Contextual Inquiry V1

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It is an one of the most important Usability activity in the analysis phase of UCD process.

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Contextual Inquiry V1

  1. 1. Welcome to a session on Contextual Inquiry Rajesh Jha [email_address]
  2. 2. Contextual Inquiry What is Contextual Inquiry ? Contextual Inquiry is a field data gathering technique for examining and understanding end users and their workplace, tasks, issues and preferences. Need for a Contextual Inquiry The best way to get to know users and their tasks is to spend time with them, in their own environments, watching them do the things that your Application/ Website or a Product is going to support or enable. This knowledge could be used to make more informed decisions in the Design Process.
  3. 3. In the context of User Centered Design Process <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Test & Refine </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate your current user </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about your user </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Task Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Develop personas </li></ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze </li></ul><ul><li>Write Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Set Usability goals </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Online Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Group </li></ul>Contextual Inquiry
  4. 4. In the context of User Centered Design Process Contextual Inquiry
  5. 5. In the context of User Centered Design Process Contextual Inquiry
  6. 6. When is Contextual Inquiry appropriate In the early stages of development When the environment in which users work really influences how they use the product When you want to know about work practices in unfamiliar domains (i.e. lawyers looking for cases in a digital library) CI is appropriate whenever you need to develop or communicate an understanding of the users of an existing or proposed system. Contextual Inquiry
  7. 7. When is Contextual Inquiry appropriate - Examples Operation Theatre Call Center Stock Exchange Trading ATM Machine Contextual Inquiry
  8. 8. Contextual Inquiry is NOT: An Interrogation A formal Interview A forum to tell users they are doing it “all wrong” and how to do it right A forum to tell users how to do their work or how technology could make it easier Contextual Inquiry
  9. 9. What do you learn from Contextual Inquiry ? <ul><li>Seeing the user's environment can be very useful. By going to the user, you see the user's environment and the actual technology the user works with. </li></ul><ul><li>You can answer questions like these: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the social environment like? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there people around to help the user? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the physical environment like? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the user on broadband or on a modem? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the user conducts a task? </li></ul><ul><li>Does being online tie up a phone line so the user wants to be on and off the Web quickly? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the values, issues and concerns of the users? </li></ul>Contextual Inquiry
  10. 10. Contextual Inquiry is difficult because Users may be shy, or even suspicious Users may not want you to see them make errors or other mistakes Users do things differently when people are observing them work You are not sure what to look for You collect an enormous amount of data Contextual Inquiry
  11. 11. Contextual Inquiry is useful because You learn about the users and their tasks You learn about the workflow You learn about the constraints on the design You gain design inspiration You establish a trusting relationship You inform the design of the system Contextual Inquiry
  12. 12. Few differentiators Contextual Inquiry is more of a discovery process than an evaluation process Key difference between Contextual Inquiry and Interview is that Contextual Inquiry focuses more on observing the task and less on discussing how it is done. Contextual Inquiry
  13. 13. How many people are needed? Two people should be involved in any site visits, if possible. It is not possible to capture all the available information, but using two people maximizes the data returned. At least two people should be involved in analyzing the data. Contextual Inquiry
  14. 14. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Contextual Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul>Contextual Inquiry
  15. 15. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Planning </li></ul>Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Identify appropriate users - Schedule your visits - Workplace & Legal issues Contextual Inquiry
  16. 16. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Planning </li></ul>- Schedule your visits - Workplace & Legal issues Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Identify appropriate users > To get the most out of contextual enquiry, you need to make sure you visit the right people > Avoid non-representative users > Identify major user groups > Try to visit at least 3 or 4 individuals within each major user group Contextual Inquiry
  17. 17. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Planning </li></ul>- Workplace & Legal issues Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Identify appropriate users - Schedule your visits > Site visits require intensive concentration and can be very tiring > Having two people also makes data analysis easier > Re-confirm appointments the day before each visit Contextual Inquiry
  18. 18. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Planning </li></ul>Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Identify appropriate users - Schedule your visits - Workplace & Legal issues > Get approval from the management > If you'll be listening in on telephone calls (for example, in a call centre) you will probably be legally obliged to let callers know that their calls are being monitored > If you are visiting minors, you will need to get permission from parents or guardians Contextual Inquiry
  19. 19. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Conduct Contextual Inquiry </li></ul>- Learn about the users and their tasks - Observe how user accomplishes tasks - Observe the physical environment - Observe the social environment Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Learn about the users values, issues and preferences - Note down your learning and observations - Send thank you letters to the users - Pay particular attention to interruptions to the flow of work Contextual Inquiry
  20. 20. Stages of Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Analysis </li></ul>- Enter your notes in an electronic format with the lowest possible granularity - Identify the tasks that were carried out - Make a list of things users explicitly requested, or that you noticed would have helped him - Consider using affinity diagramming to group all related activities Planning | Conduct Contextual Inquiry | Analysis - Avoid unsupported conclusions - Be prepared to contact users by phone to verify any observations which are doubtful - Attach the raw data – notes, pictures or artifacts, summaries you made of responses, etc. Contextual Inquiry
  21. 21. Guidelines for Conducting Contextual Inquiry <ul><li>Remember that the purpose of site visits is to learn from your users. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to minimize disruption. However, try not to accept a time-slot that will not enable you to see the work being done in a typical fashion. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid preconceptions about the users and their tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that you do not give negative signals to the users, either verbally or by your body language. </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t understand something, or if something happened too quickly, </li></ul><ul><li>you may ask the person we are visiting to repeat or explain. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions at appropriate times. For example, do not interrupt telephone </li></ul><ul><li>or other conversations, but keep questions until the end. </li></ul>Contextual Inquiry
  22. 22. <ul><li>Do not prompt users to carry out tasks differently, or in an order other than the one they use normally. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rely on users' recollection of how they carry out tasks. Instead, ask them to carry out the actual tasks while you are on site. </li></ul><ul><li>Be respectful of your users, their employers and colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible. It is common to arrive on site to find that users' expectations do not match your plan, no matter how much effort you may have put into communicating your requirements. Be prepared to make the most of available resources. </li></ul>Guidelines for Conducting Contextual Inquiry Contextual Inquiry
  23. 23. Site visit materials <ul><li>When carrying out site visits, you will need the following materials: </li></ul><ul><li>A list of representative users. Include both expert and novice users in your visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Logging sheets. Expect to make copious notes. You may consider audio- or video-recording; however the unpredictable nature of the activity often makes this difficult. </li></ul>Contextual Inquiry
  24. 24. References http://www.sitepoint.com/article/contextual-enquiry-primer http://www.infodesign.com.au/usabilityresources/analysis/contextualenquiry.asp http://jthom.best.vwh.net/usability/context.htm http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs147/project/02-contextual-inquiry.html http://www.designedforall.com/userexperienceservices/contextualenquiry/ http://www.steptwo.com.au/columntwo/archives/001529.html http://www.usability.gov/methods/contextual.html#whatis Contextual Inquiry
  25. 25. Contextual Inquiry Thank You

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