Observation Commuting: The Light Rail
Learn to observe
The project that we received this week is observation, part of user research. The topic of it was the same as the topic of ideation, commuting. Before starting the project, I did some practices about user research during the sprint on 02/08. For instance, brainstorm all the possible practices people would do in an art museum. We also did a quick 5 minutes’ observation in the HUB. To observe different practices students are doing in the HUB.
User Research Project
I picked the Light Rail as my site of observation. There were several reasons for this decision. The light rail is public transportation, which means many people are using it. It is also one of my favorite commuting ways. As I mentioned above, the topic, commuting, of this project is the same as the ideation. I would also like to continue the same topic from ideation, subway, to this user research project. I took the light rail from UW Station to International District and came back. The total observation time is about 40 minutes. I took six pages of jotting, detail notes, on my sketchbook, and I also did some quick sketch on it.
Be a Better User Researcher
During the sprint this week, I learned how to be a better observer and user researcher. We first identify different possible observable practices could happen in an art museum. It is easy to determine whether the practice is observing or prescribing by the observer. But I found it is hard to be entirely objective on something. People see the same thing from a different perspective will have a different conclusion. And people will combine their thought into the observation. Therefore, as an observer, I need to be as objective as possible and to avoid putting my thoughts or emotions into the observation. But I can still have my opinion when observing. I could write down my thoughts separately from other observation.
Innovation of Subway
My user research project can be used in the further development and future innovation of subway. For instance, it can use as part of the big project of making a better carriage environment to help passengers to relax on the subway. But before doing any actual design work. We need to do a lot of more user research about the subway. To determine, what kind of environment passengers want to have in the subway? What features and functions on the subway can be improved or redesign, to approach the better environment of the subway. Then we need to keep doing our user research on the new features and function. In order to see whether the redesign achieves the goal.