This week in studio, we focused on user research and how to observe users without inferring too much as to what others were doing, but rather just stating what we can see. Taking this in mind, I decided to observe while I was in the bus since I commute home using the bus and it takes approximately 30 minutes, which was the allotted time for the assignment. When writing down my observations, I tried to write down things such as ‘looking at phone’ rather than ‘playing games on phone’ since I can’t make that assumption unless I actually saw it happen.
I liked this assignment because it allowed me to observe my surroundings in which I usually take for granted and simply look at my phone like half the other passengers. While looking around, I was able to see how each individual affected the other, or lack thereof. I definitely noticed one man noticing me observing and looking as he kept looking in my direction as I looked around.
I could see applying the technique of objective observation in any type of survey-like study or research. For example, if someone were to study animal’s behavior, notes of exactly what the animal was doing and how it interacted with it’s environment is better than inferences, especially when expressions of animals aren’t clear. In terms of when objective observation isn’t helpful could be when I am analyzing a piece of literature. Analyzing requires taking context clues and current knowledge to make some sort of conclusion, so simply stating exactly what is being said won’t be very helpful.