User Research Process Blog

What?:

This week we practiced User Research. In class we practiced all the steps of User Research from practicing making example behaviors to observing people for a short period of time. First off we did a Reflexive Activity and as such everyone wrote down example behaviors. We did this in order to practice making practices that people do. It also helped us learn what was over-prescribing and what was not.

Reflexive Practice

After which in class everyone practiced telling apart what is considered over-prescribing and what was not. This really helped us get a grip on what is, since some task that did not seem to be over-prescribing were actually in fact doing just so. Finally to end off the class everyone went out in groups to practice observing. Through observing people at various locations the class gained valuable experience in observing others’ actions.

http://depts.washington.edu/thehub/home/in-the-hub/starbucks/

Personally my group went to the Starbucks in the hub. After which we gathered all the information we gained from our observations to make possible suggestions.

So What?:

This project was really good in that it allowed me to learn more about observing. It let me get a grasp on how information I usually regard as useless could be used to improve something. Like for example during class we figured out that many kids didn’t have spots to sit in the hub while previously I didn’t even think of that. The small time observing allowed me to think of many possible things that I can fix or improve on in the hub. So all in all the main take away I can think of from the User Research Sprint is to observe anything and everything. Write down all information of what you see. What you think may be a little detail can turn out to be huge in fixing or improving something. This was even more evident in my work outside of the class. While observing people commuting I noticed that a lot of small things were done repeatedly and this really showed the small things matter. Overall every small detail should be written down.

Now What?:

Now User Research is an important skill in general. How could this be used in the future? Well it can be used to make changes to anything. It can be used to improve on premade services, products, and structures. Like for example commuting was one such thing that could be improved on. By observing you can see what was inefficient and what was efficient. As such this skill is great in that it allows me to improve on things by watching others. Like if you need someone to test and app you can hand them the app to tinker with and then watch them and take notes. Or you could watch how people interact with the location for a coffee shop and find ways to improve it. The possibilities are endless for user research and as such user research is great for everything. Anything can be tested and improved on. All in all my conclusion is user research is appropriate for any kind of project and not inappropriate for any to be completely honest.

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