I am designing a UI for a support applying system. Currently applications are made manually on paper and users are known to have very little knowledge on electronic services. Plan is to study the traditional paper application process. what kind of data is most relevant for this kind of study?
This sounds like a fairly straight-forward Request -> Approval/Decline workflow.
Whenever I've been asked to come up with a computer version of a manual process, the best approach I've found (which may not always possible) is to sit down on-site with someone who knows the manual process inside-out and let them take me through it.
I make notes on the process/workflow (how many steps, who's involved), ask questions and try to see which parts could be automated.
The important thing is that you establish a contact who knows the manual system well and whom you can call/email with any questions you may have, essentially you want to absorb as much of their domain-specific knowledge as possible.