Developing a positive user experience for users should be the goal of every designer. However, before jumping into designing a solution for a user, one first has to define the problem.
Defining a user’s problem can be challenging. One issue for one user might not be the same as another user, and designing a one-sized solution will never satisfy everyone. Thankfully, a simple method exists to help define user problems.
Point of View Statements
Point of view statements or POV statements breaks down problems by identifying the right issue to tackle. The information includes three components, user, need, and critical insight. By following the following formula, designers can hone in and define the users’ problem.
Creating a POV statement is rather complex because designers first need to research.
I’ve analyzed video hosting websites and researched their user experience in the past month. I wanted to see if I could isolate these application issues for users. I visited Vimeo, YouTube, and TikTok’s app page on the Apple App Store to seek information that I could use to draft a POV statement for each application.
If you haven’t visited the comment section of the Apple Store before, lots of users post about their user experience with the application. Many also use comments to post tirades, complain, or post random messages. It’s like the wild west. Only everyone is primarily anonymous and keyboard warriors.
Vimeo has over eight thousand user ratings and holds an average rating of 4.4 on the Apple App Store. After looking through the comments posted on Vimeo’s application page, many people posted about similar experiences, including the expensive, difficult to navigate, and features that don’t interest many users. I also saw responses that indicated the application focuses on most content producers and leaves many wanting more functionality to view video content on Vimeo.
After viewing the comments, I attempted to craft a POV Statement that defines Vimeo’s problem for its application users.
On the other video hosting spectrum, I also visited YouTube’s comment page on the App Store. The application has over 24 million ratings and maintains a high 4.7 rating. The comments on YouTube ranged from simple positive messages to pure hatred. It appears some users currently wage war with YouTube and describe the company as a liberal plot to overthrow democracy as it attempts to moderate content on the platform. Many posted wild rants, including:
However, I did find a collection of responses that offer key insight into the application’s usability. Many seek simple fixes that improve their quality of life when using the app. Many users pointed to an outdated user interface, improved navigation, and new icons to streamline content.
Lastly, I visited the comment section for the Tik Tok application. However, here I did not see the wild rants of conservative voters but did notice many people post concerns about safety while using the app. A repeating pattern from users included feedback that the application and its algorithm promote and circulate hatred, violence, and disrespectful content. Overwhelmingly people post for help hoping to attract the attention of TikTok’s developers.
TikTok has since announced new community guidelines to address these issues of users.
After identifying the problem, we can now begin to generate and prototype solutions that might improve the user experience for our users.
My whole POV Statement exercise:
Disclaimer: While I’m active on Vimeo and TikTok, neither company provided any funding for the publication of this article.
For more information
The Interaction Design Foundation
The Leadership Program, NYC: POV Statements