Coursera Design

Assignments for Coursera's "Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society" and a selection of assignments for General Assembly's "User Experience Design"

copyright © Alicia Fowler 2016



Assignment 2.2 - User needs (P)

This assignment is:

1. A refinement of the gap you are addressing. (It’s possible, even likely, that your understanding of the design problem will evolve based on these interviews.) Express this simply as a refinement of your one-sentence problem statement.
2. A list of at least 30 user needs. These needs should be arranged into a hierarchy with at least one level of abstraction. That is cluster your needs into groups, with a primary need describing the cluster in bold. Ensure that your needs adhere to the coding rules explained in the video.
3. A short paragraph describing your experience gathering user needs.
4. Identify one or more latent needs with an exclamation point (!)


My gap is: a service that helps users travel like a local while on vacation

Taking notes!

Taking notes!


Gathering the user needs was difficult as I wanted users to think about a product that sort of existed, but they could not play with. I asked users to plan their vacation using whatever method they wanted. I also think about products such as Yelp, Foursquare, and hardbound travel guides and tell me what they did or didn’t like about them. This exercise provided fruitful information about problems throughout the user experience of searching for places to visit while traveling. I also uncovered much about the psychology of traveling, including "fitting" in. 


  1. The service is easy to use
  2. The service integrates into other gadgets 
  3. The service translates reviews into users' local language
  4. The service uses best practice User Experience (UX) design
  5. The service helps me locate the places to visit 
  6. The service integrates GPS technology
  7. The service gives street addresses
  8. The service uses landmarks to provide reference points
  9. The service has a trip planner feature to make an itinerary
  10. The service integrates map and transportation features
  11. ! The service makes me sound like a local
  12. The service explains local idioms
  13. The service has a glossary of slang terms
  14. The service lists alternate, common, and nicknames names for places
  15. ! The service makes me look like a local
  16. The service shows me photos of how locals dress casually
  17. The service shows me photos of how locals dress fancy
  18. The service teaches me about cultural customs
  19. The service uses “reputable” information
  20. The service displays reviews written by locals
  21. The service cross-references sources’ reviews with their location
  22. The service ensures bots do not provide reviews
  23. The service requires members to review places every so often in order to view other reviews
  24. The service displays reviews written by local media outlets
  25. The service displays reviews written by non-local media outlets (such as New York Times)
  26. The service allows for open exchange between users
  27. ! The service has a community that helps people to get know others
  28. The service has a “friend” function
  29. The service has a “like” function
  30. The service has a “message” function
  31. The service has a "share" function
  32. The service can be accessed in multiple ways
  33. The service can be accessed online
  34. The service can be accessed in an app on a smartphone or tablet
  35. The service can integrate paper or handwritten notes (like the Evernote Smart Notebook)
  36. The service is fun to use
  37. The service allows for users to have “elite” in the community
  38. The service uses great graphics and user interface 
  39. The service recommends places to go based on preferences
  40. The service helps users plan a vacation
  41. The service has travel deals and coupons
  42. The service recommends dates and methods of transportation
  43. ! The service helps make decisions about which places to visit based on preferences
  44. The service has an ability to "save for later" certain places

Alicia FowlerComment