User Research: Three user groups, five hours. What would you do?
2 Feb 2009 - 4:54pm
4 years ago
To add to the great advice above:
- Make sure the people you'll be observing are prepared for you to be
there. They SHOULD NOT clear their schedules to be with you. They should
have real, regular work to get done while you're with them and you need to
set that expectation ahead of time.
- An hour or two for each observation should be a good amount of time,
but make sure that you're observing enough of the "important stuff." The
"important stuff" is the same as the Big Questions Dana talks about.
- I second Nicholas's idea of starting the day with a group meeting, but
don't let this go too long. Maybe half an hour, maybe. One thing I've done
in the past is give people some "homework" at this meeting. You can hand out
disposable cameras for people to take photos of their work spaces (if this
is alright with the organization), or ask people to think about the last
time they did that really important activity and write a quick paragraph
about it so that you can take it away afterward.
- Remember to relax, and don't make promises about things you might be
able to fix.
- Will you have anybody from your organization and/or the client's
organization to do the observations with you? My best Contextual Inquiry
research has ended with a client doing the big presentation to their own
people. In my experience, clients buy into this type of user research almost
immediately. Invite clients and coworkers to the observations if possible,
and if not, have them help you with the analysis afterward. If even *that
* is not possible, then make sure that your analysis and modeling are big
and visible, so people are interested in what you've done.
- Do your initial analysis *immediately*. Even if you take copious notes,
the things people said are going to bleed together. I would type up or
formalize your notes on the plane ride home.
> I have found it is generally better to open the day with a group > meeting. No matter how much explaining you do ahead of time, you will > still likely be scheduled to meet with the wrong folks. > > The group meeting will allow the managers to have their say and give > them a forum to tell you many things. You can then use that to start > asking specific task questions. Usually during the course of these > questions, they will say "Well, Sue does that". Great time to say, > "I'd love to spend some time with Sue later today then to see how > she does it." > > I have found that during the course of this opening meeting, names of > individuals get brought up as the person who does X. This is the best > way for you to then select whom you want to meet with and learn more > about task x. > > Of course, as the prior posted mentioned. Preparation is the most > important thing to do. Know what you want to observe, know how many > events you want to observe, have research questions you want > answered. Prepare a study guide.... > > During the course of the day, you will be presented with more > opportunities then you have time to follow-up on. You need to have > spent time developing your study guide so you can make on-the-fly > decisions on how to best use your time. > > Even if your research techniques are all about not interfering with > the user and letting it naturally flow. If you have not made > decisions about what you want to learn, then you will not learn > anything. > > This is more practical then ideal. Ideally you would have lots of > time to spend with everyone, so you will be able to learn all you > can. Practically, you have a very limited amount of time to spend > with a limited number of folks. So you have to plan on how to use it > wisely. > > Get clearance before you even bring out any recording devices. Many > companies do not like it. > > Good luck. > > > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . > Posted from the new ixda.org >http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=38073 > > > ________________________________________________________________ > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)! > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help >