Virtual Seminar

Field Studies: The Ultimate Tool in Your Usability Toolbox

March 2007

90 minutes

  • Plan, set up, and run a field study, from getting buy-in to communicating results
  • Determine user groups to observe through collection of demographic information, customer lists, data from outside market research firms, surveys, and screeners
  • Efficiently observe and interview users to gather the most pertinent data
  • Collect and analyze solid user data to determine “what is” and “what could be”
  • Use process storyboards, user data posters, artifacts, photos, and workflow diagrams to create compelling, useful deliverables from the mountains of user data collected from field studies
  • Sell the field research process within your organization and convince key stakeholders of the importance of user research
Topics:

Would you like to have lifetime access to the most groundbreaking thinking in the world of Experience Design? Instead of traveling to a training course, you and your colleagues can hear the latest insights on the most important design topics right from your office.

Watching a UIE Virtual Seminar couldn't be simpler. You'll view the presentation in your web browser and listen to it with your computer speakers. (We've tested the seminar using Firefox and Internet Explorer on both Macs and PCs with great success.) All you'll need is a web browser equipped with the Macromedia Flash Player (version 6 or newer) and a connection to the Internet.

Seminar Description
Do you really know who your users are and what they want? Are you unsure whether or not you’re getting the most out of your user research? Is your product really as powerful, intuitive, and easy-to-use as you think it is? Many teams tell us they lack the expertise to get into the minds of their users. Without this valuable insight, the designs teams produce fall short of delighting users, and cause frustration for everyone involved.

The best way to truly understand your users' goals, attitudes, and workplaces is to watch people in context. By going into the field, observing and interviewing users in their own environments, and then analyzing the data, you can come back with an incredibly rich understanding of what users really need. With research culled from field studies, you'll always end up making radical improvements to your web sites and software.

While techniques such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys can lead to valuable insights, none of them immerse design teams in users' natural environments to observe critical details quite like field research. In this presentation, Kate will share some of her most important findings about the field study process, its techniques, and its effectiveness.

  • Plan, set up, and run a field study, from getting buy-in to communicating results

  • Determine user groups to observe through collection of demographic information, customer lists, data from outside market research firms, surveys, and screeners

  • Efficiently observe and interview users to gather the most pertinent data

  • Collect and analyze solid user data to determine “what is” and “what could be”

  • Use process storyboards, user data posters, artifacts, photos, and workflow diagrams to create compelling, useful deliverables from the mountains of user data collected from field studies

  • Sell the field research process within your organization and convince key stakeholders of the importance of user research

Kate will also tell you how her company creates sets of concise field study deliverables that actually compel design teams to come up with great ideas - through the use of techniques such as illustrated site visit reports, user profiles, workplace descriptions, top-ten tasks lists, storyboards, and more.

Who Should Attend
If you are involved in interface design, as either a designer or a project manager, you’ll benefit from Kate’s expertise.

Web Designers and Interface Designers will find the field techniques in this seminar useful in extending their skill sets. Usability Practitioners will learn a new tool available for delighting their users and learn how to create process storyboards and develop user data posters. Project Managers will learn how to sell the field research process within their organization.

No previous experience in collecting field data is necessary.