The effect map is the main tool in effect management method underlying all the design work I do. The Effect map is used as a foundation for identifying requirements. It centers around the idea that only the features contributing to an actual need from a user can be expected to give any return on investment. In this way guidance to what interactive system should contain.
Setting up an Effect Map is usually done in a workshop where all major stake holders are invited. In this workshop the participants are asked a few very specific questions. The answer to each question leads to the next.
Were business and user goals meet
- The first question is: “What are the business goals” The answer defines what larger good the interactive soulution should contribute to.
- The next question is: “Who will, by using the system, ensure that the business goals are fulfilled.” The answer determines which tartget groups the system should be designed for. The defined groups are prioritized.
- Then follows the key question: “What goals do these users have while using the software”. The defined usage goals are then also prioritized.
- The last question should not be asked before the usage goals are stated and prioritized: “What features would fulfill the users goals as well as the business goals” By prioritizing the stated features connected to each usage goal.
When all the questions are answered the result will be a well organized feature list sorted after importance and impact on the business. The most important function, fulfilling the goals of the primary target group should be developed before you go on the the next. In this way the Effect Map guides you through all stages of the design and development process. It also makes it much easier to manage bug reports and customer feedback after the system is released.