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Wixon, Dennis R. et al. “Usability in practice: Field Methods Evolution and Revolution” CHI ''02 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems - CHI ''02. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 2002. 880. Web.
Field research differs from usability tests in that a) do not require design or protoype; b) offer ways to gather and analyze data about user work as it is done (880).
Contextual Design: An Overview
- contextual inquiry (data gathering for contextual design)
- small group of users is feasible
- assumption that "intent behind user work can be discovered only by dialog with users as they work" (881)
- directed at generating new requirements, designs, product (discovery, not evaluation)
Field Methods for Task Analysis
- Users, tasks, and working environments must be considered together.
- Primary, secondary, surrogate users; may differ from buyers
- work flow analysis, job analysis, task inventories, procedural analysis
- importance of site visit (observation, interviewing, note-taking)
- immense amount of data; break down using variety of methods and techniques (881)
Streamlining Field Methods
- shorter sessions with participants (2 hours)
- data-analysis with engineering / marketing during informal debriefings after the sessions
- apply team approach, separate interviewers and note-takers (sharing tasks)
Discount User Observations (DUO)
- balancing data collection/analysis and development schedule.
- collect observations in detailed notes while work occurring
- ask minimal clarifying questions during data collection
- record detailed info by using digital still cam
- review data immediately after collection
- separate data collection into 2 distinct roles-- note-taker and recorder
- focus on recording user activities and events in sequence
- mark clearly ambiguous data as it is collected so that data can be clarified during collection
- Field methods are scalable