“Spot-on match”: the Gap Analysis method proves effective in identifying the main design problems of complex platforms

The Gap Analysis method is based on the principles of Human-Information Interaction and aims to effectively identify the design problems of complex information systems. It approaches this problem from four different dimensions to measure the gap between the system or platform interface, the stakeholders that invest in its development, and its end-users. It has been first applied in [1] to analyze a complex CMS and successfully identified its problems. Now, it has also succeeded in treating a platform for coding and managing surveys with an average of 2,000 variables.

The model of Gap Analysis

To perform the gap analysis, two independent teams work in parallel; one focuses on understanding the relation of the users and stakeholders with the platform, and draws a user model representing it; another team maps the current interface and produces a conceptual model representing its current conceptual architecture. Both models are then compared to study the gap between them, and propose an efficient design solution to remedy the interface with its users within the stakeholders’ strategic perspective.

The success of this method in tacking complex systems and reconciling them with users makes it a cheap, easy, and effective approach to facilitate the evolution of complex designs facing the evolving user requirements.

 

[1] Moghnieh, A. Blat, J. Using conceptual models to improve the translation from requirements into design. CHI2009.