value centered design
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There are two basic purposes to our user research: identifying user needs, wants and desires and immersing the Tristream development team in the world of the user.

Identifying User Needs
Tristream employs several different ways of gathering user input, both formal and informal. Of highest value is the "contextual" interview where Tristream team members interview users in their actual workplace, or if an end consumer, in their home environment. The contextual interview reveals far more about how an internal user, or end consumer, actually works or uses an application, by showing Tristream's teams how they actually perform activities. This reveals shortcuts they employ, "cheat" sheets and other visual aids they need, other applications open and in use, dead ends reached, points of frustration, creative solutions and real needs. Also used by Tristream to gather and identify user needs are surveys, phone interviews, server log analysis, work and task flow analysis and modeling, group sessions with specific user groups and unstructured interviews.

Understanding the World of the User
User research should not be boiled down to statistics only. Tristream's teams develop a direct appreciation for the work environment of internal employees who need to get real work, real tasks done – day in and day out. Or, if consumers, the teams gain perspectives on the consumers attitudes and desires that can significantly affect the development of the optimal approach to design. Immersing ourselves in the world of the users is essential to successful development projects.