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Jurij Burkanov

Please help us collect user stories and build scenarios

Tuesday 10 April 2012 5:36:05 pm

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First of all - sorry for the long delay since my previous post. Most part of last month I worked together with other programmers on Edna release. But now the code is passed to the QA and I can return to UxD. 

So, there are lots of news. Thanks to Bård, we've got personas and corresponding general use cases, three of which were selected (by voting!) as the most interesting ones. They will be worked on during following months. Though it's not guaranteed, that exactly those stories will find their way into production (that's up to PM), they are definitely the first candidates.

Those lucky 3 are:

  • Efficient Asset Finding (to provide users with powerful integrated assets browser to create & control content without leaving the page).
  • Multichannel Experience Optimization (to let editors choose in the live preview mode between different views, like desktop - pad - mobile - e.t.c.)
  • Editorial Dashboard (a powerful and flexible tool that can be configured to meet the needs of various workflows and verticals, containing information about the status of the content and possible actions).

I will describe our work on those topics later (I promise now to write more often now), but - before diving deep into discussion of possible new features - we need to cover the basic routine. And here's how you guys could help:

Gathering user stories

I'm currently working on the new editorial interface. In order to create perfect user scenarios and models, I'm gathering information about the needs of our users. I'm mostly interested in their everyday routine, tasks and workflows. Their current experience with existing interfaces is, actually, less interesting, because it's going to be changed anyways. I would like to speak with our users, talking about their job, tasks, skills, general background, e.t.c. It's the editors / end users I'm interested in. It will not be a boring, faceless call-center questioning of the "rate-how-you're-satisfied-from-1-to-5"-kind, but a normal conversation about the real, actual tasks and duties of our users.

Could you, please, send an email to the eZ users you have contact with, so I could call them if they allow me? There is a ready mail text at the end of this post that you could simply send to the editors you know. I will really appreciate your commitment! I also added a more expanded description of the interview coverage - just for the case you'll get asked to provide more information before.

 

Mail text (short):

Dear eZ Publish editor,

currently we're working on the new version of the eZ Publish editorial interface, which is going to be released later this year. You may have some complains, feature requests or improvement suggestions, that we should pay attention to. I would like to contact you in person and ask what could be improved in our CMS to meet your needs better. I'd like to know more about your daily duties and tasks - in order to create "scenarios", which we use as a base for our internal feature planning. Beside of that I would appreciate information about what bothers, disturbs and disappoints you by using our software - to fix those issues in our future releases.

It would take about 15-20 minutes. Please, send me en email ( jbu@ez.no ) to let me know, if I could call you. Though there's no reward I could offer for your participation other than "thank you", but if you do, then the future releases of eZ Publish are going to be shaped much after your personal needs.

Thank you for your time,

Sincerely,

Jurij Burkanov
Lead Engineer UxD

eZ Systems // Bonner Str. 484 // D-50968 Cologne, Germany
Email: jbu@ez.no
Skype: jurij_burkanov
Mobile: +49 170 30 92 483

 

Extended explanation about the interview:

In order to design new editorial interface for eZ Publish CMS, we're gathering information from editors about their daily tasks and the way they work. The point of this interviewing is the creation of so-called "scenarios" - a short stories, showing some fictional people doing typical jobs in different situations and under different circumstances. All scenarios have some goals (those the person wants to achieve, like "to create an informative interesting article") and tasks (that must be accomplished in order to achieve the goals, like "search for good illustrations for the article", "perform fact-checking to be sure in your content", "review drafts with chief-editor", e.t.c.) Developers user those tasks to plan the software features and as a sources of valuable information about where and in which situation which tools must be provided to the user. So, if we in eZ Systems want to be sure our software is conceptually correct, then we take a scenario, check the tasks, slice big tasks into smaller features, design and program appropriate tools, combine them into interfaces and test the whole story from functionality of the interface elements up to the accomplishment of the scenario's goals. If everything can be easily accomplished - then we can be pretty sure, that - taking the above mentioned goal as example - "editors will be able to use our CMS to create informative interesting articles".
Dear editor, I'd like to ask you about your daily, most routine editorial tasks - and later use this information to create some generalized scenarios.
The "professional" topics I'd like to cover are:
- general information on where, why and how long you've been working? What motivates and what disturbs you by your job?
- what are your daily tasks, responsibilities? Could you provide me with some examples of your "typical" days?
- what software and tools do you use?
I would also love to learn some about you, your skills and hobbies - we need this kind of information to make software appropriate for the people who really use it. For this topic I rely on simple "free talk" and would be grateful for any information you'd like to share with me.
Some words about privacy: all the "source" information gathered will be used by me only and will not be shared further with anyone, even within our company. It will be used only by me as an "inspiration" for the scenarios writing.