PACT: a solid base for interaction design

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​PACT -all about to put people first

P in PACT stands for people and all design work need to begin with people!

People are using technology to do different activities in separate contexts. To design a website or an interactive system you need to find out:

Who are the ones that you are designing for?

What activities are they needing to get to perform?

In which context?

How can technology support them?

To answer these questions, you need to begin with a review of your target group, do interviews or surveys, depending on the size of the group. In one case I made a couple of interviews with Potter heads and also made some secondary research on websites and blogs about Harry Potter. Below I will provide an example of how a PACT for this group of people can be done.

An example with target group “Potter heads”

People:

The target group is Potter heads. People within the Potter Fandom. Their age is from 6 to 50 or more. Potter heads have no problem with reading or taking part of stories. They have a great passion for all things connected to Harry Potter.

Activities:

Potter heads read books about Harry Potter, they look at the movies and they also Love to discuss the stories. Another activity is to write Fan Fiction -new stories with the characters from Harry Potter involved. They wish also to share their stories and get feedback. Role-playing is another activity that some Potter heads enjoy doing.

Context:

Most of the activities are held indoors, at home, at the library or on the bus and so on. Sharing and discussing take place in public places or in homes. Role-playing can take place outdoors or indoors, depends on the story.

Technology:

Text content should be simple to read and share. It should be possible to create their Fan Fictions with other media than text, videos, images, animations, comics and so on. It should also be possible to carry around the stories and to easily find places for role-plays and people to meet. The users should also be able to find new stories to read and to write comments for them.

Summary

When you are done with PACT, you have a pretty good idea of the people you are designing for and what they are expecting from your site or system. Next step is the creation of personas and scenarios (I will write about that in my next post), then work with methods like flow-chart and mind-mapping. The purpose is to make a solid base for your website/app/system and to make a great User Experience. A great start is to determine who your users are, what they need to do, in what context and how they can do it.

In “Designing Interactive Systems” you can read more about PACT and other design methods. I use this book a lot, it gives great and concrete examples and tips for UX and Interaction design:

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4 Replies to “PACT: a solid base for interaction design”

  1. Comprehensive and helpful information! Thanks for putting this entire profound concept in a simple way. Easy to understand and apply to people’s careers. Cheers to more helpful and informative posts!

  2. Good Job. I like how you explained the concept of PACT through a harry potter example. I understand it a little bit better. I also read your page on how to design user experience and I really like how you used your pictures. They were very well placed. User experience would be a great idea for anyone to learn.

    1. Thank you for your comment, great to hear that my example makes sense, I worked with that in a project earlier this year. Without thinking about User Experience or users in common, we are not able to meet there needs, it’s as you say, great idea to learn at least a little about it.

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