AOO UX Research Strategy

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User Experience Research Strategy Overview

To help make informed design and development decisions, the OpenOffice community needs user data!

The AOO user experience research effort seeks to characterize the current state of the product experience by applying a toolkit of qualitative and quantitative research methods which could range from system logs and instrumentation to surveys and interviews to usability testing and end user engagement. Research activity execution is proportional to community participation and support. While we strive for robust sample sizes, important and valid findings can come from studies with a wide range of participants. User research insight will help us to not only understand existing usability risks but also understand the value of the product offering. Data collected through user research can enable the community to understand the most important user tasks and goals, assess how well products support those goals and having experienced the product, what is the user's overall impression of the product and the brand. A combination of behavioral data and attitudinal data, along with leveraging standardized metrics will enable us to provide a comprehensive grade to our products (via the AOO Product Health Index) which can be used as a baseline measure for future research.

Community Design and Development Data Needs

To ensure that the output of our user experience research is valuable, relevant and consumable, we need to be mindful to source data that addresses the needs of the AOO design and development stakeholders. The following list is a collection of data needs as sources from an ooo-dev mailing list discussion. Note: last updated June 2012.

  • data that helps us understand who uses AOO
  • data that helps us understand why people use AOO
  • data that helps us understand what tasks people want to accomplish in AOO
  • data that helps us understand how people use AOO
  • data that helps us understand how people integrate AOO into their lives
    • work
    • social
  • data that helps us understand which existing features are most valuable
  • data that helps us understand how we might enhance/improve existing features
  • data that helps us prioritize our incremental enhancement effort
  • data that helps us identify new opportunities
    • new products
    • new capabilities
  • data that helps us understand which technology we need to support and integrate with
    • different devices
    • different platforms
    • different integrations
  • data that helps us understand how people heard about, access and consume AOO

Research Data Sources

Both structured and unstructured research activities are great sources of user experience data. While structured data sources may, at times, be more statistically significant, both unstructured and structured data sources can help us better understand the needs of desires of the Apache OpenOffice user.

Unstructured Data Sources
Structured Data Sources
  • Contextual inquiry
    • Direct observation
    • Journey mapping
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Design validations
  • User session

Research Design and Delivery

While the methodology and delivery of individual research activities is subject to the research context and unique needs of each research activity, consider the following:

  • user research is never finished
  • any opportunity to capture data can help enhance our understanding of issues and opportunities
  • standardizing our research assets will make it easier to deploy regular research activities
  • we should be mindful to capture data that can contribute to an aggregated health index snapshot in support of each release
  • where possible, research activities should include a number of standardized demographic questions to assist in correlating data

User Experience Measurement

Where applicable, the output of user research activities will be used as an input to ux measures.


To facilitate effective cross-community communication of user experience research insights, research report availability will be promoted via the community mailing lists. Each report should have it's own unique wiki page which includes a research activity overview, contact information of owner, links to research questions, links to raw data, a summary of results, and prioritized, actionable list of next steps.

User Research Outcomes and Impact

The intent of user research is to capture user insight that will drive informed design and development decisions. More specifically:

  • user research can be used as an input to AOO strategic direction
  • user research can be used as an input to release planning
  • user research can help understand user roles and goals
  • user research can help identify and prioritize top tasks
  • user research can be an input to usage scenarios (present and future)
  • user research can identify defects
  • user research can identify issues and opportunities for future consideration
  • user research can identify opportunities for improvements within the offerings
  • user research can help validate design direction (pre and post release)

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