User Interviews & Contextual Enquiry
Contextual enquiry or ethnography as it is also known is a method used to capture information about behaviour in the context of people's real world environments. This can be the user's home, place of work, or out on location such as in a car.
Often in web usability testing a user is focused on the site that is being tested, but to truly understand your customers, you need to gain a deeper understanding of the end to end process of how they might complete various tasks. An example might be a major holiday website where a user might read a brochure as a first source for inspiration, or when shopping around online they may choose to look at review and comparison websites for a sanity check before purchasing a holiday.
Benefits of this service
Contextual enquiry or ethnography can help you gain valuable insights to the users goals and motivations in a natural environment and see opportunities for improving your digital strategy to improve the user experience for your customers.
- More accurately reflects real world usage
- Eliminates any unusual influence on the participant due to unnatural surroundings e.g. a usability lab
- Reveals not just what people say or how they think, but also provides a clear understanding of how experiences work
- Avoids making assumptions and encourages exploration with customers
- Can be highly effective when researching users with disabilities who have a particular technical setup at home
- They are usually only possible to undertake with a small sample of potential users
- The data can be fairly complex and time consuming to analyse
- Highly dependant on the moderators observations and findings
We recruit a representative sample of your audience. We will then observe users in their natural environment e.g. at work or home. By observing users as they perform their day to day 'tasks' we gain insight into the conditions, variables and contexts behind a user's needs or behaviour.
We may get users to perform various task on your website by way of usability testing during the interview to demonstrate what they would typically do. Afterwards user interviews take place to gather further information about their experience.
Diary studies - We may also look to give users a diary to record their thoughts and experiences in a digital camera which can elicit important information that might normally be overlooked in the presence of a researcher. These types of studies are valuable for gaining intimacy and probing matters of personal or emotional relevancy. This technique is best used in conjunction with interviews, using the photos or entries as a way to trigger discussions.
We would typically look to deliver the following to your organisation as part of the user interviews & contextual enquiry studies.
Usability Report - that describes the purpose of the study, a description of the procedures, a summary of the findings, and perhaps most important, the significant themes that emerged within and between testing sessions.
Presentation - an oral presentation communicating the most important findings and recommendations.
Personas (4-6) - A persona is a representation of a systems intended customers, often described as real people. Any project can have one or more personas, (typically around 4-6), each representing a different kind of audience for the system. We will collate the data gathered from the research to find trends and patterns from which we can create 4-6 personas capturing behaviours, attitudes, goals, and information needs.
Need some more information?
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you run and co-ordinate User interviews & contextual enquiry studies then please call us or email us below and we would be happy to help out where we can.
We are ready to answer your questions right now, so please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)207 168 7526 or drop us a quick email email@example.com and we will do our best to help you with any questions you might have.