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Field Research
                    for User Experience


         Introduction to
User Experience Methods
            Danielle Gobert Cooley
                                            @dgcooley


         14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf    1
About me
•   12 years as user researcher/usability specialist
•   BE, Biomedical & Electrical Engineering
•   MS, Human Factors in Information Design
•   Selected Employers & Clients




       danielle@dgcooley.com
       @dgcooley


                     14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   2
About User Research Techniques




      14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   3
Please Remember


The purpose of these techniques is to
    inform your design.

They are not       validation methods.

          14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   4
Let Me Repeat That


The purpose of these techniques is to
    inform your design.

They are not validation methods.

          14 October 2011    @dgcooley   #edUiconf   5
You Are Not Your User
YOU




                        NOT
                        YOU

      14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   6
You Don’t Want to End Up With This




         14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   7
Why Field Research?




14 October 2011     @dgcooley   #edUiconf   8
Types of User Research
•   Field Studies
•   Usability Testing
•   Surveys
•   Focus Groups
•   Card Sorting
•   Tree Testing
•   Journaling

• Analytics Analysis
• A/B Testing

                   14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   9
Does your lab look like this?
                         2 clocks


                                        fun desk toys




 3 terminals


               http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/archives/000516.html



   14 October 2011          @dgcooley             #edUiconf           10
Or this?
                                                -baby rattle
   annoying                                     -gerbera daisy
    closet                                       seeds
     door                                       -1.5L water
                      bare
                                                 bottle
                      walls

 Inconveniently
  -located trash
       can
                                   annoying
annoying                         keyboard tray
              printer in
desk door                                 dining chair
               cabinet

               14 October 2011      @dgcooley       #edUiconf         11
Or this?
                         family photos
feather boa


                                                                   PC
                      three coffee cups




              14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf         12
Or this?




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf         13
Field Research vs. Other Methods
                                                          Easy to
             Qualitative Quantitative    Inexpensive                 Observational   Contextual
                                                        Implement


                                                                                  
  Focus                                                         ?
 Groups


 Surveys
                                                                                  
Usability
 Testing                                                                          
                                                                                  
                                                                ?
Journaling


  Field
 Studies                                                                          
                              14 October 2011       @dgcooley       #edUiconf            14
Types of Field Research




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   15
Formal Contextual Inquiry
• Part 1 – The conventional                               1998



  interview

• Part 2 – The transition
                                                                      2005




• Part 3 – The contextual
  interview proper

• Part 4 – The wrap-up

                14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf          16
Remote Contextual Inquiry




                           http://miupa.org/events/how-remote-contextual-inquiry-got-us-up-close-with-users/
http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/remote_contextual_inquiry_a_technique_to_improve_enterprise_software


            14 October 2011           @dgcooley              #edUiconf                        17
On-Site Usability Testing
• Conducted at
  participant’s
  workstation
• Provides some
  environmental
  context




              14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   18
Conducting Field Research




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   19
The Usual Rules Apply
• Get written
  consent for
  anything you
  do
• Ask open-
  ended
  questions
• Minimize bias
• Build trust


                  14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   20
Practical Challenges
• Scheduling issues
• Productivity concerns from
  management
• Site security
• Rules about photos and videos
• Getting there
• Considerable additional
  pre-planning required


               14 October 2011     @dgcooley   #edUiconf   21
Collect Artifacts


         Take photos.




                                               Make copies.
Record videos.
                 14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   22
Analyzing Results




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   23
There Will Be Notes.




14 October 2011     @dgcooley   #edUiconf   24
There will be a LOT of notes.




                                    Notes collected
                                   during one hour of
                                      observation.




  14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf        25
Start Visualizing Findings
Work   (14)




                                                        Distractions (19)




              14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf             26
Reporting Findings




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   27
The Usual Rules Apply
•   Provide a concise summary.
•   Explain your methodology.
•   Share both positive & negative findings.
•   Provide visual explanations whenever possible.
• Protect your participants’ anonymity.

• Include your artifacts!



                 14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   28
Include Artifacts
  “Cheat sheet” of mainframe
codes. The Financial Assistants
  “rarely use” the systemand
need a reference when dealing
  with the home office. (B22)




                             One Financial Consultant kept an
                               extensive list of home office
                            personnel he had spoken to about
                               various matters. Each folder
                              includes people’s names, their
                             extension, and comments about
                            how helpful or unhelpful they were
                            when the FC spoke with them. (B8)



    14 October 2011       @dgcooley        #edUiconf             31
Include Artifacts
The Financial Consultants, particularly those in Manhattan, care about
projecting an image of absolute excellence. Clients visiting one office
(B25) are seated in a specific location so they can see…                       … any hustle and
                                                                              bustle in the office
                          …that, no                                             to convey that
                        matter what,                                             we’re busily
                         the market                                               working on
                          goes up.                                              earning people
                                                                                    money.
                                   … the FC’s
                                     many
                                   diplomas,
                                 certifications,
                                  and honors.




                                       … an organized set of
                                        files containing the
                                        necessary forms for
                                         various products.




                               14 October 2011       @dgcooley    #edUiconf             32
Include Artifacts (e.g., Workflow Processes)
The follow-up process for problem                                            (HO3)
 accounts/issues is very cumbersome and
 paper-intensive. There isn't an efficient
 systematic process for reconciling issues.
The current process relies on the <company>
 resource to "remember" to go through these
 folders with some frequency, send follow-up
 wires (which may or may not be
 acknowledged in a timely manner), and try
 to reconcile the issue.
Note the names on the folders:                  Two items in the far background:
•Pending OK to Trades (Accts in date read       •MGR Index - This hardcopy of about 50+
order, need them by Acct # order)               pages is held together by a binder clip
                                                and contains information/instructions
•*IMPORTANT* Daily Immediate Follow Up
                                                from the corporate intranet, along with
•Need Sign-off from Money Manager (Accts in     personal emails and other artifacts on how to
date read order, need them by Acct # order)     handle certain situations. The emails and
                                                artifacts are peppered with hand-written
•Problem Follow up
                                                notes.
                                                •Select Advisor Account Checklist


                              14 October 2011   @dgcooley      #edUiconf             33
Include Artifacts




3 different teams showed us
their homemade instructions
or checklists for setting up
fee-based accounts.




14 October 2011     @dgcooley   #edUiconf   34
Include Artifacts




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   35
Explain Things Visually
                                          YAY! A
                                          book!




                               Loved
                                 it!




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf    36
Leave Here Knowing That…
• …you are not your user.
• …what users do is very different from what they
  say they do.
• …people don’t work the way they “should.”
• …context is HUGELY important in people’s work.
• …YOU can do field research!

                                     (And it’s fun!)


               14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   37
Additional Resources




14 October 2011   @dgcooley   #edUiconf   38
Questions? Ask Me!

    danielle@dgcooley.com
    @dgcooley
    linkedin.com/in/dgcooley
    dgcooley.com


http://edUiFieldResearch.notlong.com/

       14 October 2011    @dgcooley   #edUiconf   39

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Field Research for User Experience

  • 1. Field Research for User Experience Introduction to User Experience Methods Danielle Gobert Cooley @dgcooley 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 1
  • 2. About me • 12 years as user researcher/usability specialist • BE, Biomedical & Electrical Engineering • MS, Human Factors in Information Design • Selected Employers & Clients danielle@dgcooley.com @dgcooley 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 2
  • 3. About User Research Techniques 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 3
  • 4. Please Remember The purpose of these techniques is to inform your design. They are not validation methods. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 4
  • 5. Let Me Repeat That The purpose of these techniques is to inform your design. They are not validation methods. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 5
  • 6. You Are Not Your User YOU NOT YOU 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 6
  • 7. You Don’t Want to End Up With This 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 7
  • 8. Why Field Research? 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 8
  • 9. Types of User Research • Field Studies • Usability Testing • Surveys • Focus Groups • Card Sorting • Tree Testing • Journaling • Analytics Analysis • A/B Testing 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 9
  • 10. Does your lab look like this? 2 clocks fun desk toys 3 terminals http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/archives/000516.html 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 10
  • 11. Or this? -baby rattle annoying -gerbera daisy closet seeds door -1.5L water bare bottle walls Inconveniently -located trash can annoying annoying keyboard tray printer in desk door dining chair cabinet 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 11
  • 12. Or this? family photos feather boa PC three coffee cups 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 12
  • 13. Or this? 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 13
  • 14. Field Research vs. Other Methods Easy to Qualitative Quantitative Inexpensive Observational Contextual Implement       Focus ? Groups Surveys       Usability Testing             ? Journaling Field Studies       14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 14
  • 15. Types of Field Research 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 15
  • 16. Formal Contextual Inquiry • Part 1 – The conventional 1998 interview • Part 2 – The transition 2005 • Part 3 – The contextual interview proper • Part 4 – The wrap-up 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 16
  • 17. Remote Contextual Inquiry http://miupa.org/events/how-remote-contextual-inquiry-got-us-up-close-with-users/ http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/remote_contextual_inquiry_a_technique_to_improve_enterprise_software 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 17
  • 18. On-Site Usability Testing • Conducted at participant’s workstation • Provides some environmental context 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 18
  • 19. Conducting Field Research 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 19
  • 20. The Usual Rules Apply • Get written consent for anything you do • Ask open- ended questions • Minimize bias • Build trust 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 20
  • 21. Practical Challenges • Scheduling issues • Productivity concerns from management • Site security • Rules about photos and videos • Getting there • Considerable additional pre-planning required 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 21
  • 22. Collect Artifacts Take photos. Make copies. Record videos. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 22
  • 23. Analyzing Results 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 23
  • 24. There Will Be Notes. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 24
  • 25. There will be a LOT of notes. Notes collected during one hour of observation. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 25
  • 26. Start Visualizing Findings Work (14) Distractions (19) 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 26
  • 27. Reporting Findings 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 27
  • 28. The Usual Rules Apply • Provide a concise summary. • Explain your methodology. • Share both positive & negative findings. • Provide visual explanations whenever possible. • Protect your participants’ anonymity. • Include your artifacts! 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 28
  • 29. Include Artifacts “Cheat sheet” of mainframe codes. The Financial Assistants “rarely use” the systemand need a reference when dealing with the home office. (B22) One Financial Consultant kept an extensive list of home office personnel he had spoken to about various matters. Each folder includes people’s names, their extension, and comments about how helpful or unhelpful they were when the FC spoke with them. (B8) 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 31
  • 30. Include Artifacts The Financial Consultants, particularly those in Manhattan, care about projecting an image of absolute excellence. Clients visiting one office (B25) are seated in a specific location so they can see… … any hustle and bustle in the office …that, no to convey that matter what, we’re busily the market working on goes up. earning people money. … the FC’s many diplomas, certifications, and honors. … an organized set of files containing the necessary forms for various products. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 32
  • 31. Include Artifacts (e.g., Workflow Processes) The follow-up process for problem (HO3) accounts/issues is very cumbersome and paper-intensive. There isn't an efficient systematic process for reconciling issues. The current process relies on the <company> resource to "remember" to go through these folders with some frequency, send follow-up wires (which may or may not be acknowledged in a timely manner), and try to reconcile the issue. Note the names on the folders: Two items in the far background: •Pending OK to Trades (Accts in date read •MGR Index - This hardcopy of about 50+ order, need them by Acct # order) pages is held together by a binder clip and contains information/instructions •*IMPORTANT* Daily Immediate Follow Up from the corporate intranet, along with •Need Sign-off from Money Manager (Accts in personal emails and other artifacts on how to date read order, need them by Acct # order) handle certain situations. The emails and artifacts are peppered with hand-written •Problem Follow up notes. •Select Advisor Account Checklist 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 33
  • 32. Include Artifacts 3 different teams showed us their homemade instructions or checklists for setting up fee-based accounts. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 34
  • 33. Include Artifacts 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 35
  • 34. Explain Things Visually YAY! A book! Loved it! 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 36
  • 35. Leave Here Knowing That… • …you are not your user. • …what users do is very different from what they say they do. • …people don’t work the way they “should.” • …context is HUGELY important in people’s work. • …YOU can do field research! (And it’s fun!) 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 37
  • 36. Additional Resources 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 38
  • 37. Questions? Ask Me! danielle@dgcooley.com @dgcooley linkedin.com/in/dgcooley dgcooley.com http://edUiFieldResearch.notlong.com/ 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 39