What to Look For5:00 with Tomer Sharon
The hardest thing to do during field observation is paying attention to everything that is going on in front of your eyes.
The hardest thing to do during field observation is paying attention to 0:00 everything that is going on infront of your eyes. 0:05 You might not realize it, 0:08 but observing human behavior generates tons of rich data. 0:09 It is sometimes challenging to notice when something important happens. 0:13 The goals you have set for user research guide you in what to look for. 0:18 Focus on things related to your goals. 0:23 When you're observing a study participant, look for the following occurrences. 0:26 Routines, things that seem as regular actions the participant is following. 0:31 For example, each time a new work related task comes up, 0:37 the participant logs it in on a spreadsheet he or she has created. 0:41 Interactions, when a study participant uses a certain product, tool or 0:47 service, or when he or she converses with another person. 0:51 For example, when a study participant doesn't understand a certain word he or 0:55 she uses an online dictionary to figure it out. 1:00 Interruptions. 1:04 When a study participant stops a task, or breaks its continuity, 1:05 either because he or she decided to, or because another person causes it. 1:09 For example, when a phone call comes in and 1:14 diverts the study participant from what they're doing. 1:17 Note that it is intuitive to ignore these interruptions, yet 1:21 in many cases they can teach you a lot. 1:24 Life is not always clean of interruptions, so we must understand them. 1:27 Shortcuts, when a study participant chooses a shorter alternative, 1:34 it is an indication of a small problem to pay attention to. 1:38 For example, when instead of writing something down, 1:42 a participant takes a pen and marks an x on the back of their hand. 1:46 Contexts, when a certain action or behavior is demonstrated in 1:52 a different manner because of the environment in which it happens. 1:56 For example, when a participant doesn't take a note on their 2:00 smartphone because of direct sunlight that makes it hard to see anything they type. 2:04 Habits, behaviors participants demonstrate that are almost automatic. 2:09 For example, scribbling something with a pen to make sure it works, 2:16 even though it is brand new. 2:20 Rituals, a behavior that is being followed based on 2:23 a series of actions according to a specific order. 2:27 For example, when a participant wants to delete something in a digital note or 2:30 list, they locate the cursor in the end of the text they wish to delete, 2:36 then use a backspace button to delete each and every character individually. 2:41 Jargon. 2:47 Paying attention to the unique language people use when they do or 2:48 talk about different things is extremely helpful in empathizing with them and 2:52 uncovering their needs. 2:57 It prevents you from using language users don't 2:59 understand in your product or service. 3:02 Annoyances. 3:05 Annoyances are obstacles that stand in the way of people to completing their task, or 3:07 meeting their goals. 3:11 They would not prevent them from reaching their goals, but they'll make them angry, 3:13 frustrated, overwhelmed, or disappointed along the way. 3:17 Delights, the things people enjoy can teach you a lot about what they need. 3:22 Many people perceive research as an activity that uncovers problems 3:28 and frustrations. 3:32 That's partially true. 3:34 Uncovering things that delight and work well for 3:35 users can go a long way into developing great products. 3:39 Transitions, when people move from place to place it's a great time for 3:43 them to share things that might become invaluable, 3:49 especially when they think research sessions are over. 3:53 For example, if you observe someone taking notes in a certain classroom, 3:57 pay extra attention to what happens when the class is over, and 4:02 until you go separate ways with the participant. 4:06 Artifacts. 4:10 Artifacts are tools, services, products, and 4:12 any other thing that people use to complete tasks. 4:15 Your job is to pay attention to the usage of artifacts, and 4:18 if possible, collect or document them. 4:22 For example, if a person is taking notes while using a Livescribe pen and 4:25 notebook, that's an important artifact to take note of, no pun intended. 4:31 That's a lot to track and digest during field observation. 4:38 You need a lot of practice to get it right. 4:42 Don't worry though, even if you miss a few things, you still get to learn so 4:44 much valuable lessons and it'll get better in time. 4:49 Next, you will do just that, practice a field observation. 4:54
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