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===Executive Summary===
===[[Mental Models for GIMP]]===
MMG (Mental Models for GIMP) is a research project for the Open Source image manipulation software GIMP.
Description of the first mental model project in late 2011.
It aims at better understanding professionals and aficionados in this field, eliciting their context, tasks and philosophies.
===[[Mental Models for GIMP as a student project]]===
Research will be carried out following Metal Models, combining qualitative interviews with content analysis and a graphical format for reporting findings, as proposed by Indy Young, creater of this method.
Description of the second Mental Models project of summer 2012.
Results will provide guidance for interaction architecture and software development.
* Provide further information and understanding in the following areas:
** users ("who?")
** tasks ("what?", "how?")
** context ("where, when, why?")
* Facilitate empathy for users
** How do users tick?
** What are their motivators or pressures?
** What contributes to their satisfaction?
===Proposed Method===
* Mental Models by Indi Young
** qualitative method
** based on open interviews (no questionnaires)
* Further information on this method is available, see:
** The book (rosenfeld media) [http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/mental-models/ Mental Models]
** excerpts available for online reading [http://paperc.de/18382-mental-models-9781457102301#!/pages/1 via paperc] (German website, free account required, book in English)
** The author explaining the method in this [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4AsxNg9nNU Video]
** diagrams from the book on [http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/sets/72157603511616271/ flickr]
====Course of Actions====
# define audience segments based on [[GIMP UI Redesign#product vision|product vision]]
# set scope of the interviews
# recruit interview partners
# conduct interviews
#* at least 4 interviews per audience segment
#* focus: tasks, behaviours and philosophies of users
# transcribe interviews
# analyze results
#* distillation of tasks, behaviours and philosophies into patterns
#* create graphic of patterns in a mental model
#* oppose mental model vs. [[GIMP UI Redesign#functionality overview|existing functionality]]
# make use
#* gap analysis (planned and existing functionality vs. users' behavior, needs and tasks)
#* adjust user scenarios / audience segments
#* derive stragety for development
#* prioritize features (importance vs. feasability)
* The [[GIMP UI Redesign#product vision|product vision]] is used as a starting point to find the right partners (interviewees) for the mental models interviews.
* Finding the right interview partners is pivotal. Recruiting must be carefully prepared and carried out.
* Recruitment channels can be, but are not limited to the following:
** GIMP developer mailing list
** GIMP users mailing list
** blogs, forums, wikis on GIMP
** blogs, forums, wikis on high-level photo manipulation
====Ideas for Conducting the Method====
* Embed an intern during a Season of Usability on [http://www.openusability.org/ OpenUsability].
**Valuable help can be provided by the intern before, during and after research, e.g.
*** brainstorm ideas for optimal recruiting
*** recruit interview partners
*** conduct interviews / parallel transcription while interviewing
*** transcribe and analyze interviews
*** help build the visualization
* Inquire / brainstorm how the research process and it's results can be made transparent for developers / maintainers / the community.
* Mental Model Diagram
** one diagram per audience segment
** tasks organized in "Mental Spaces" of users
** justified audience segments based on tasks
** gap analysis
** [[GIMP UI Redesign#functionality overview|functionality overview]] will be confronted with users' perspective
* A primer describing the target audience of GIMP can be derived (e.g. 20-40 page pdf about users, tasks, context; for both new and seasoned developers or interaction / usability contributors)
===pros and cons===
*(+) pros
** fundamental research, broad focus, high-level
** detailed analysis of users and their tasks
** research is built on existing findings
** verification of user scenarios / audience segments
** based on tasks and behavior
** adaptable / scalable method
** supports strategic vision and long-term development
** revision and clarification of user scenarios
* (-) cons
** fundamental research, broad focus, high-level
** no immediate improvements
** complex method
** not all existing findings are considered

Latest revision as of 09:02, 16 October 2012

Mental Models for GIMP

Description of the first mental model project in late 2011.

Mental Models for GIMP as a student project

Description of the second Mental Models project of summer 2012.