Understanding User Needs Workshop A digital futures event - 12th october 2023

The Understanding User Needs Workshop was held on the 12th October 2023 and was jointly ran by Digital Futures and the National Environment Research Council Digital Solutions Hub (NERC DSH). The workshop focused on how to engage external stakeholders in software development for digital products.

On the day, three researchers each presented a talk that specifically centred around engaging external stakeholders in relation to software or other digital products.

After an introductory talk by NERC on the Digital Solutions Programme user engagement workshops, Syed Mustafa Ali, Research Associate in Health Informatics at the University of Manchester, took to the stage. His talk focused on experience of engaging external stakeholders in the development of a new digital product or piece of software.

Mustafa was followed by Dr Suzanne Embury, Reader in Software Engineering at the UoM, who gave a presentation on Imago Software. Dr Embury is a co-founder and director of Imago Software, a UoM student software company.

Dr Nourhan Heysham, post-doc research associate at UoM and NERC DSH, round up the series of talks with a presentation titled 'User personas – building archetypes from disparate needs'.

Following this the workshop was put into breakout groups where attendees had the opportunity to discuss different engagement methodologies and approaches. After this, the groups reported back to the rest of the workshop, further expanding the discussion.

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