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Contextual inquiry


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Introduction to user research with special focus on the contextual inquiry process.

Published in: Design

Contextual inquiry

  1. 1. User Research Media Design course Autumn 2016 Contextual Inquiry
  2. 2. INDEX 1. Introduction 2. Contextual Inquiry 3. Qualitative user research during contextual inquiry 3.1. Ethnography 3.2. Interviews 3.3. Literature review 3.4. Self-documenting practices 3.5. Participatory Design methods
  3. 3. User definition 1. INTRODUCTION Need to distinguish between different parties •  End-user •  Indirect users •  Managers •  Customers
  4. 4. The context of use 1. INTRODUCTION
  6. 6. 2. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Contextual Inquiry is a user-centered design research method. It can be understood as: - an ethnographic interviewing technique (Beyer, & Holtzblatt, 1997) - from a wider perspective, as the first phase of the research-based design process (Leinonen,Toikkanen, & Silvfast, 2008).  
  7. 7. Contextual Design 2. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY
  8. 8. Research-based design Research-based design (Leinonen et al., 2008; Leinonen, 2010) 2. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY
  9. 9. Different levels of knowledge about experience are accessed by different techniques (SleeswijkV., et al., 2005) 2. CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Levels of knowledge
  10. 10. 3. QUALITATIVE USER RESEARCH DURING CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Qualitative research helps understanding (Cooper et al., 2007): •  Behaviors and attitudes of potential end-users •  Technical, business and environmental contexts of the product to be designed •  Vocabulary and other social aspects connected to the contexts •  How existing products are used
  11. 11. 3. QUALITATIVE USER RESEARCH DURING CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY Inform them about: •  Investigation aims •  For whom is the research made •  Confidentiality of the information provided by the users •  Rewards Considerations when involving users
  12. 12. 3. QUALITATIVE USER RESEARCH DURING CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY •  Ethnography •  Interviews •  Literature review •  Self-documenting practices •  Participatory design methods Methods
  13. 13. Observations in a Primary school in Oulu. 3. 1. ETHNOGRAPHY
  14. 14. 3. 1. ETHNOGRAPHY •  Field work done in natural settings. •  Study of the large picture in order to capture a complete context of the activity. •  Rich descriptions of people, environments and interactions •  Emphasis in understanding activities from the informants’ point of view. Ethnographic research can be characterized by:
  15. 15. 3. 1. ETHNOGRAPHY Planning of observation sessions -  Define objectives and information requirements -  Define times, places and people to observe -  Decide how to record the data Running the sessions -  Inform observers about the study -  Try to be unobtrusive -  Document in situ: notes, recordings, photographs… -  Write down first impressions just after the observation session
  16. 16. 3.2. INTERVIEWS Image published by Flickr user “Eelso”.
  17. 17. 3. 2. INTERVIEWS Potential interviewees •  Stakeholders •  Subject Matter Experts •  Customers •  End-users
  18. 18. 3. 2. INTERVIEWS The persona hypothesis Based on behavior patterns and the factors that differentiate these patterns. Images published by Flickr user “Nic Walter”.
  19. 19. Interview guidelines •  Interview where the interaction happens •  Avoid a fixed set of questions •  Focus on the goal first, tasks second •  Avoid making the user a designer •  Avoid discussion of technology •  Avoid leading questions •  Ask for stories, demonstrations and a tour •  Direct the interview as new issues arise Interpretation: read between the lines 3. 2. INTERVIEWS
  20. 20. Interview questions 3. 2. INTERVIEWS •  Goal-oriented •  System-oriented •  Workflow-oriented •  Attitude-oriented Questions should be open and neutral Types (Cooper et al., 2007): ?  
  21. 21. Interview questions GOAL ORIENTED •  Goals: What makes a good day? A bad day? •  Opportunity: What activities currently waste your time? •  Priorities:What is most important to you? •  Information: What helps you make decisions? 3. 2. INTERVIEWS
  22. 22. Interview questions SYSTEM ORIENTED •  Function: What are the most common things you do with the product? •  Frequency: What parts of the product do you use most? •  Preference:What are your favorite aspects of the product? What drives you crazy? •  Failure: How do you work around problems? •  Expertise:What shortcuts do you employ? 3. 2. INTERVIEWS
  23. 23. Interview questions WORKFLOW ORIENTED •  Process: What did you do when you first came in today? And after that? •  Occurrence and recurrence: How often do you do this? What things do you do weekly or monthly, but not every day? •  Exception:What constitutes a typical day? What would be an unusual event? 3. 2. INTERVIEWS
  24. 24. Interview questions ATTITUDE ORIENTED •  Aspiration: What do you see yourself doing five years from now? •  Avoidance: What would you prefer not to do? What do you procrastinate on? •  Motivation: What do you enjoy most about your job (or lifestyle)? What do you always tackle first? 3. 2. INTERVIEWS
  25. 25. Focus groups •  A form of group interviewing that places the emphasis on participants’ interaction. •  It usually includes 5 to 10 interviewees. •  It is used to discuss user needs and requirements for a new product. 3. 2. INTERVIEWS •  Moderation and data recording are key. Image published in wikimedia by user “Ldorfman”
  26. 26. 3.3. LITERATURE REVIEW Consists of: •  Business documents •  Technology specifications •  Research articles •  Information published in media & social media Benchmarking of similar products (competitive review)
  27. 27. Diary studies In diary studies, users self-report about their behaviors, activities and experiences over a period of time Image published by Flickr user “Gunnar Bothner-by”. 3.4. SELF-DOCUMENTING PRACTICES Invite people to reflect on and express their experiences, feelings and attitudes in forms and formats that provide inspiration for designers (Gaver, Dunne and Pacenti, 1999). Probes
  29. 29. Origins in the Participatory Design tradition. Generative sessions and PD methods help to: •  Discover user needs and their mental models •  Identify the authentic issues and ensure that design solutions respond to user needs •  Find design opportunities (based on requirements, behaviors, roles, mental models and priorities) •  Develop empathy 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  30. 30. Workshops 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS PD workshops organized by Legroup (projects: iTEC, 3D printing, Learning Layers).
  31. 31. Design games Games can be used to guide (scaffold) the team work, communication, understanding of different points of view and create empathy. Classics: -  Carpentology (Ehn) -  Video card (Buur) -  PICTIVE (Muller) Images of The User Game (Brandt, 2006) 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  32. 32. Narratives Design narrative published by Jessica Mew in Design Practice Methods. The aim is to gather and discuss user narratives about their tasks and activities. These narratives can be used to start the discussion, as analysis tool and for getting feedback. 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  33. 33. •  Journey mapping •  Love and breakup letter •  Topical collage •  Knowledge hunt NARRATIVE Types of PD activities (Frog Design) •  Interface toolkit •  Fill in the blanks •  Ideal workflow •  Ecosystem mapping CREATE •  Card sort •  Channel surfing •  Concept ranking •  Value ranking PRIORITIZE •  Comic strips •  Customizing scenarios •  Simulating experiences •  Intercept evaluation CONTEXTUAL Frog Design PD activities 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  34. 34. •  Activity analysis •  Affinity diagrams •  Anthropometric analysis •  Character profiles •  Cognitive task analysis •  Competitive product survey •  Cross-cultural comparissons •  Error analysis •  Flow analysis •  Historical analysis •  Long-range forecasts •  Secondary research LEARN •  A day in the life… •  Behavioral archeology •  Fly on the wall •  Guided tours •  Personal inventory •  Rapid ethnography •  Shadowing •  Social network mapping •  Still photo survey •  Time lapse video •  Behavioral mapping Method cards (Ideo Design) LOOK IDEO method cards 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  35. 35. •  Camera journal •  Card sort •  Cognitive maps •  Collage •  Conceptual landscape •  Cultural probes •  Draw the experience •  Extreme user interviews •  Five why’s? •  Foreign correspondents •  Narration •  Surveys and questionnaires •  Unfocus group •  Word-concept association ASK TRY •  Behavior sampling •  Be your customer •  Body storming •  Empathy tools •  Experience prototype •  Informance •  Paper prototyping •  Predict next years headlines •  Quick and dirty prototyping •  Role-playing •  Scale modeling •  Scenarios •  Scenario testing •  Try it yourself 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS Methods cards (Ideo Design) IDEO method cards
  36. 36. MAKING TELLING ENACTING Framework for applying PD methods Sanders, Brandt i Binder (2010) Manual activities for representing ideas through physical artifacts Future scenarios of use verbal description Techniques to support and facilitate acting and playing 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  37. 37. •  Stories and storyboarding •  Diaries •  Self observation •  Documentaries and movie-making •  Experience timelines or maps •  Paper spaces •  Cards •  Voting dots TALKING,TELLING & EXPLAINING •  2D collages •  2D mappings •  3D mock-ups •  Low-tech prototypes •  3D space models Framework for applying PD methods (Sanders, Brandt i Binder, 2010) MAKING TANGIBLETHINGS •  Game boards and game pieces and rules •  Props and black boxes •  3D space models •  Scenario-making in the space of models or through sandplay •  Participatory enviosing and enacting by setting users in future situations •  Improvisation •  Acting out, skits and play acting •  Role playing •  Body storming and informative performance ACTING, ENACTING & PLAYING 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  38. 38. Workshop about student well-being. Runned byT. Tapola and E. Durall with Aalto students. For telling Methods: -  Design opportunities and challenges mapping -  Idea generation tackling one of the identified challenges 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  39. 39. For making PD workshops with teachers during iTEC project (A. Keune,T.Toikkanen) Methods: -  Scenarios of use -  Design opportunities and challenges mapping -  Brainstorming 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  40. 40. Workshops with Primary school students. Runned by A. Keune during the Square1 design research project. Methods: -  Creation of 2D prototypes (interaction design). 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS For making
  41. 41. For enacting Workshops with patients, hospital staff and architects for generating ideas about the futur hospital environment through physical prototypes (1:1 scale). Project Design for Health (J. Kronqvist,) Methods: -  Design probes -  Visual mapping -  Creation of 2D visual artifacts -  Role-playing 3.5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN METHODS
  42. 42. FURTHER READINGS Blomberg, J., Giacomi, J., Mosher,A., & Swenton-Wall, P. Ethnographic Field Methods andTheir Relation to Design. In D. Dchuler and A. Namioka (Eds.) Participatory Design: Principles and Practices. Erlbaum: New Jersey, 1993. Blomberg, J., Giacomi, J., Mosher,A., & Swenton-Wall, P. Ethnographic Field Methods andTheir Relation to Design. In D. Dchuler and A. Namioka (Eds.) Participatory Design: Principles and Practices. Erlbaum: New Jersey, 1993. Beyer,H., & Holtzblatt, K.(1997).Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.