01 | User Research Study

This is an individual assignment worth 10% of the overall course grade

Overview

The first part of any product development initiative is to identify the opportunities we have to create better solutions for our end users. As we go through the course, your challenge will be to design and develop something useful and meaningful to your audience or users.

In this assignment, we’re going to learn how context plays a role in user-centric product development. We’ll use the insights gathered through the user research process to create a roadmap for development.


Getting Started

From our course project overview: Imagine you have a new client who is a musician. They’ve asked for your help in building out a digital presence for their band, but isn’t quite sure where to start.

For this assignment, you can imagine a new musical act or select an existing artist. If you select an existing artist that already has a digital presence, your design must represent significant improvements or differences over their current offerings (web or mobile).

As you’re working with your musician client, you want to better understand the band, their target audience, and competitors. By understanding what’s important from a user’s perspective, you will identify opportunities for developing meaningful solutions.

As you’re conducting your background research, consider the following:

  • Who is the band and what is their identity? (Classical, jazz, electronic, rock?)
  • Who is their target audience? What does their fan base look like?
  • How does the band want to engage with their fans on their new website?
  • How does their audience want to engage with them?
  • What do similar bands do? What do you like about their websites and why? What features are important?
  • What type of media, content or imagery would resonate with the target audience?

Assignment Components & Deliverables

Visual communication is critical to creating shared understanding. For this assignment we’re going to use Adobe Spark (free). You’re welcome to either create a Spark video or web page. There are many easy to use templates and examples on the Spark page. If you’re looking for ideas, check out Adobe’s Inspiration gallery.


Guidelines

Using the questions above as a guideline, create a pitch for your client using Adobe Spark. Include at least five ideas for developing capabilities that will meet your client’s (and their target audience’s) needs. If you use Spark video, keep your story to under five minutes. Your assignment should clearly articulate an understanding of your client, their aesthetic, and what’s important to them.


Assignment Example

Excellent examples from CS634 Fall 2019 are located here