Friday, February 9, 2007

Someone, Someplace, Something

I'll let you in on a little secret.

Someone, someplace and something is the basis of my business. Everything I do is predicated on these three simple words. If you've ever wondered why the tagline to PinPoint Performance Solutions is improving products, people and places, you now know that is derived from Bailey's Human Performance Model.

Bailey's Human Performance Model, developed by Robert W. Bailey, proposes that if you have all areas in balance or accounted for, you should end up with an effective product that is needed and valued by your end-users.

When we work with clients at PinPoint Performance Solutions and began the user-centered design process for a product, we start by defining the problem we are attempting to solve. That’s the center of the model. Next, we analyze the target audience (Someone). After analyzing the audience, we then moved on to the job or tasks (Something). Finally, we analyze the environment where the product will be used (Someplace).

Once you have the problem defined and in alignment with someone, something and someplace your end result is more likely to be an effective product.

You may have heard it before. You may have even said it yourself. Users of products, especially software and web-based applications, say they are hard to use. There are a number of reasons as to why this may be true.

  1. During product development too much emphasis is placed on the application and little is placed on the end-user (or the overall business objective for that matter).
  2. Technology changes at a rapid pace, but developers forget that people are people and human behavior and thinking fundamentally remains unchanged.
  3. Developers employ specialized teams to create products, but sometimes they are too specialized in one specific area and are unable to see the solution holistically.
Overall, the reason why some technology products may be difficult to use is the developer simply forgot to take the human performance model into account before they began the development process.

We live in an age where technology has improved the quality of life of countless numbers of people around the world - both personally and professionally. It just makes sense to keep the human performance model in mind when developing a technology product. After all, technology doesn't function without us. People still need operate it in order for it to accomplish the tasks we want help completing.

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