The Field Studies Handbook
Field Study Handbook

The Field Study Handbook:

A Common Sense Approach for Discovering User Needs

By Kate Gomoll, Ellen Story Church, and Eric Bond

Single Report: $79.00

Group License: $199.00 (Share with your group, including right to reproduce the report and store on your intranet)

117 pages, June, 2007

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Do you really know who your users are and what they want? Are you unsure whether or not you are getting the most out of your user research? Is your product really as powerful, intuitive, and easy-to-use as you think it is? By going into the field, observing and interviewing users in their own environments, you can gain an incredibly rich understanding of what users really need.

To help design teams best understand their users’ goals, attitudes, and workplaces, Kate Gomoll, Ellen Story Church, and Eric Bond have written an all-inclusive 117-page report filled to the brim with their collective knowledge of field studies.

Step-by-Step Summary of the Field Study Process

In this report, the authors detail the ins and outs of the entire field study process, from convincing your organization and management of field research’s immense value, to observing and interviewing your target audience, to reporting the results and making recommendations. You will learn:

The Field Study Planning Process. After reading this report, you’ll know how to identify the main target audience for your product, the business domain of your study participants, and the dynamics of your research team. You’ll learn:

  • How to get buy-in within your organization.
  • How to develop your study plan for the field visits.
  • How to create the study materials, including demographic questionnaires, user release forms, interview scripts, task ranking forms, and satisfaction surveys.

How to Conduct Your Site Visits. You’ll learn how to gather the most comprehensive data by watching your users perform actual work in their environments.

  • How to prepare for the site visits.
  • How to perform observations and interviews.
  • How to write site reports.

Making Sense of the Data. You’ll come away with a strong understanding of the most valuable ways to organize, illustrate, and communicate your results to implement successful product improvements.

  • How to organize data and illustrate findings.
  • How to make recommendations for design improvements.
  • How to communicate results.

Plus, 20 detailed samples and forms to conduct your own field studies, including a:

  • Phone screener.
  • Recruiting script.
  • Demographics questionnaire.
  • Interview and observation script.
  • Photo storyboard.

Learn from the Field Study Experts

Kate Gomoll is Principal and founder of Gomoll Research & Design, a consulting firm specializing in user experience design. Kate teaches customer research methods at conferences and workshops worldwide. Kate has conducted customer research for Charles Schwab, Compaq, DirecTV, Hewlett-Packard, GE Healthcare, Onyx Software, Netscape, and MSN TV.

Ellen Story Church has worked in the field of software development and design since 1985. Since joining Gomoll Research & Design, Ellen has helped numerous clients with field research, interface design, prototyping, and usability testing.

Eric Bond is a software designer at Metavante Corporation, a provider of banking and payments technologies. Eric's primary work is interaction design and information design for online banking applications.

Did you know…

  • Design teams can discover product opportunities with field studies that they may never have imagined if they had only conducted usability tests. With field studies, development teams observe users doing real work in real time, which enables them to paint a more accurate picture of the how users interact with a product or process.
  • Field research works best when conducted by a multidisciplinary team. Incorporating team members with backgrounds in psychology, graphic design, programming, writing, instructional design, brings innovative problem solving approaches to the table.
  • You can best communicate results to your design team in one-page deliverables. When analyzing all the collected field study data, you’ll produce quite a few materials that are essential to your team’s understanding of the study participants’ work. Consolidating your materials makes the data more accessible to your team members as they design.
  • Two heads are better than one. Tag-team interviewing is an easy way to save time and put the study participants at ease. One researcher can set up the equipment needed for the visit, and another can begin conversing with the participants. Working with a team member also enables you to make sure you capture as much data as possible and still experience the participants’ environments.

Get UIE's Field Study Bundle for only $228: Buy your copy of The Field Study Handbook report along with Kate Gomoll's 90-minute Virtual Seminar presentation, Field Studies: The Ultimate Tool in Your Usabiliy Toolbox. Jumpstart your field study projects right away!

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