Field Studies enable you to be a ‘fly on the wall’ and see first-hand where your system delights users and where it misses the mark.
There’s no better way to gain insight into how people use a system than by watching them in their normal environment. Sometimes there’s no other way to do it, like testing an in-car navigation system or setting up in-home mobile broadband.
Field Studies are a discovery process where we peek over the shoulder of users to assess task flows, inefficiencies and challenges. All this helps us to redesign a system to better meet users’ needs.
They can be undertaken at early stages of the user centred design process, and/or later in a project with working prototypes or before a full website or system is released.
Observing users in their typical environment has some key advantages, including:
- richness – field studies are a great way to collect rich, detailed data and get the full view of how a system fits within a user’s life
- context – see first-hand how users work and behave, and what they need to support tasks
- comparative – identify any mismatches between the way users work and the tool and / or processes they use
We’ve conducted field studies for Navman, ACC, PGG Wrightson, PSIS, Vodafone, Ministry of Social Development, and the Department of Internal Affairs.
1 – 3 weeks (ad hoc Expert Reviews of 2 hours or more are also popular).