Point of View as a Driver of Design

Once we have gathered data on our users, and designed empathy maps to reflect their backgrounds and motivations, we need to draft problem statements that reflect our users’ point of view.

Point Of View Statements help us to clearly define the problems our users are facing, so that we can determine whether or not the problems are fixable! By reviewing the likes, dislikes, and preferences of our users, we can begin to paint a more complete picture of the issue. Identifying pain points within a process can quickly highlight key concerns of our users. Locating the source of frustration can give us great insight into how we can improve our designs to address the needs of our users.

Good Point Of View statements are framed according to specific users and their specific needs. This is where user personas can come in handy – revisit personas to serve as inspiration as you write point of view statements. Point of View statements should be both meaningful and actionable. Meaningful in that they are real and relevant to our users. Actionable means that they suggest areas we can improve through our designs. Some problems our users encounter may be well beyond the scope of our abilities to fix! We have to place those problems aside for the time being, and focus on what we CAN do.

How do we create Point Of View statements? Begin by asking three questions identified by Evelina Tapia:

  1. What is the objective?
  2. What is the context?
  3. What are user goals?

Our responses to these questions must be evidence-based. What evidence do we have that this problem actually exists? What evidence do we have about who is impacted by this issue? What evidence do we have about the duration, extent and impact of this problem? As we gather information to answer these questions, we can form Point-of-View statements. One way of forming these statements is to write them using this format:

User (descriptive characteristics) needs (verb) because (compelling insight).

To practice writing Point Of View statements, I engaged in an exercise exploring three different apps. The three apps I selected are used by online educators: Agenda, A Color Story, and Adobe Spark. You can learn more about the apps through my presentation on developing POV statements. For each app, I collected three types of reviews from the App Store. These included positive comments, negative comments, and constructive comments. Based on the information gleaned from these comments, I was able to draft POV Statements for users of each app. These POV statements provide insight into how the developers of these apps might make improvements – or how new app developers might approach solving similar problems for similar groups of users. You can view the POV statements below:





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