The Field Guide2:48 with Tomer Sharon
Before you go to the field to observe people, prepare a field guide that will help you focus on your goals and support your data collection.
Before you go to the field to observe people, prepare a field guide that will 0:00 help you focus on your goals and support your data collection. 0:04 A field guide can be a one page document with a bullet list of things to look for. 0:08 Or a 50 page booklet that facilitates a more structured note taking. 0:13 It’s pretty much up to you, your personality and preference. 0:18 I’m more on the open ended side of things. 0:21 I prefer going on field observations without too much structure around what I 0:24 wanna do and see. 0:28 I create a list of things I need to pay attention to and look for 0:29 while keeping an open mind about new, sometimes surprising things that will 0:33 reveal themselves to me during observation. 0:38 Others and I definitely remember myself taking this approach sometimes. 0:42 Prefer structuring their note taking and prepare as many placeholders as possible. 0:46 To save time during observations. 0:52 Here's an example of a field guide created and shared by the design agency IDIO. 0:54 You can clearly see this is a highly structured approach to note taking. 1:00 I’m not saying any approach is better than the other. 1:04 It’s a matter of personal preference and personality of observers. 1:07 What you must prepare prior to going to the field is a short list of 1:12 research questions. 1:16 Even if you prefer the more open ended approach to field observations. 1:18 It’s actually a must have for any type of user research but 1:22 in the case of field observation, it becomes far more critical. 1:26 Research questions are questions that will be answered during the study. 1:32 Don’t confuse them with questions you might ask research participants. 1:36 They are not the same. 1:40 Research questions are questions you or the team have. 1:42 Getting answers to these questions is the reason for running research. 1:46 As a ballpark estimate you should probably have around five research questions. 1:51 They will help you during field observations and 1:56 will guide you into what parts you need to pay the most attention to. 1:59 Here are a few sample research questions. 2:04 One, how do people choose which app to buy? 2:07 Two, what are the steps people make to recover a password they forgot? 2:11 Three, what is the primary problem people have when using public transportation? 2:16 And four, who uses voice to control their smartphone? 2:22 Did you notice what these questions are after? 2:28 That's right. 2:31 Human behavior. 2:32 This is why you need to observe people. 2:34 You want to observe their behavior to answer your most important questions. 2:36 Next, we'll learn how to actually collect data during field observation sessions. 2:41
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