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User Research in the Wild
Jim Ross
Senior UX Architect, Infragistics
jross@infragistics.com
@anotheruxguy
User Research in...
User Research in the Wild
Jim Ross
Senior UX Architect, Infragistics
jross@infragistics.com
@anotheruxguy
z
z
What's the key to designing
an excellent user experience?
June 11, 2015 3
User Research in the Wild
Jim Ross
Senior UX Architect, Infragistics
jross@infragistics.com
@anotheruxguy
Understanding th...
z
z
But how do you get that understanding
of people and their needs?
June 11, 2015 5
Stakeholder interviews and workshops
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 6
Flickr: Jim Larrison
Interviews with subject-matter experts or user representatives
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 7
...
User interviews
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 8
Flickr: Nicholas Wang
Focus groups
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 9
Flickr: Sebastiaan ter Burg
Surveys
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 10
Usability testing
Traditional Methods of Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 11
Flickr: K2_UX
But what do these methods lack?
• Most of them focus on what people say, rather than what they do.
• They occur out of con...
z
z
/ / /
So how do you get that understanding
of people and their needs?
Go out into the field to observe people in their...
Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 14Flickr: Medill DC
Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 15Flickr: Intel Free Press
Understanding Users
June 11, 2015 16Flickr: State Farm
Field studies
• Observation and interview methods
• Solving common problems
• Overcoming objections to field studies
What ...
z
z
/ / /
Field Studies
What are Field Studies?
June 11, 2015 18
Going out “into the field” to observe and interview people in their natural context…
What are Field Studies?
June 11, 2015...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Users
• Tasks
• Tools and technology
• Environment
What are Field Studies?
Ju...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Users
• Characteristics
• Knowledge
• Expectations
• Experience
• Technical s...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Tasks
• Tasks, sub-tasks, and individual steps
• Frequency of tasks
• Workflo...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Tools and technology
• Technology
• Physical tools
• Documents, paperwork, ma...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Environment – physical and social
• Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobi...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Environment – physical and social
• Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobi...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Environment – physical and social
• Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobi...
To observe firsthand their context of use:
• Environment – physical and social
• Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobi...
z
z
/ / /
Field Studies
Advantages of Field Studies
June 11, 2015 28
You see firsthand what people really do, instead of what they say they do.
Advantages of Field Studies
June 11, 2015 29
Fl...
It’s easier for people to show you what they do, than to discuss it in the abstract.
Advantages of Field Studies
June 11, ...
Allows you to see all the other things involved in tasks, outside of a user interface.
Advantages of Field Studies
June 11...
Participants feel more comfortable in their own environment and act more naturally.
Advantages of Field Studies
June 11, 2...
z
z
Field Study Methods
June 11, 2015 33
Field studies include
• Interviews
• Observation
• Contextual inquiry
Field Study Methods
Interviews Contextual inquiry Ob...
Observation
Field Study Methods
June 11, 2015 35Flickr: COD Newsroom
Interviews
Field Study Methods
June 11, 2015 36Flickr: Dave Fayram
Contextual Inquiry
Field Study Methods
June 11, 2015 37Flickr: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences - OCCS
You can combine these methods.
Field Study Methods
June 11, 2015 38
Flickr: Highways England
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How to Perform a Field Study
June 11, 2015 39
Steps in the Process
• Planning
• Conducting the Study
• Analyzing the Data
• Creating Deliverables
How to Perform a Field...
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/ / /
How to Perform a Field Study
Planning
June 11, 2015 41
Conduct user research at the beginning or before a project begins.
Planning
June 11, 2015 42
Plan what you want to learn from the research.
• Why are you conducting the research?
• What is the goal?
• What do you wa...
Review any existing information about the users and their domain.
Planning
June 11, 2015 44
Flickr: Terry FreedmanFlickr: ...
Choose the techniques you’ll use to gather that information.
Planning
June 11, 2015 45
Interviews Contextual Inquiry Obser...
Determine how many participants to include by considering:
• The number of user groups
• The number of tasks you need to o...
Determine how many participants to include by considering:
• The limitations of time, budget, and travel
Planning
June 11,...
Recruit and schedule Participants.
Planning
June 11, 2015 48
Create a discussion guide.
Planning
June 11, 2015 49
Create a discussion guide.
• Introduction
• Questions
• Tasks to observe
Planning
June 11, 2015 50
Create a discussion guide.
• Keep it as a loose guide.
Planning
June 11, 2015 51
Plan how you will capture the data.
• Handwritten notes
Planning
June 11, 2015 52
Flickr: Geek Calendar
Plan how you will capture the data.
• Typing notes in a laptop or tablet
Planning
June 11, 2015 53
Flickr: ilouque
Plan how you will capture the data
• Recording video
Planning
June 11, 2015 54
Flickr: Gunnar Bothner-By
Plan how you will capture the data
• Recording video
Planning
June 11, 2015 55
Plan how you will capture the data
• Recording audio
Planning
June 11, 2015 56
Plan how you will capture the data
• Livescribe Smartpen
Planning
June 11, 2015 57
Decide whether you will allow additional observers.
• Two is the ideal number of people to conduct field studies.
Planning...
If you have additional observers, give them rules:
• You’re the leader
• Refrain from talking, making noises, or sending s...
Prepare the participants for your visit.
• Individual session
• Not an interview
• Observing tasks
• In your usual locatio...
z
z
/ / /
How to Perform a Field Study
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 61
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 62Flickr: Terry Whalebone
General format
• Greeting
• Introduction
• Initial interview
• Observing tasks
• Follow-up questions
Contextual Inquiry
Ju...
Greeting
• Make the participant comfortable
• Be informal
• Establish a good rapport
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 64
Greeting
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 65
Greeting
Get people to open up and talk to you (Oprah):
• Make the participant comfortable
• Establish trust and rapport
•...
Greeting
Be neutral (Freud):
• Avoid biasing or leading the participants.
• Get the participant talking.
• Listen.
• Don’t...
Introduction
• Purpose of the research
• Your philosophy – you represent the user
• Explain what you’ll be doing
• Get per...
Initial interview
• Background information
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 69
Initial interview
• Background information
• Their experience and involvement in the subject
you’re researching
• What kin...
Initial interview
• Background information
• Their experience and involvement in the subject
you’re researching
• Discuss ...
Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry…
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 72
Flickr: J J
Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry
Conducting the Study
June 11, 2015 73Flickr: Rhys A.
Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry
• Requires the participant to change their mindset from:
Contextual In...
Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry
• Make it clear that you’re going to do something
very different.
Cont...
Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry
• Tell the participant:
• Actually perform the task.
• Go through the ...
At the start of each task
• Find out what led up to this point.
• What steps came before?
• Who else was involved?
• How d...
The participant performs the task.
• Goes through each step in the task
• Describes what he/she is doing
Contextual Inquir...
Flickr: Southern Arkansas University
Ask probing questions as needed.
• “Why?”
• “Tell me more about that.”
• “What happen...
During the tasks, pay attention to:
• Actions and explanations
• Tools and technology used
• Information, paperwork, docum...
Facilitating a contextual inquiry can be very difficult.
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 81Flickr: Sasquatch I
Facilitating a contextual inquiry can be very difficult.
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 82
Flickr: Sasquatch I
Facilitating the session involves:
• Observing
• Listening
Contextual Inquiry
June 11, 2015 83Flickr: You Belong In Longmo...
Facilitating the session involves:
• Assessing whether you understand
• Asking questions
• Should I ask a question about t...
Facilitating the session involves:
• Assessing the answer
• Did I understand the answer?
• How should I rephrase it?
Conte...
Facilitating the session involves:
• Ensuring the participant keeps showing and
explaining the task
Contextual Inquiry
Jun...
Facilitating the session involves:
• Assessing how well the session is going
• Are you getting the information you need?
•...
Facilitating the session involves:
• Keeping track of the time
• How much time is left in the session?
• Is this task taki...
How can you handle the competing demands of facilitation?
• Include repetition in participants and tasks
• Don’t take note...
Follow-Up Questions
After each task and at the end of the session
• What happens next?
• Who performs the next step?
• Rec...
Closing
• Thank the participant
• Take photos of the environment,
tools, documents, technology, etc.
Contextual Inquiry
Ju...
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/ / /
How to Perform a Field Study
Analyzing the Data
June 11, 2015 92
Type up your notes between sessions.
• Helps you assess what you’ve learned so far
• Avoids too much to type up at the end...
Analysis methods: spreadsheet
Analyzing the Data
June 11, 2015 94
Analysis methods: affinity diagram
Analyzing the Data
June 11, 2015 95
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/ / /
Yeah, But What If…?
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 96
The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 97
Flickr: World Bank Ph...
The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 98
Flickr: yooperann
The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted
Solutions
• Interview before
• Observe the tasks without interruptio...
People want to do the session in a conference room.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 100
Flickr: Chris Miuccio
People want to do the session in a conference room
Solutions
• Explain the importance of observing tasks in their usual co...
Participants try to change it to a group session.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 102
Flickr: Pat Kight
Participants try to change it to a group session
Solutions
• Emphasize ahead of time that these are individual sessions.
•...
Participants try to change it to a group session
Solutions
• Be flexible to adapt when it does make
sense to include a sec...
The participant keeps slipping into interview mode.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 105
Flickr: You Belong In L...
The participant keeps slipping into interview mode.
Solutions
• Make a dramatic transition from the interview to the obser...
It becomes a complaint session.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 107
Flickr: Penumbra
It becomes a complaint session.
Solutions
• Clarify that you’re there to observe and understand their tasks.
• Ask them to...
The participant can’t show you a task.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 109Flickr: Penumbra
The participant can’t show you a task.
Solutions - ask the participant to:
• Meet when the participant normally performs t...
The subject matter is very complicated and unfamiliar.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 111Flickr: Faculty of Me...
The subject matter is very complicated and unfamiliar.
Solutions
• Learn as much as you can before you conduct your sessio...
The participant talks above your level of understanding.
Solutions to Common Problems
June 11, 2015 113Flickr: NASA HQ Pho...
The participant talks above your level of understanding.
Solutions
• Remind them that they’re the expert and you’re the ap...
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Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 115
“It takes too long. We don’t have the time.”
Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 116
Flickr: TaxRebate.org.uk
“It costs too much. We can’t afford it.”
• Time for the researcher and designer
• Recruiting
• In...
“We can’t travel to the participants.”
Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 118Flickr: Brian Fagan
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Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 119
Ensure that projects are scoped with user research as an activity.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 12...
Perform user research outside of projects.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 121
Sy, Desiree. "Adapting...
Start with a small study to show the value of user research.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 122
Find participants in your local area to limit travel.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 11, 2015 123
Divide the research between several people in different locations, each conducting the
research with local participants.
O...
Limit the number of participants by focusing only on the primary user group.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June 1...
Narrow the scope of your research and shorten the sessions.
• Fewer questions you want to answer
• Fewer tasks to observe
...
Shorten the analysis and deliverables
• Don’t type up your notes
• Produce only high-level, informal deliverables
Overcomi...
Conduct remote contextual inquiries to reach people that you can’t travel to.
Overcoming Objections to User Research
June ...
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/ / /
The key to designing
an excellent user experience
Understanding the users and their needs
June 11, 2015 129
June 11, 2015 130Flickr: Fly For Fun
Flickr: U.S. Army RDECOM
Flickr: Leonardo RizziFlickr: Va DOT
Flickr: wistechcolleges
June 11, 2015 131
Thank You
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Resources for More Information
June 11, 2015 132
Recruiting participants
• Recruiting Better Research Participants: Jim Ross
• Recruiting User Research Participants by Ema...
Interviewing
• Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights: Steve Portigal
• Interviewing Humans: Erika Hall
Re...
Contextual inquiry
• Contextual Design: Hugh Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt
• Rapid Contextual Design: Karen Holtzblatt, Jessamyn...
Recording user research data
• Capturing User Research: Jim Ross
Handling observers in user research sessions
• Observing ...
Getting buy-in to conduct user research
• It’s Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-In for User Experience Research Proje...
June 11, 2015 138
Thank You
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User Research in the Wild

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A how-to guide to conducting user research field studies to understand users and their needs. Presented at UXify Bulgaria in 2015.

Published in: Design

User Research in the Wild

  1. 1. User Research in the Wild Jim Ross Senior UX Architect, Infragistics jross@infragistics.com @anotheruxguy User Research in the Wild Flickr: Katy Nicolson
  2. 2. User Research in the Wild Jim Ross Senior UX Architect, Infragistics jross@infragistics.com @anotheruxguy
  3. 3. z z What's the key to designing an excellent user experience? June 11, 2015 3
  4. 4. User Research in the Wild Jim Ross Senior UX Architect, Infragistics jross@infragistics.com @anotheruxguy Understanding the users and their needs Flickr: Highways England
  5. 5. z z But how do you get that understanding of people and their needs? June 11, 2015 5
  6. 6. Stakeholder interviews and workshops Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 6 Flickr: Jim Larrison
  7. 7. Interviews with subject-matter experts or user representatives Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 7 Flickr: National Assembly for Wales
  8. 8. User interviews Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 8 Flickr: Nicholas Wang
  9. 9. Focus groups Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 9 Flickr: Sebastiaan ter Burg
  10. 10. Surveys Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 10
  11. 11. Usability testing Traditional Methods of Understanding Users June 11, 2015 11 Flickr: K2_UX
  12. 12. But what do these methods lack? • Most of them focus on what people say, rather than what they do. • They occur out of context. Understanding Users and Their Needs June 11, 2015 12
  13. 13. z z / / / So how do you get that understanding of people and their needs? Go out into the field to observe people in their natural context. June 11, 2015 13
  14. 14. Understanding Users June 11, 2015 14Flickr: Medill DC
  15. 15. Understanding Users June 11, 2015 15Flickr: Intel Free Press
  16. 16. Understanding Users June 11, 2015 16Flickr: State Farm
  17. 17. Field studies • Observation and interview methods • Solving common problems • Overcoming objections to field studies What We’ll Discuss June 11, 2015 17
  18. 18. z z / / / Field Studies What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 18
  19. 19. Going out “into the field” to observe and interview people in their natural context… What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 19 Flickr: West Midlands Police
  20. 20. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Users • Tasks • Tools and technology • Environment What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 20
  21. 21. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Users • Characteristics • Knowledge • Expectations • Experience • Technical skills • Needs What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 21 Flickr: UC Davis College of Engineering
  22. 22. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Tasks • Tasks, sub-tasks, and individual steps • Frequency of tasks • Workflow across people • Goals What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 22 Flickr: Anne-Sophie Leens
  23. 23. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Tools and technology • Technology • Physical tools • Documents, paperwork, manuals, etc. • Other software and applications What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 23 Flickr: Corey Seeman
  24. 24. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Environment – physical and social • Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobile What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 24 Flickr: Jason Devaun
  25. 25. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Environment – physical and social • Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobile • Activity: sitting, standing, lying, walking, etc. What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 25 Flickr: Kun-chia Wu
  26. 26. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Environment – physical and social • Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobile • Activity: sitting, standing, lying, walking, etc. • Environmental conditions: lighting, noise, etc. What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 26 Flickr: MoDOT Photos
  27. 27. To observe firsthand their context of use: • Environment – physical and social • Location: office, cubicle, outdoors, mobile • Activity: sitting, standing, lying, walking, etc. • Environmental conditions: lighting, noise, etc. • Interaction with other people What are Field Studies? June 11, 2015 27 Flickr: Highways England
  28. 28. z z / / / Field Studies Advantages of Field Studies June 11, 2015 28
  29. 29. You see firsthand what people really do, instead of what they say they do. Advantages of Field Studies June 11, 2015 29 Flickr: essers
  30. 30. It’s easier for people to show you what they do, than to discuss it in the abstract. Advantages of Field Studies June 11, 2015 30 Flickr: MoDot Photos
  31. 31. Allows you to see all the other things involved in tasks, outside of a user interface. Advantages of Field Studies June 11, 2015 31Flickr: pltauk
  32. 32. Participants feel more comfortable in their own environment and act more naturally. Advantages of Field Studies June 11, 2015 32 Flickr: Sylvain Kalache
  33. 33. z z Field Study Methods June 11, 2015 33
  34. 34. Field studies include • Interviews • Observation • Contextual inquiry Field Study Methods Interviews Contextual inquiry Observation June 11, 2015 34
  35. 35. Observation Field Study Methods June 11, 2015 35Flickr: COD Newsroom
  36. 36. Interviews Field Study Methods June 11, 2015 36Flickr: Dave Fayram
  37. 37. Contextual Inquiry Field Study Methods June 11, 2015 37Flickr: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences - OCCS
  38. 38. You can combine these methods. Field Study Methods June 11, 2015 38 Flickr: Highways England
  39. 39. z z How to Perform a Field Study June 11, 2015 39
  40. 40. Steps in the Process • Planning • Conducting the Study • Analyzing the Data • Creating Deliverables How to Perform a Field Study June 11, 2015 40
  41. 41. z z / / / How to Perform a Field Study Planning June 11, 2015 41
  42. 42. Conduct user research at the beginning or before a project begins. Planning June 11, 2015 42
  43. 43. Plan what you want to learn from the research. • Why are you conducting the research? • What is the goal? • What do you want to learn? Planning June 11, 2015 43
  44. 44. Review any existing information about the users and their domain. Planning June 11, 2015 44 Flickr: Terry FreedmanFlickr: Jim Larrison
  45. 45. Choose the techniques you’ll use to gather that information. Planning June 11, 2015 45 Interviews Contextual Inquiry Observation
  46. 46. Determine how many participants to include by considering: • The number of user groups • The number of tasks you need to observe • The need for repetition Planning June 11, 2015 46 5 5 5 5
  47. 47. Determine how many participants to include by considering: • The limitations of time, budget, and travel Planning June 11, 2015 47 Flickr: 401(K) 2013
  48. 48. Recruit and schedule Participants. Planning June 11, 2015 48
  49. 49. Create a discussion guide. Planning June 11, 2015 49
  50. 50. Create a discussion guide. • Introduction • Questions • Tasks to observe Planning June 11, 2015 50
  51. 51. Create a discussion guide. • Keep it as a loose guide. Planning June 11, 2015 51
  52. 52. Plan how you will capture the data. • Handwritten notes Planning June 11, 2015 52 Flickr: Geek Calendar
  53. 53. Plan how you will capture the data. • Typing notes in a laptop or tablet Planning June 11, 2015 53 Flickr: ilouque
  54. 54. Plan how you will capture the data • Recording video Planning June 11, 2015 54 Flickr: Gunnar Bothner-By
  55. 55. Plan how you will capture the data • Recording video Planning June 11, 2015 55
  56. 56. Plan how you will capture the data • Recording audio Planning June 11, 2015 56
  57. 57. Plan how you will capture the data • Livescribe Smartpen Planning June 11, 2015 57
  58. 58. Decide whether you will allow additional observers. • Two is the ideal number of people to conduct field studies. Planning June 11, 2015 58
  59. 59. If you have additional observers, give them rules: • You’re the leader • Refrain from talking, making noises, or sending signals with body language • Where to sit • When to ask questions • How to ask neutral, non-leading questions Planning June 11, 2015 59
  60. 60. Prepare the participants for your visit. • Individual session • Not an interview • Observing tasks • In your usual location • Save work to show during the session Planning June 11, 2015 60
  61. 61. z z / / / How to Perform a Field Study Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 61
  62. 62. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 62Flickr: Terry Whalebone
  63. 63. General format • Greeting • Introduction • Initial interview • Observing tasks • Follow-up questions Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 63
  64. 64. Greeting • Make the participant comfortable • Be informal • Establish a good rapport Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 64
  65. 65. Greeting Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 65
  66. 66. Greeting Get people to open up and talk to you (Oprah): • Make the participant comfortable • Establish trust and rapport • Listen and let the participant talk most of the time • Be curious • Be interested Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 66
  67. 67. Greeting Be neutral (Freud): • Avoid biasing or leading the participants. • Get the participant talking. • Listen. • Don’t judge. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 67
  68. 68. Introduction • Purpose of the research • Your philosophy – you represent the user • Explain what you’ll be doing • Get permission to record Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 68
  69. 69. Initial interview • Background information Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 69
  70. 70. Initial interview • Background information • Their experience and involvement in the subject you’re researching • What kind of car are you interested in? • Where are you at in the car buying process? • What kind of research have you done? • How do you determine what type of car you’ll buy? Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 70
  71. 71. Initial interview • Background information • Their experience and involvement in the subject you’re researching • Discuss their tasks Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 71
  72. 72. Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry… Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 72 Flickr: J J
  73. 73. Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry Conducting the Study June 11, 2015 73Flickr: Rhys A.
  74. 74. Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry • Requires the participant to change their mindset from: Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 74 Interview Passive, answering questions Task Demonstration Actively teaching
  75. 75. Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry • Make it clear that you’re going to do something very different. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 75
  76. 76. Transition from the interview to contextual inquiry • Tell the participant: • Actually perform the task. • Go through the entire task, step-by-step. • Tell me what you’re doing. • You’re the master, and I’m the apprentice. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 76 Flickr: Esther Dyson
  77. 77. At the start of each task • Find out what led up to this point. • What steps came before? • Who else was involved? • How does the task get to them? Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 77 Flickr: Fabrizio Salvetti
  78. 78. The participant performs the task. • Goes through each step in the task • Describes what he/she is doing Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 78 Flickr: Southern Arkansas University
  79. 79. Flickr: Southern Arkansas University Ask probing questions as needed. • “Why?” • “Tell me more about that.” • “What happens next?” • “Can you show me how that works?” Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 79Hall, Erika. "Interviewing Humans." A List Apart The Full. N.p., 10 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 May 2015. Flickr: Southern Arkansas University
  80. 80. During the tasks, pay attention to: • Actions and explanations • Tools and technology used • Information, paperwork, documents • People they interact with • The environment Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 80 Flickr: For Inspiration Only
  81. 81. Facilitating a contextual inquiry can be very difficult. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 81Flickr: Sasquatch I
  82. 82. Facilitating a contextual inquiry can be very difficult. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 82 Flickr: Sasquatch I
  83. 83. Facilitating the session involves: • Observing • Listening Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 83Flickr: You Belong In Longmont
  84. 84. Facilitating the session involves: • Assessing whether you understand • Asking questions • Should I ask a question about this? • How should I phrase it to avoid bias? • When should I ask the question? • Noting questions to ask later Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 84 Flickr: Ethan Lofton
  85. 85. Facilitating the session involves: • Assessing the answer • Did I understand the answer? • How should I rephrase it? Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 85 Flickr: Ethan Lofton
  86. 86. Facilitating the session involves: • Ensuring the participant keeps showing and explaining the task Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 86 Flickr: Ethan Lofton
  87. 87. Facilitating the session involves: • Assessing how well the session is going • Are you getting the information you need? • Is this really the task you want to see? • Is the participant staying on track? • Do you need to lead the participant in another direction? • Are there other tasks that you want to see next? Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 87 Flickr: Anders Sandberg
  88. 88. Facilitating the session involves: • Keeping track of the time • How much time is left in the session? • Is this task taking too long? • Will we still have time to see the other tasks? • Maintaining a positive rapport with the participant • Taking notes Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 88Flickr: AaltoFablab
  89. 89. How can you handle the competing demands of facilitation? • Include repetition in participants and tasks • Don’t take notes during the session • Review recordings and take notes from those • Delegate tasks to observers • Learn and improve with experience Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 89
  90. 90. Follow-Up Questions After each task and at the end of the session • What happens next? • Who performs the next step? • Reconfirm your understanding • Ask any remaining questions Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 90 Flickr: You Belong In Longmont
  91. 91. Closing • Thank the participant • Take photos of the environment, tools, documents, technology, etc. Contextual Inquiry June 11, 2015 91 Flickr: rallenhill Flickr: Mike Beltzner
  92. 92. z z / / / How to Perform a Field Study Analyzing the Data June 11, 2015 92
  93. 93. Type up your notes between sessions. • Helps you assess what you’ve learned so far • Avoids too much to type up at the end Analyzing the Data June 11, 2015 93 Flickr: Rachel Johnson
  94. 94. Analysis methods: spreadsheet Analyzing the Data June 11, 2015 94
  95. 95. Analysis methods: affinity diagram Analyzing the Data June 11, 2015 95
  96. 96. z z / / / Yeah, But What If…? Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 96
  97. 97. The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 97 Flickr: World Bank Photo Collection
  98. 98. The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 98 Flickr: yooperann
  99. 99. The participants have tasks that can’t be interrupted Solutions • Interview before • Observe the tasks without interruption • Interview after Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 99Flickr: Andy G
  100. 100. People want to do the session in a conference room. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 100 Flickr: Chris Miuccio
  101. 101. People want to do the session in a conference room Solutions • Explain the importance of observing tasks in their usual context. • If that doesn’t work, cancel the session. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 101
  102. 102. Participants try to change it to a group session. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 102 Flickr: Pat Kight
  103. 103. Participants try to change it to a group session Solutions • Emphasize ahead of time that these are individual sessions. • Offer to schedule the additional people for their own sessions. • Be flexible to adapt when it does make sense to include a second participant. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 103
  104. 104. Participants try to change it to a group session Solutions • Be flexible to adapt when it does make sense to include a second participant. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 104 Flickr: IAEA Imagebank
  105. 105. The participant keeps slipping into interview mode. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 105 Flickr: You Belong In Longmont
  106. 106. The participant keeps slipping into interview mode. Solutions • Make a dramatic transition from the interview to the observation of tasks. • Keep reminding that this is not an interview, you want to observe tasks in detail. • Instead of asking, “How do you…?” Say, “Show me how you….” Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 106
  107. 107. It becomes a complaint session. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 107 Flickr: Penumbra
  108. 108. It becomes a complaint session. Solutions • Clarify that you’re there to observe and understand their tasks. • Ask them to save their list of problems or improvements for the end of the session. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 108
  109. 109. The participant can’t show you a task. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 109Flickr: Penumbra
  110. 110. The participant can’t show you a task. Solutions - ask the participant to: • Meet when the participant normally performs that task • Save work to show you during the session • Walk you through what they normally do, as best they can Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 110
  111. 111. The subject matter is very complicated and unfamiliar. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 111Flickr: Faculty of Medicine NTNU
  112. 112. The subject matter is very complicated and unfamiliar. Solutions • Learn as much as you can before you conduct your sessions. • Interview stakeholders first, to get an overview. • Observe multiple participants performing the same tasks. • Review the recordings. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 112
  113. 113. The participant talks above your level of understanding. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 113Flickr: NASA HQ Photo
  114. 114. The participant talks above your level of understanding. Solutions • Remind them that they’re the expert and you’re the apprentice. • Ask dumb questions to remind them how much you don’t know. Solutions to Common Problems June 11, 2015 114
  115. 115. z z Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 115
  116. 116. “It takes too long. We don’t have the time.” Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 116
  117. 117. Flickr: TaxRebate.org.uk “It costs too much. We can’t afford it.” • Time for the researcher and designer • Recruiting • Incentives • Travel Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 117
  118. 118. “We can’t travel to the participants.” Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 118Flickr: Brian Fagan
  119. 119. z z Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 119
  120. 120. Ensure that projects are scoped with user research as an activity. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 120 Rosenfeld Media: Leah Buley
  121. 121. Perform user research outside of projects. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 121 Sy, Desiree. "Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-centered Design." Journal of Usability Studies 2.3 (2007): n. pag. UPA. UPA, May 2007. Web. 6 June 2014.
  122. 122. Start with a small study to show the value of user research. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 122
  123. 123. Find participants in your local area to limit travel. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 123
  124. 124. Divide the research between several people in different locations, each conducting the research with local participants. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 124
  125. 125. Limit the number of participants by focusing only on the primary user group. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 125 Doctors Nurses Hospital Administrators Technicians
  126. 126. Narrow the scope of your research and shorten the sessions. • Fewer questions you want to answer • Fewer tasks to observe Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 126 Flickr: Juhan Sonin
  127. 127. Shorten the analysis and deliverables • Don’t type up your notes • Produce only high-level, informal deliverables Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 127 Flickr: chicgeekuk
  128. 128. Conduct remote contextual inquiries to reach people that you can’t travel to. Overcoming Objections to User Research June 11, 2015 128Flickr: HeatherLWilliams
  129. 129. z z / / / The key to designing an excellent user experience Understanding the users and their needs June 11, 2015 129
  130. 130. June 11, 2015 130Flickr: Fly For Fun Flickr: U.S. Army RDECOM Flickr: Leonardo RizziFlickr: Va DOT Flickr: wistechcolleges
  131. 131. June 11, 2015 131 Thank You
  132. 132. z z Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 132
  133. 133. Recruiting participants • Recruiting Better Research Participants: Jim Ross • Recruiting User Research Participants by Email: Jim Ross User research methods • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research: Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, Andrea Moed Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 133
  134. 134. Interviewing • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights: Steve Portigal • Interviewing Humans: Erika Hall Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 134
  135. 135. Contextual inquiry • Contextual Design: Hugh Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt • Rapid Contextual Design: Karen Holtzblatt, Jessamyn Burns Wendell, Shelley Wood • Why are Contextual Inquiries So Difficult?: Jim Ross • Remote Contextual Inquiry: A Technique to Improve Enterprise Software: Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 135
  136. 136. Recording user research data • Capturing User Research: Jim Ross Handling observers in user research sessions • Observing User Research: Jim Ross User Research Deliverables • Communicating User Research Findings: Jim Ross Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 136
  137. 137. Getting buy-in to conduct user research • It’s Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-In for User Experience Research Projects: Tomer Sharon Resources for More Information June 11, 2015 137
  138. 138. June 11, 2015 138 Thank You

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