Ever heard the term “Context is key”? This could not be more true in application development. Your users are getting shorter attention spans every time a new content channel is born. Just look at Twitter. They limit the number of characters for a reason and that is hugely responsible for their popularity. You can also look at Vine. It is a content channel born from the same mentality. The channel allows for videos up to 6 sec in length.
We can see so many statistics that push us to that same conclusion. Context is everything. Short, concise, and relevant content is the key to having a successful user experience. Users need to meet specific goals very quickly. You can jump them from goal to goal but they should be led in that way. That is what defines user context. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the general masses, its a valid rule.
Another very important item in developing the user experience is perspective. At one time this was called “Audience”. That term is a little outdated since audience is very general. The same user (in an audience group) can have multiple ways of looking at data. That is what defines user perspective.
Each of these user considerations should be thought about very early on during your discovery phase. You should always know where you want to be 1-2 steps beyond the current expectation of development. Knowing those considerations are integral into always being ahead of the game.
Perspective helps you identify not just who you are talking to but also what that user is expecting to see at different touch points within the application. Use case, content and environment all factor into perspective. Perspective is used to drive content and user experience directly. Context is used to supplement user experience. Context is used as a reference point for a piece of content to give meaning. You can use this in a multitude of ways to drive your points, engage your users and create actionable results.