UIEtips Article: Field Research Fundamentals: An Interview with Kate Gomoll

Jared Spool

June 5th, 2007

UIEtips 6/05/07: Field Research Fundamentals: An Interview with Kate Gomoll

The most valuable asset of a successful design team is the information they have about their users. When teams have the right information, the job of designing a powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface becomes tremendously easier. When they don’t, every little design decision becomes a struggle.

While techniques, such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys, can lead to valuable insights, one of the most powerful tools is the field study. Field studies get the team immersed in the environment of their users and allow them to observe critical details for which there is no other way of discovering.

While field studies are one of the most expensive techniques to implement, the value they return is tremendous. We’ve never come back from a study thinking we’ve wasted our time and resources. A quality study can produce enough information to keep a team busy for months.

In this week’s feature article, UIE’s Ashley McKee has conducted an excellent interview with Kate Gomoll, a recognized Field Research expert. In the interview, Kate shares how she and her team at Gomoll Research & Design conduct field studies.

Read today’s UIEtips article.

Has your design team conducted field studies? How have they worked for you? As always, I’d love to hear what you’re doing. Join the discussion below.

[Whether you're new to the benefits of performing field research, or a seasoned researcher looking to brush up on your research techniques, you'll definitely want to get your copy of our latest UIE Fundamental Report: The Field Study Handbook -- A Common Sense Approach for Discovering User Needs, written by Kate Gomoll, Ellen Story Church, and Eric Bond.]

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