User Research Process Blog

In this week’s studio, we practiced user research. My group chose to observe the HUB. We spend about five minutes observing and taking copious of notes. Among all the things we saw, there was one particular thing that we found kind of surprising. A guy was trying to take a nap in the center of the dining place. Another practice that we noticed was that there were lots of people walking around with their food because the majority of the seats were taken. Then we kind of discussed and thought that it could be a design opportunity to create more space in the HUB. For my individual assignment, I spent 30 minutes at the bus stop near my dorm to observe how people interact with this location. The most interesting thing that I found was a guy came to ask me if the bus was coming soon. This made me think of the feasibility of my ideation project idea. I came up with a bus stop sign which could tell people when the bus is coming and how far away the bus is.

My notes when observing HUB

So what?
I though user research was very important in the process of designing. Because human-centered design is definitely based on lots of research on people. We need to know what people need first and catch design opportunities. It was really interesting for me to see that people actually care a lot about the “reliability” of the bus schedule.

Now What?
Observing is a really efficient and quick way to get a sense of how people interact with a certain thing. After reviewing the notes that I took at the field, I could reflect and look for design opportunities. I think any kind of human-centered design will be based on sufficient user research. For example, when we are designing a food app, we will need to know what the user wants using our app. Do they think the reviews are important or do they think pictures are more useful? Using the data and information that we collected, we could design this app better and maximize the benefit for our user.

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