Contextual Inquiry ProductCamp Seattle 2013

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Contextual Inquiry ProductCamp Seattle 2013

  1. 1. Contextual Inquiry Understand your users Dave Flotree dave.flotree@incontextdesign.com Karen Holtzblatt, CEO 978.823.0100 Hugh Beyer, CTO info@incontextdesign.com www.incontextdesign.com www.innovationincool.com Twitter: @incontextdesign
  2. 2. Contextual Inquiry Provides reliable, detailed knowledge of what people actually do and what they really care about
  3. 3. Contextual Inquiry A set of principles, not steps Context Partnership Interpretation Focus
  4. 4. The principle of Context What people say they do And what they actually do Are different
  5. 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 Ongoing work versus summary experience  People tend to give summaries  Ongoing work is never summarized Stay concrete, don’t abstract  Ongoing work. “Show me…”  Recent retrospective account . “When was the last time you…”  Look at artifacts
  6. 6. Don’t summarize, don’t abstract What do you do when you go grocery shopping?
  7. 7. The principle of Partnership People know everything about what they do… They just can’t tell you
  8. 8. What is Partnership? Partnership as relationship  The user is the expert  So follow their lead  Help the users articulate and see their work practice Withdrawal Avoid ineffective interview styles  The Traditional Interviewer  The Expert/Novice  The Guest/Host Return Apprenticeship 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. 9. The principle of Interpretation It’s not the facts that matter… It’s the interpretation of the facts
  10. 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 Fact Listen for the “No”  Huh?  Umm... could be tune the interpretation 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. 11. The principle of Focus “What you know, you know, what you don't know, you don't know. This is true wisdom.” - Confucius
  12. 12. What is Focus? Know your purpose entering focus what we make up  We all have an entering focus • A set of preconceived assumptions and beliefs  Drive interviews with your project focus • A clear understanding of what work you are trying to understand  Expand your focus • Challenge your assumptions, probe the unexpected what we see Probe to expand focus  Surprises and contradictions  “Nods” — What you assume is true  What you do not know  The problem behind solutions user’s world what we miss
  13. 13. Contextual Inquiry Context Partnership Interpretation Focus
  14. 14. How to get started It 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. 15. Define & Validate Concepts Requirements & Solutions Contextual Design – user-centered design process 1 Contextual Inquiry 2 Interpretation Session 3 Work Models & Affinity Diagramming 4 Visioning 5 Storyboards 6 Interaction Patterns & User Environment Design 7 Paper Prototype Interviews 8 Visual Design & Agile Stories Talk to your customers in the field Interpret the data as a team to capture key issues & activities Consolidate data across customers for a full market view Generate new products & the next product concepts steeped in data Work out the details of particular tasks and roles Define system structure, function, content, & user interaction Mock up the interface to validate direction and UI with customers Design and test the final look; Base stories on validated function
  16. 16.  We developed the industry-leading customer-centered design process  Our clients are industry leaders – including other design firms  Our experience spans a wide range of work practices, industries and technologies  We have a proven track record creating solutions for the people who use them “The only method I have seen that really tells you how to go out and collect customer data, and then what to do about it.” - Don Norman “The only generative method in the field.” - Ben Shneiderman

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