User Research

what did we do?

On 6th May 2016 in studio, we learned about a user research activity. This activity was about on how we observe people activities given one situation and practice. For the first practice we had to list a possible practice that most people would do when we entered art museum but what was matter about this activity was that we were not allowed to prejudge what people did. For instance, we were instantly would make assumption that most people would do in the art museum was looking at the art or saw two or three people talking about the art but how do we exactly know that the person was looking at the art? Maybe she or he just standing in front of the piece but were doing something else. The next practice that we did was studying and we chose library as our location. We were given 5 minutes to make the observation and we did discover some commons and uncommon practices in the library. As our TA said, in making user research study, we were strictly not allowed to prejudge immediately because this would change our judgement and might affect our result towards the activity later or not just result but significantly this might affect our solution towards this problem.

The first activity: practice in the art museum

Activity two: discussion on second practice in the library.

Here is the link to my user research study.


As for our assignment, we need to choose either bus stop or super market in order to perform our task and we need to do it under 30 minutes. I chose bus stop near Campus Park Way in front of Elm hall as my user research study because I believe at bus stop I could observe more activities and practices that relate to the bus stop since this particular bus stop were used among college students and commoners to commute from this location to any their preference places. The problem that I encountered while performing my task was time. The given amount of time had limit my observation because I chose my time frame from 9.16am to 9.46am. At this period, perhaps the practices that been performed might be different from early of the morning or late evening. If given me couples of days, I believed I would come out with the same and consistent result across the entire task but I knew this would be time consuming and perhaps a lots of factor had to take into account.


My question would be how to make our research more reliable and standardize? I think to make our user research more accurate and standardize, we should perform our task at the same time but at different places and give more time in order to cover each possible practice as many as possible that we are about to observe. Next, the most important piece of user research study is, do not prescribe but describe and be more open minded in our study in order to avoid misleading result.


Reflexivity can affect our result if we didn’t have this open minded and broader perspective since we are so comfortable with our taken- for — granted situation and not eager to leave it. if we failed to embrace this reflexivity, we render ourselves not to see others people obstacles, inequalities and problems that they may face. I think my prejudgment sometimes had affect my result. For instance, during my observation, I saw one women was grooming herself at the bus stop and I instantaneously assumed she had no time to prepare herself from home or she had trouble with time management. Then I think again, I was not in her shoes. Why did I have this notion and simply jump to the conclusion. As I read this one article regarding reflexive by Peter Kaufman, in his article “Crawling in the Shoes of Others”, to be able become reflexive, we have to life in their shoes and capable to see a bigger picture. Able to experience on how they struggle and strive with their problems, we can take one step back and try to analysis towards their obstacles and from there, we can cater their needs.

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