Contextual Inquiry InfoCamp Seattle 2012

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Introduction to Contextual Inquiry

Introduction to Contextual Inquiry

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  • 1. Intro to Contextual InquiryUnderstand your user Dave Flotree dave.flotree@incontextdesign.com Karen Holtzblatt, CEO 978.823.0100 www.incontextdesign.com Hugh Beyer, CTO info@incontextdesign.com www.innovationincool.com Twitter: @incontextdesign
  • 2. Contextual Inquiry Provides reliable, detailed knowledge of what people actually do and what they really care about
  • 3. Contextual Inquiry A set of principles, not steps Context Partnership Interpretation Focus
  • 4. The principle of Context What people say they do And what they actually do Are different
  • 5. What is Context?Get as close to the work as possible  Go to the customer  Interview while they are working  Be grounded in real objects and events  Pay attention to non-verbal communicationOngoing work versus summary experience  People tend to give summaries  Ongoing work is never summarizedStay concrete, don’t abstract  Ongoing work. “Show me…”  Recent retrospective account . “When was the last time you…”  Look at artifacts
  • 6. Don’t summarize, don’t abstract What do you do when you go grocery shopping?
  • 7. The principle of Partnership People know everything about what they do… They just can’t tell you
  • 8. What is Partnership?Partnership as relationship  The user is the expert  So follow their lead Withdrawal  Help the users articulate and see their work practiceAvoid ineffective interview styles  The Traditional Interviewer  The Expert/Novice Return  The Guest/HostApprenticeship is the preferred model  Listen, learn, be humble, don’t judge  And assume that people do things for a reason  Return to the ongoing work • It always keeps you in the apprenticeship model
  • 9. The principle of Interpretation It’s not the facts that matter… It’s the interpretation of the facts
  • 10. What is Interpretation?Interpretation is the data  A shared understanding of what is going on Customer  Offer interpretations • Don’t ask open-ended questions FactListen for the “No” tune the interpretation  Huh?  Umm... could be Hypothesis  “They” would like it  “Yes” comes with elaboration Implication  Watch for non-verbal clues  Check your design ideas as they occur Design Idea
  • 11. The principle of Focus “What you know, you know, what you dont know, you dont know. This is true wisdom.” - Confucius
  • 12. What is Focus?Know your purpose entering focus  We all have an entering focus what • A set of preconceived assumptions and beliefs we make  Drive interviews with your project focus up what we assume • Clear idea of what work you are trying to understand about the user’s  Expand your focus world what we see • Challenge your assumptions, probe the unexpectedProbe to expand focus  Surprises and contradictions  “Nods” — What you assume is true  What you do not know  The problem behind solutions what we miss user’s world
  • 13. Contextual Inquiry Context Partnership Interpretation Focus
  • 14. How to get startedIt doesn’t take many interviews  3-5 people who do the same activity can characterize markets of millions  Rule of thumb for numbers of interviewees • 4 for each work role; 3 in each significant context (e.g., skill level, tech savvy) • 3 organizations of each significant type (e.g., size, geography)Make the data you bring back actionable  Use a process like an interpretation session with other people  Create session notes (virtual Post-Its) and diagrams you can use to…Build an affinity diagram and other work models as appropriate  Reveals underlying pattern: intent, strategy, structure, and scope  Shows what matters to the entire population, keeping variations that matter  Eliminates focusing on individual users  Provides real data for design thinking, personas, scenarios, user stories
  • 15. Sign up for the webinar:Adopting Agile: Successful UX in an Agile WorldNovember 27thwww.incontextdesign.comThanks! Dave Flotree dave.flotree@incontextdesign.com