Focus on Usage Maturity: Part III

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Using a Usage Maturity Matrix to Make Design and Strategy Decisions

Early Foundations

You may recall from earlier installments in this series, that usage maturity is a measure of users’ comfort and familiarity with, and degree of use of, a product, process or place.  

During our master’s capstone research at Kent State, my project partner and I explored the varied levels of usage maturity of participants using Apple’s voice assistant Siri and found usage maturity did not coincide with participants’ tech savviness. 

To illustrate this, think of your own tech savviness and score yourself with one to five stars, five being high. 

Now, think of an app or program that confounds you, that you struggle to learn or use well. 

Do the challenges with that digital experience compel you to lower your tech savviness rating? Probably not, you retain your 3 or 5 or however-many savviness stars, but your usage maturity with that program may be low.

Continue reading Focus on Usage Maturity: Part III

Focus on Usage Maturity: Part II

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Meet Users Where They Are, Draw Them Deeper In

If we want users to remain our users, we ought to entice them deeper into our design ecosystem.

Attempts to extend or expand users’ usage, frequently results in designs complicated by added features, and functions. My user experience research has informed digital and physical designs often with an emphasis on correcting the usability of such complexities. Users interact with the things we design at varying levels of usage maturity. Usage maturity is a measure of users’ comfort and familiarity with, and degree of use of a product, process, or place. 

Continue reading Focus on Usage Maturity: Part II

Focus on Usage Maturity: Part I

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Designing for All Users by Starting at the Beginning

Far too often, products are designed to meet the needs of the typical user. As a user experience researcher, I’m always cautious about defining the “typical user” for any of the digital or physical products I work on. My UX research has included work on business processes, websites, services, software platforms, digital games, physical products,  and physical properties.

I prefer to use a usage maturity matrix and design to meet the range of functional priorities of our users.

  • Usage maturity is a measure of users’ comfort and familiarity with and degree of use of a product.
  • A usage maturity matrix defines the functional priorities at each level of usage maturity.
  • The matrix lists beginning, proficient, and advanced level functional priorities and can expand to include novice and expert levels to account for greater complexity.
Continue reading Focus on Usage Maturity: Part I