They say any research is better than no research. The strict timeline of the project called for a rapid research process and for that I did a simple thing: I talked to the users.
We knew that the product has two types of users: site administrators and on-site operators. Speaking to them helped us identify who they are and why do they use our system.
1. FREQUENCY OF USE
Admins, more interested in cumulative health and performance of inverters, use it once or twice a day. On-site operators use it all through the day to keep track of incoming alerts.
2. PRIMARY TASKS
Admins generally are more focused on the trends in production and reporting features while operators are more likely to use the notifications and ticketing features.
3. BEHAVIORAL ATTRIBUTES
Operators show a goal-oriented behavior while using the system whereas administrators are browsers who look for anomalies in the functioning of the system.