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Four Bedrock Techniques For Observational Research

Excerpt below from the article by Mike Youngblood.
Read the complete article here.

“Observational research can help you to see things differently. It can be enormously valuable for testing hypotheses, finding patterns, and just generally getting a handle on what’s going on in your customers’ world – and in your own.

Observational research can take many different forms, but it needn’t be daunting. It is easy to get rich insights about social settings and behaviors from even a few minutes of watching what’s going on, as long as it is done in a thoughtful, structured manner.

This article offers four basic but effective techniques for doing simple, structured observational research that can push your design and innovation practices further.”

“The techniques in this article all have a few things in common:
First, they can be performed with low-tech, everyday tools. All you need to get started are a pencil, a tablet of paper and perhaps a wristwatch.

Second, despite their simplicity, these techniques all add structure and focus to your observations. Structure and focus are critical aspects of observational research; they make the difference between merely looking at what’s going on and actually studying it.

Third, the techniques enable analysis in real time, as you observe. This makes your insights more immediate than those that require plowing through video footage or a data feed hours or days later.

Finally, these techniques are versatile and adaptable. We think of them as bedrock techniques because, once you have experimented with them a bit, you can easily build on them and combine them with other techniques to fit your particular needs.”

Read more by downloading the article here.

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