Process Blog — — User Research

Notes and sketches that I took on the bus
Checking the bus schedule

What I did:

For this sprint (user research), I chose to observed practices happening on bus 372 from the location 25th Ave NE & NE 55TH St to W Stevens Wy NE. The reason was that I commute from these two locations everyday so I would have more chance to observe people on the bus. Also, I am very familiar with the bus route so I would not be distracted by worrying trivial matters like whether or not to get off at this stop while observing people and taking notes. I observed those practices by being on the bus, watching what people do, and taking note. For part 2 (data appendices), I included 6 sketchbook pages of notes and sketches. How I took the notes was listing the practices that I observed on the bus and sketches were snapshots of what I saw on the bus. The reason that I took notes was that it would help me to remember later when I tried to organize I observed and sketches could help me remember more vividly.

Reflection:

By doing this user research sprint, I understood people who commute by bus better: their behavior, needs and motivations, by observing what they did on the bus. Taking the bus would be really convenient and cheap, but people also are having hard time standing still when the bus moves too fast or stops suddenly. In addition, they sometimes accidently drop their stuffs like wallets, cards or water bottles and it is really hard for them to maintain balance while bending over to pick their stuff up. Thus, I think improving the stability and having some bottle holder on the bus would be really helpful. One thing that I like about this sprint is that it gives me a chance to go out, observe, reflect on what I observe and bring up problems or suggestions to improve the system.

Application:

Based on this experience of doing user research, I have realized how important it is to have to go out, observe people, see in person what they are struggling for and then make improvements based on what I see. The reason is that it is more direct to be in that environment, experience what the user experience and observe what they do. I think I would to use this technique in the future when I want to testing a certain system or object that already exists or has just been invented. It would be inappropriate when ideation has not taken place, which means that there would be nothing to be tested on.

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