What people say they do does not always match up with what they actually do. Observing users’ behaviors firsthand can provide
insights they can’t (or won’t) express through conversations alone.
- Minimum 5 participants, right-sized for the project
- 1-4 hours per participant
- In-person, contextual
Pairs well with
- Ethnographic Research
Understand user behaviors, attitudes & needs
How to do it:
- Decide on research questions, goals, and methodology.
- Recruit, schedule, and incentivize participants.
- Determine observation method (shadow/fly on the wall).
- Design a method for capturing behaviors and environments.
- Conduct observations.
- Document with notes, photos, and audio/video.
- Summarize findings to your team.
How To Conduct User Observations – Interaction Design Foundation
Observing users interacting with a product can be a great way to understand the usability of a product and to some extent the overall user experience.
The Role of Observation in UX Research – UX Matters
Observation provides the most accurate information about people, their tasks, and their needs.
Shadowing in User Research – Do You See What They See? – Interaction Design Foundation
Shadowing is one technique that can reveal deep insights into user’s existing behaviors within their natural environment.