User Research

In order to make better design choices or design challenges we have to study the interaction of the user with the object of matter. It is really important to understand the user’s choices with respect to the product, the difficulties he encounters and his level of satisfaction. The reason behind this reasoning is very simple: The success of any product is directly related to the feelings it creates in the user. The attraction between both of them, can mark the product’s success.

In order to put in practice this theory by doing a user research related to a bus stop, we first prepared ourselves by studying the different activities and trends of the Suzzallo Cafe’s customers.

Discussing our different observations
Explaining how traffic is seen in the cafe area and how it can be avoided.

At the end of this project, we did a user research in a bus stop explaining the different peculiarities that can be found in that area, the relationship between the people and the place, the trends, and a design challenge that can be made to improve the bus stop structure.

In the following link, you can find that information.

Reflection

When I arrived to the bus stop, I immediately noticed people avoiding to sit next to another person and preferring to wait standing for the bus. There were four benches on the bus top, on which three people could sit down on each of them. Human beings prefer loneliness over comfort. They do not want to sit down next to unknown people, because they feel insecure and do not want to be exposed to random things like questions or comments about different topics. People prefer to be by their own, listening to music or messaging in their mobile phones. Therefore, since the seats are not achieving their purpose, a design challenge related to it can be done in the future.

A design project associated with this practice, can be the re-design of the benches. Probably, we could eliminate the benches from this location and put individual chairs with a separation space between each of them. Doing that, we could eliminate the prejudices of people sitting next to others that they do not know. In addition to that, the benches can be made of a material more comfortable, attractive and different than wood. Because, maybe some people preferred to do not sit down because of the discomfort that wooden benches can provide.

Important decisions at the moment of doing the observations

The place where I decided to do my user research was the bus stop behind the HUB. The reasons behind my decision were the location and time. First, I consider the HUB as the center of UW. People go there to eat, study and rest from classes. So, it is a common place that most of the students go every day. And second, it was 1:30 pm at the moment I arrived to the bus stop. A really convenient time frame, considering that a great quantity of students finish classes at that time, and they look for buses to go to their houses or to restaurants in the University Avenue to have lunch.

Reflexivity

When I arrived to the bus stop, and made myself comfortable to start taking notes about what was going on around me, I was thinking on my previous experiences on bus stops and indirectly relating my research only to my prior expectations. In other words, I was centering my investigation only to certain aspects like the seats availability, and do not paying attention to any other things that were happening. For some period of time, I was writing notes associated with the user’s trend at the moment of looking for a seat, or even his alternative choices for seating down.

Undoubtedly, centering ourselves in expectations, can change the direction of our observations, because we are ignoring part of the information that we are receiving. For that reason, it is significant and determining to come with an open mind, free and holistic vision at the moment of doing a user research. Probably, we can have a specific subject of matter, but considering all the details happening at the moment, can show hidden facts that can help you to discover important things related to your research.

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