engagement has been going down in recent years, so it is crucial that charities reengage with the public to increase donations.
It was also suggested that I define more UX terms, such as user personas and experience maps to help aid a reader’s understanding of my report.
One of the case studies was a lot ‘thinner’ than the others, so I added more detail to it in the form of finding some user reviews to put into it to help validate points.
In one of my case studies automation was criticised by several groups for not catering for those with disabilities and it was suggested that I research ways to resolve the problem, so that was added into that case study.
At the moment, I have 26 sources in my bibliography. This seems like a lot for a 3,000 word, 6 page report, but they are all relevant and hopefully show that I can use a variety of sources to research. It would be good to get some books cited in there too – they’re all websites at the moment.
After implementing the feedback my word count shot up to 3,955 words, putting me well over the word count limit of 3,000. I spent several hours rewriting each case study, reducing the length and number of direct quotes, reducing the number of connectives in sentences and most crucially removing paragraphs where points were being repeated. This brought the word count down by around 850 words to 3,059 words – but it is still slightly over the limit. Especially given that there still needs to be some ‘industry dialogue’ in there. Really, another 200 words needs to go from those case studies. The shortened report still reads well, but it is now much more succinct and features less impressive writing – but I am not being marked on writing skills, rather being able to get my point across and evidence it in 3,000 words.
Implementing the industry dialogue has been a little difficult. I’ve been in touch with several people over the past month about it, but nobody’s come back to me on it or they haven’t had the time. However, I recently met (by accident!) a client of one of the UX professionals I know at a networking event. I explained my report to him and he said he’d be happy to send me some information, so hopefully he can be my ‘industry dialogue’. Unfortunately, he’s not been involved with any of the five case studies I’ve written about, so one of my smaller case studies may need to be replaced, or the one featuring him will have to be a sixth case study. It will be a challenge to fit it into the 3,000 words. I can technically go to 3,300 words since there is a +/-10% ‘leeway’, but I want to stay as close to 3,000 as possible.
It still looks like I am on track to finish this fairly shortly – possibly before the end of the month providing I can get some ‘industry dialogue’ and find some time to cut down the word count further. This is a good thing because the Broads Authority project is now coming into full swing!