h1. Research Question
What pathways are taken and what prompts are needed in order to enable a user to identify, select and express a natural language sentence in structured natural language along with the required data sources?
h1. Why Now?
Now that the Data with Direction specification is complete, there is a the substantial task of understanding and developing an interface that will allow users to easily author rules in conformance with the data standard. Understanding the way users use this standard to achieve their goals is critical in achieving adoption.
h1. Strategic Significance
h3. Community Growth
This undertaking provides an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the open source design community. Design research is rarely considered within the open source design community. Publicly sharing this process, and soliciting contributions will help position the Xalgorithms Foundation as an important player in this arena.
h3. Manage Partner Expectation
Authoring rules is going to be challenging at first. By framing this as a process of growth, and explaining to partners that their efforts are crucial to research efforts will help reassure frustrations they may have.
h3. Deliver Utility
This process will better enable us to deliver effective software that can be immediately useful to a wide range of users.
h1. Paradoxical Poles
h3. We Need Rules. Now!
Waiting for the research to be complete is not possible. Rules are needed in order to test technical aspects of the system. At the same time, getting users to work through a challenging rule authoring process is going to be the only way to make it easier.
This is a healthy attitude to enter this process with. However it does present risks. Given the scope of the challenge and the criticality of the interface in adoption of the specification, iterative design alone cannot produce a result that cuts to the core of the challenge. As David Travis and Philip Hodgson write in Think Like a UX Researcher,
"An exploration phase is critical to innovation because you will never iterate towards a transformative solution."
This means that an attitude of detachment is required. We can't get attached to solutions because they are the first to be implemented.
h1. General Purpose
The data class specified in the Data with Direction paper is by nature general purpose. However, it is essentially impossible to conduct effective research on a target demographic of "everyone." This is ok. Many organizations have faced this challenge before. Fortunately we can begin this process by studying the needs of the organizations we are already engaged with. In addition it is important to begin studying users from divergent contexts—though this may involve fewer participants. Making use of rule templating can be of additional use, as these templates can be produced with/for specific contexts.
The results should become issues that can be created in the RM project