User Research

The Technique

Practices observed in Mary Gates cafe during sprint

Through user research, we become concerned with P-cubed. which is people, places, practices, and the interactions between people, and things. For this sprint we were to observe areas involving transportation or commuting. Therefore, I chose the transit bus for my observations, since I ride the bus every day to school and don’t pay attention to my surroundings. While aboard the transit, one can observe the many practices of passengers. Sitting there for about 30 minutes taking notes of observations. While taking notes I aimed to avoid making assumptions, and opinion based observations. afterwards, I then evaluated the observations seeking for three practices, and ultimately choosing the most interesting observation that’s worth further investigation.

The Experience

The process of this assignment was enjoyable, simply because it seems to have the most natural data. The act of observing individuals, and their practices without them knowing allows for the person not to feel the pressure they could receive from knowing they are being observed. If the individuals I observed knew I was observing them, they may avoid their natural habits, and feel as if there is a correct way to act while aboard the transit. Moreover, the notes of individuals and their practices on the transit were fun to take. Since it made me curious as to why passengers who have no relation to another passenger share the same practice.

Observation notes taken during the 30 minute bus ride

The Application

The technique of user research is also a crucial step to the design process. User research allows for an insight of how individuals interact with a product, and generates new ideas. Furthermore, the technique can allow companies to solve problems with their products since they can see how the individuals naturally interact with their products. For example, this technique can be applied to zoo’s; one can observe with how customers interact with the layout of the exhibits. Through these observations, they may want to adjust the exhibit in order to allow for more accessibility to everyone. Therefore, accounting for everyone’s abilities,resulting in attracting more customers.

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