User Research

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.

My field notes for the user research.

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.