Content Design London

Global project, virus-based user needs

Published 28 April 2020, by Sarah Winters in Content Design Research.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working with organisations around the world on their coronavirus content. The response and priorities change per country but the needs are almost exactly the same.

We also see that everyone is working to such tight deadlines that there isn’t time to share the needs. In many cases, organisations aren’t even creating needs – they are just publishing.

We’d like to collate as many user needs as possible and make them available to anyone who might have a use for them.

Why user needs

We’ve spoken before about why we use user needs.

Working with user needs helps to set out the boundaries of what content, products and services should, and should not, do.

Gerry McGovern and the World Health Organisation have worked with hundreds of professionals to collate top tasks. From speaking with Gerry and team, we’ve identified that user needs can align to and support those top tasks.

Gerry’s post on top tasks.

What we’re doing next

We’re going to work over the next few weeks to collate any existing user needs and create needs to fill gaps. They won’t be perfect. Anyone using them will need to take a look at the level of validation and any extra checks they should make. Our aim is for these to be a useful starting set of needs for teams building content, products and services.

We’d like some help

If you’ve:

  1. written user needs relating to coronavirus that you can share, please get in touch,
  2. used a different framework, like jobs to be done, and are happy to share, please let us know and we can look at translating into a user needs where possible,
  3. got some time spare and can write user needs or acceptance criteria, we will be creating needs for any gaps that we see.

So if you are able to share, create, do acceptance criteria, validate user needs… anything to help us, please get in touch. We’d love to have as many people as possible involved. Then we can open these needs up to anyone who might find them useful. We will send a Readability Guidelines book to any contributors!

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