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Barack Obama Knows Contextual Inquiry


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The 44th President of the United States (and some special guests) give a brief introduction to contextual inquiry, a useful tool in understanding user behaviour.

  • Yes now that I look at it I can see that the rope is obscured. I may change the position of the text.

    I also chose this photo to show that people express dissatisfaction in different ways. Some expressions are verbal, while some are purely physical. When you do these kinds of inquiries, it's important not only to pay attention to what people say, but what they do with their bodies. This is especially important when you're dealing with children, with people for whom English isn't their first language, or with people who come into the session thinking that the observer only wants to hear the good stuff about their product. The non-verbal cues are so important that I recommend people bring a videographer or a photographer along, because the camera will catch things that your ears can't.
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  • Ahhhh. I didn’t see the rope (it’s mostly covered by your copy) but I get it now :-). Thanks! EDIT: I also read their faces as bored or tired rather than upset but that might just be the guy with his head down in the middle dominating my field of vision.
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  • They're behind a rope, in a tight space. They're also pretty disgruntled, if you can read the looks on their faces. I chose it to demonstrate how physical limitations (the rope) can lead to dissatisfaction.
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  • The relationship between the picture and the statement on slide 5 aren’t clear to me. Is it meant to show physical limitation? User satisfaction? Both? (by the by, this is Jason Toney -- this facebook connect integration could be better)
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Barack Obama Knows Contextual Inquiry

  1. 1. Barack Obama* Knows Contextual Inquiry Yes We Can Improve Patron Experience! * and special guests Cecily Walker Web Services Librarian Vancouver Public Library
  2. 2. What is Contextual Inquiry?
  3. 3. Contextual inquiry helps you understand how people really work.
  4. 4. You learn how environments influence the way people use your services.
  5. 5. Contextual inquiry can reveal how physical limitations may inhibit user satisfaction.
  6. 6. How to begin
  7. 7. 1. Define the problem
  8. 8. 2. Figure out who to interview
  9. 9. 3. Recruit and schedule participants
  10. 10. During the interview...
  11. 11. 4. Know when to listen...
  12. 12. ... and when to ask questions
  13. 13. 5. Take notes.
  14. 14. 6. Reward the participant for their time.
  15. 15. The data you gather will help you better understand the problems your users face ...
  16. 16. ... and how to solve them.
  17. 17. Together
  18. 18. You can build a patron experience
  19. 19. That everyone will enjoy.
  20. 20. Yes We Can.
  21. 21. Photos from The Official White House Photostream
  22. 22. and the photostream
  23. 23. for copyright information, see
  24. 24. Thank you.