Day 1: Discovering User Needs - Field Techniques You Can Use

Kate Gomoll & Ellen Story, Gomoll Research & Design

When it comes to your users, do you really know what they want? Are you unsure whether you’re getting the most out of your user research? Many teams tell us they are missing key information to get into the mind of their users. Without this information, the designs they produce fall short of delighting their users.

The first step for truly understanding your users' goals and attitudes is to watch people in context. By going into the field, observing and interviewing users in their own environments, 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.

That’s why we’ve designed Day 1 of the UIE Roadshow to help you with this process. We've asked Kate Gomoll and Ellen Story, experts in user research techniques, to bring their hugely-popular Field Research seminar on the road with us. In just one day, Kate and Ellen will give you an in-depth exploration of how to collect detailed, solid user data.

Practical Application: Conduct a Field Study

During the day, you will have the opportunity to actively participate in a field visit with real users. We've made special arrangements with the conference hotel to let you go into the field as part of a small team. Armed with a notepad and a disposable camera, your team will study the operations of one of the hotel's departments. Kate and Ellen will then show you how to analyze the data you've collected and produce a report describing what you learned.

During the day, you’ll see:

  1. How to observe your users. You will see how to collect key information that feeds directly into your design.
  2. How to plan, set up, and run a field study. Kate and Ellen will share tips to expedite this part of the study, such as using already documented user and task data that likely exists within your organization.
  3. How to determine the right user groups to observe. You will learn how to locate and collect demographic information, work with customer lists, use outside market research firms, and develop surveys and screeners.
  4. How to deal with the mountains of user data collected from field studies and come away with compelling, useful deliverables. Learn to create process storyboards and develop user data posters. Plus use artifacts, photos, and diagrams to illustrate workflow.
  5. How to deal with your organization's politics. Based on years of experience, Kate and Ellen will give you practical advice on how best to sell the field research process within your organization and to convince key stakeholders of the importance of user research.

Who Should Attend?

If you are involved in interface design, either as a designer or project manager, you’ll benefit from Kate and Ellen’s excellent presentation skills and tremendous experience.

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.

Plus, a detailed seminar booklet!

In addition to the entertaining lecture and interactive exercises, you will receive a detailed seminar booklet, including all of the slides, plus a narrative set of notes that will serve as your guide long after the seminar is over.

If you need to learn what it takes to truly satisfy your users, you’ll want to attend this seminar.

UIE Roadshow Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Kate and Ellen's full-day seminar, you will also want to attend Kim Goodwin’s Persona Development seminar on Day 2 of the Roadshow. Then, cap off your week in Ginny Redish's Honing Your Usability Testing Skills seminar on Day 3.