User Research

Presenting our findings

What did you do?

This week’s sprint focused on user research. User research helps us to understand user behavior, needs, and motivations through different observation techniques. I observed people commuting on the light rail for my user research. I chose the light rail as my location because it’s a form of commuting that many people use especially in Seattle due to the lack of parking in the city. Also, there is a station located near the university making it a quick and easy way for students without a car to commute. I jotted down field notes as I observed to see how people interacted with their surroundings and each other. This helped me analyze common practices that people partook in and how to address it through design challenges.

Writing down our field notes


I liked this project because it allowed me to people watch and observe how people interacted with their surroundings in a more detailed way. It was interesting to have to change the way I think by keeping from jumping to conclusions and making assumptions. It made me see how often we make assumptions in our day to day lives without even realizing that we may be doing it. It forced me to be more specific and recognize common actions that people were doing. User research is significant because it allows us to understand human behavior and needs for us to address in the design process. If we can better understand human practices, we can better support their practices as well.

Application of User Research

By learning about user research and partaking in my own observations, I gained the skills necessary to analyze information. I learned how to observe my surroundings and document my findings with specificity. It helped me learn how to recognize common patterns and think of how those practices could be improved. I want to practice these skills more because I am interested in user research as a career and it’s important to be able to identify and analyze my findings to better address how certain practices can be improved.