My next steps were to gain insights from other people.
One of my friends that was in the middle of a complex academic project said that they found noting down ideas ‘hard’ as ‘things end up in different documents – both paper and electronic’ often ‘don’t follow the same structure’ which causes them to ‘lose things’. They said that having a ‘templated structure’ to follow for note taking would make it much easier to order their thoughts, and being able to group content to form links between ideas would be helpful. This was interesting to me as this meant that my web application could be used by people undertaking lots of different types of writing projects, not just creative writers.
Another friend of mine that does write creatively said that they had tried using digital writing organisational tools before (notably Scrivener) and said that they found them to be ‘dated’ and ‘difficult to use’ due to ‘confusing UI design’. They did say that they would be interested in using a program to organise their work in the future as long as it was ‘well designed’ and ‘suited their needs’.
Following these casual conversations I wrote down what was said and started to pull out the common themes and words that people used such as:
- Linking content
- Grouping items
- Easy user interface
- Structuring content
These insights are really important to my project as they are all things that I had previously found with my proto-personas, self-observation and critical review of competitors. I will follow up these insights by writing some interview questions based on these responses. Conducting some semi-structured interviews will allow me to dig a lot deeper to find out exactly what features people require.