This interview research activity was an interesting way to gather data before the construction of the digital project. This research helped me to frame my thinking and made me think about who my primary audience is and who else may use this resource. The two audiences that I had initially identified were people that enjoyed learning about the history of National Parks and teachers/students engaging in American history during the 1930s.
Formulating the interview guide and questions was particularly helpful for me to figure out how I was going to articulate my digital project to someone else. I had to figure out in a few short statements how I would describe the project and why this project can be a resource for this person to use. Figuring out which questions I was going to ask during these interviews was an interesting process and helped me to understand which were the key aspects of the project that I had wanted to implement.
For the end user interviews, I reached out to two women that fit into the audience category of teachers/students engaging in American history during the 1930s. The two women I interviewed were both teachers that teach at the secondary level, located in Missouri and in their mid 20s. As both teachers are history teachers, historical maps are a part of their lesson plans and using a digital one is definitely an advantage. Both of these interviewees had taught American history and were interested in the possibilities of utilizing digital resources in their classroom. In both interviews the interviewee stated that using an interactive digital map was something they have used in their classroom before and enjoyed. One of the interviewees stated hat she had a smartboard in her classroom that she would demonstrate using the digital interactive map to the entire class while the other teacher suggested she might have the students use this resource as an individual activity as the students have their own laptops. Both indicated that a very user friendly and simple interface was very important. The interactive aspect of the map (being able to zoom in and find out more information) were the most appealing feature for a classroom setting. Both interviews went very well and were both excited at the possibility of using a resource such as this in their classroom and for free!
This interviewing process has given me some perspective on what exactly the audience I wish to reach with this digital project, would like to achieve with using this resource. Both interviewees indicated that a simple and user-friendly interface was extremely important. This was an aspect that I had intended to keep in mind, but after these interviews, I will make a priority going forward. The interactive features of this digital map was also an important feature that both interviewees locked onto. I will also be sure to include links out to additional source materials and resources as this would be an attractive feature for teachers as well as those interested in further research on this topic.
This interview research process has been a valuable source of information going forward with the creation of my digital project. I was able to directly hear from two people from my audience pool and hear what they would want out this resource and how they would use it. It also gave me a peek into which aspects of this resource would be most useful to this audience and I will make sure to focus on those aspects in making them as effective as possible.