User Needs Assessments

Why User Needs Assessments are Beneficial

User Needs Assessments determine the scope and significance of users’ needs, investigate the impact of differences in user characteristics, and answer questions such as:

  • Who are the target users?
  • How will the product be used? How often? Under what conditions?
  • What skills or knowledge do users need to use the product effectively?
  • How will the product be integrated into its intended environment?
  • What are the barriers to using the product?

When User Needs Assessments are Conducted

User Needs Assessments are conducted primarily in Phase 1 (Concept Exploration) of the product development life cycle.

How User Needs Assessments are Performed

They involve using:

  • Surveys and focus groups to determine what users want, need, expect.
  • Task analyses to determine how users accomplish actual tasks (e.g., task frequency, task importance, and workflow).
  • Requirements definitions to determine what the product needs to do.


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