Field Research for User Experience

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Why is user research important? Why, specifically, is field research important? What are some types of field research? How does one conduct field research? How do you report findings? (Find out here!)

Field Research for User Experience

  1. 1. Field Research for User Experience Introduction toUser Experience Methods Danielle Gobert Cooley @dgcooley 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 1
  2. 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. 3. About User Research Techniques 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 3
  4. 4. Please RememberThe purpose of these techniques is to inform your design.They are not validation methods. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 4
  5. 5. Let Me Repeat ThatThe purpose of these techniques is to inform your design.They are not validation methods. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 5
  6. 6. You Are Not Your UserYOU NOT YOU 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 6
  7. 7. You Don’t Want to End Up With This 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 7
  8. 8. Why Field Research?14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 8
  9. 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. 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. 11. Or this? -baby rattle annoying -gerbera daisy closet seeds door -1.5L water bare bottle walls Inconveniently -located trash can annoyingannoying keyboard tray printer indesk door dining chair cabinet 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 11
  12. 12. Or this? family photosfeather boa PC three coffee cups 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 12
  13. 13. Or this?14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 13
  14. 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. 15. Types of Field Research14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 15
  16. 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. 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. 18. On-Site Usability Testing• Conducted at participant’s workstation• Provides some environmental context 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 18
  19. 19. Conducting Field Research14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 19
  20. 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. 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. 22. Collect Artifacts Take photos. Make copies.Record videos. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 22
  23. 23. Analyzing Results14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 23
  24. 24. There Will Be Notes.14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 24
  25. 25. There will be a LOT of notes. Notes collected during one hour of observation. 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 25
  26. 26. Start Visualizing FindingsWork (14) Distractions (19) 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 26
  27. 27. Reporting Findings14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 27
  28. 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. 29. Include Artifacts “Cheat sheet” of mainframecodes. The Financial Assistants “rarely use” the systemandneed 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. 30. Include ArtifactsThe Financial Consultants, particularly those in Manhattan, care aboutprojecting 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. 31. Include Artifacts (e.g., Workflow Processes)The follow-up process for problem (HO3) accounts/issues is very cumbersome and paper-intensive. There isnt 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 todate 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. 32. Include Artifacts3 different teams showed ustheir homemade instructionsor checklists for setting upfee-based accounts.14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 34
  33. 33. Include Artifacts14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 35
  34. 34. Explain Things Visually YAY! A book! Loved it!14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 36
  35. 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. 36. Additional Resources14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 38
  37. 37. Questions? Ask Me! danielle@dgcooley.com @dgcooley linkedin.com/in/dgcooley dgcooley.comhttp://edUiFieldResearch.notlong.com/ 14 October 2011 @dgcooley #edUiconf 39

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