- What did you do, in words and images?
I sat down casually on my laptop acting like I was using it at the Suzzallo Cafe and instead I actually observed the area for 30 minutes and took notes on the observations I noticed or saw. While I was there I identified and described 3 different practices which were: Finding a table practice, Buying a product practice, and Doing homework practice. I chose this place because I go here often to meet up with friends, grab a snack, or do homework and I have experienced the 3 practices I observed and have had good and bad experiences with them.
2. Reflect a bit on your experience
I had a great experience sitting in the Suzzallo cafe and observing people doing what they were doing because I actually enjoy people watching. Something that surprised me was while I was sitting at my table of 3 I didn’t expect anyone to sit down next to me because most people don’t like sitting next to someone they don’t know but halfway through my observation, a couple came over and asked if they could sit with and I was delighted that they wanted to sit at my table because that must of meant that I was presenting myself in a friendly or welcoming manner and it also surprised me that they chose my table because there were many tables also available all around the cafe.
3. What skills did you learn from this project?
I really enjoyed this project once again because it helped me maintain an open mind about why people do the things they do and I think the psychological aspect of that is fascinating. Also, I thought it was intriguing that just by observing and doing user research, we can use what we learned to begin forming ideas about product development and designing the future of that product or as in this case the layout of the cafe. In addition, I learned the basic skills of doing user research like decision making, collecting data, and analyzing data.
4. What is an example of a way in which you did or could have influenced your own research?
I had prior expectations to the practices that I was going to observe like for example, I knew that many people looking for a table to sit at would walk away right away if the room seemed to be filled without even checking if there were any seats available. Also, I might’ve made it obvious that I was observing the place because I kept looking around the room without looking back at my computer for a long period of time. It would be preferred for a user researcher that they go in without having prior knowledge to what they are going to be observing so their observations aren’t biased.