User Research

I observed people and practices for 30 minutes at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. I took field notes by describing, naming, and sketching practices. I sat on the 2nd floor of the library and described my setting and practices. I also wrote a memo about my observations and an interesting practice I saw that could pose an interesting design challenge. I also practiced naming each practice I saw, as seen in my memo. Some simple practices I observed include mouse/mousepad usage, laptop usage, speaking, eating, sitting, and drinking. I used my sketchbook to sketch what the library looked like as well to give perspective to what I was looking at. My memo and field notes can be found here.

Something that frustrated me was not being able to observe/see more practices to take field notes of. I found that it can take some creativity to see things with an open mind for taking observational notes. In the future, I can narrow down my observations and what I’m looking for so my notes can be more detailed.

What was fun about this sprint?

I enjoyed this sprint because I am very observational. I notice things easily, so it wasn’t too hard to write down things I saw. People-watching can be fun too, when looking for practices, because ­­it is interesting to see the different ways people do things, either due to physical or psychological reasons.

A way reflexivity could have affected my research is through my own opinion. For example, I personally think people who talk loudly in a library are automatically irritating. However, many people might not think that because you are allowed to talk in this particular library. Because it is easier for me to notice loud people in a library, I might be prone to more observation of the setting/people who are talking loudly. Some people like noise, so fixing this problem could be detrimental in user research because I, the researcher, am focused on solving one of my own problems subconsciously.

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