User Research Process Blog

What I did

In this week’s studio session we first learned the concept of user research and we split into 2 groups — one went to Suzzallo library, the other one went to the engineering library — to observe the people inside the library and their behaviors. After observing for 20 minutes we went back to studio and wrote our observations on the whiteboard, and gave presentation in a small group.

Surprising observations written on board
My group presenting

My experience in QFC

We were asked to make observation either at a bus stop or a food market. I chose to make my observation at Quality Food Center, because it is close to where I live and this grocery store is always busy, which provides a great platform to observe different people. I’ve made some interesting observation and you can find my deliverable below.

Click here to see my user research sprint deliverable.


What I think should be focusing on is to make potential users feel comfortable while we’re observing. For this time’s observation I was standing in the corner of an aisle and holding a notepad, some people saw me taking notes so they just avoided to enter this aisle in the first place. This has reduced chances of observing more interesting acts. If I were to do this again, I would choose to stand a little more far away from my target area.

Example that contributes to UX design?

I observer that there was a woman and she couldn’t find a certain item. It took her a very long time till she went for help from the staff. I was thinking if we could put a tablet at each aisle, customers only need to type in the item name they want, the tablet will show the location of the item. This would make life so much easier for us — both customers and staffs. And also, before people came shopping they can go to the store website and put in everything they need, and print out a “route” — designed by the store website, which you can use it in store and it leads you to get all the items you want with the shortest time and distance in store.


Reflexivity is very important for us to be aware of. It can lead to bias sometimes. During my observation I think I’ve been 100% objective. One thing is that I only chose to record the behaviors that took a long time, because I think those behaviors are more worth observing. But now I think I’m wrong — some simple, one-second behaviors can be as important too! I would like to record as many things as I can next time and maybe the result would surprise me!

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