What did you do?
I conducted user research on commuting, in particular bussing. I went to a popular bus stop on the University of Washington campus and onto the route 67 bus and took field notes. I started by jotting down as many observations as I could, making sure that they were observations and not interpretations. For example, many people were waiting at the bus stop. So I wrote down waiting as a practice and what they were doing while they were waiting as observations. I did this not only to get experience in performing user research but to also learn how to be able to identify and describe practices.
What did you like?
What I liked most about this sprint was being able to go outside and perform some real world applicable user research. Personally, I feel as if I learn better by doing hands on activities instead of learning through listening and reading a textbook. When I was able to go and do some user research of my own, I was interested and intrigued to do so. After doing this I stand by my reasoning because I feel like this experience could not be taught through a textbook. I did not think that observing a bus stop and bus and the people there would be fun. But to my surprise I found it a lot more interesting than I thought it’d be because I noticed things that I never would have noticed before.
Where else would you use this technique?
I could see myself using this technique of user research whenever I have to perform research of my own. For example, if I worked at a company that had a product which they wanted to have the best user experience then I would conduct a user research experiment on people who would use this product. I would go to a location or create a situation where people would use this product and observe them to know what’s bad about the product and what’s great about it. I would then use this information and improve upon said product. Given this is just one scenario, I feel as if that user research can be conducted on many things for example bus stops and busses.