“Designers know too much about their product to be objective judges: the features they have come to love and prefer may not be understood or preferred by future customers.” (Don Norman)
WHAD DID I ACTUALLY DO?
The task assigned for this sprint was User Research. In simple terms, User Research means sitting and observing people in their daily lives and using the observations to come up with a more human-centered design idea. To teach the concept of User Research, our TA split the class into groups of three people. This was done because a group of three people is ideal to conduct such research. Two members observe the things that were happening around them while the other one collects the data and jots it down. To perform this practice, our group noted down the observations in the yellow book at the HUB and then came back to the studio. We then analyzed this data on the white board located in the studio. This was done so that the entire team could brainstorm and visualize the observations that we made and look for design challenges that could be improved through new and emerging design ideas. To structure our notes, we first wrote down our jottings on the white board. We then scribbled the common observations in all of our data. Then, we went ahead to make field notes on the chosen observations. Finally, we jotted down the most surprising observation that we saw happening at the HUB. Conducting this research was a really important step in the user research that we did. Lastly, we had to present our user research in this studio session. This was done to improve the student’s presentation skills as well as give the students feedback on the user research that they had done. I then had to incorporate this feedback into my own User Research that I had to conduct on commuting.
WHY I LOVED THE WHOLE PROCESS?
Before last Friday, User Research was an unprecedented practice for me. However, in a brief span on five days, I have learnt a whole lot about conducting user research. The part that I loved the most about the process was sitting at different locations and just observing the people around me. I was surprised to find the amount of information I oversaw in my day-to-day life which could be of importance to the design world.
HOW LEARNING USER RESEARCH HELPS ME?
User Research is one the most important task that a UX Designer has to perform. Thus, as an aspiring UX Designer, this experience taught me the basics of what I plan to do in my future endeavors. This experience also helped me in separating my opinions and have an unbiased view of the world. Learning this skill is of utmost importance in building human-centered technologies. Furthermore, the experience also helped me to empathize with the general public and have design ideas that would lead to a betterment in lives of the people. For instance, I noticed that blind people had trouble opening train doors and the experience made me empathize with them. This also made me realize that my design ideas should incorporate features that make their lives a little bit easier.
Don Norman, “The Design of Everyday Things”