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An After-Action Review Method for Exploring Users’ Experiences of Product Use

Publicerad: 2007-09-21 ISBN: ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


After action review (AAR) is used in military, corporate and educational settings to retrospectively analyze performance in order to identify what worked well to be replicated in future initiatives and what errors occurred to be avoided. In this paper, we propose an AAR method specifically tailored to support design teams in understanding users’ experiences of product use. The generic method is illustrated through a case study in which participants discuss four stages of a product’s usage with regard to both success and failure. The major benefit of the method described here is that designers and users are given an opportunity to explicitly assess their respective views on how successful an experience was relative to goal achievement and meaning extraction. It is suggested that explicit communication in the form of a structured analysis of user experiences in context can be a foundation for understanding how products are used in ways that had not been prescribed in the design process.


After-action review; user experience; usability evaluation; product metrics


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