UIEtips: Field Studies – The Best Tool to Discover User Needs

Jared Spool

August 11th, 2011

To improve the designs we’re creating today, we know that teams do best when they have all of the essential information about their users to make informed decisions.

In our experience, one of the most powerful ways to gather important insights about users is the field study. By making direct observations, design teams can identify opportunities they may have never discovered if they had only conducted usability tests, focus groups, or surveys.

I think it’s essential for all designers to really understand how to conduct a field study and learn how to gather critical information about users. That’s why in this week’s UIEtips we’re reprinting an article from 2007, where I discuss the unique power of field studies.

Read the article: Field Studies: The Best Tool to Discover User Needs

We are so excited about this topic that we’ve invited Steve Portigal, a world-renowned expert in ethnography and innovation, to conduct a full-day workshop at this year’s User Interface 16 Conference in Boston, November 7-9. If you’ve never done fieldwork, or want to learn the latest techniques for extracting brilliant design ideas from your customer visits, you’ll definitely want to explore Steve’s workshop at UICONF.com.

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