Finding Time through User Research
DescriptionUser research is commonly thought of as a tool for improving the user's experience—a method for smoothing frictions and increasing engagement. However, user research can also be used to meet developers' goals. In this talk, we present a recent case from our study of a scientific cloud computing platform (CCP). We demonstrate how user research can address developers' concerns while supporting users as well. CCP developers expressed concern that platform users were behaving selfishly with available node hours. Through 15 semi-structured interviews and contextual inquiries, we observed the importance of time as a resource to system users. Surprisingly, given developers' concerns, we found that users demonstrated altruistic behaviors with respect to their node allotments. Our research yielded further insights about how publications and other deadlines influence use of CCP. To address CCP developers' goal of increasing node access, we proposed interventions to promote the observed altruistic behavior while also better supporting users trying to meet deadlines. This case study demontrates user research as a way to address known issues and not just as a tool for identifying new problems to fix.
TimeWednesday, June 2811:30 - 12:00 CEST
Applied Social Sciences and Humanities