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Lecture 2: Discovering what people can't tell you: Contextual Inquiry and Design Methodology*. Brad Myers 05-863 / 08-763 / 46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives Fall, 2009, Mini 2.
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Lecture 2:Discovering what people can't tell you:Contextual Inquiry and Design Methodology* Brad Myers 05-863 / 08-763 / 46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives Fall, 2009, Mini 2 *These lecture notes based in part on notes created by Professors Bonnie John and Ken Koedinger
Teaching Assistants • Andrea Irwin • airwin @ andrew.cmu.edu • http://andreairwindesign.com/ • Office hours: • Wed, 12:30pm-1:30pm, place: NSH 3501 • By appointment • Zhiquan ("ZQ") Yeo • zyeo @ andrew.cmu.edu • http://www.zhiquanyeo.com/ • Office hours: • Sun, 7:00pm-8:00pm,place: NSH 3001 • By appointment
Pick Devices for Assignments • Random order for currently enrolled &wait-listed students • If late to class, go to end of the line
Contextual Inquiry Contextual Design Paper prototypes Think-aloud protocols Heuristic Evaluation Cognitive Walkthrough KLM and GOMS Task analysis Questionnaires Surveys Interaction Relabeling Personas Log analysis Focus groups Video prototyping Wizard of Oz Body storming Affinity diagrams Expert interviews Card sorting Diary studies Improvisation Use cases Scenarios Cognitive Dimensions … Some Usability Methods
Contextual Inquiry and Design • One method for organizing the development process • We teach it to our MS and BS students • Seems to be very successful • Described in book: • H. Beyer and K. Holtzblatt. 1998. Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. San Francisco, CA:Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 1558604111. • http://www.incent.com/ • Another book (doesn’t work as well): • K. Holtblatt, J. BurnsWendell, and S. Wood. 2004. Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design. San Francisco, CA:Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc.
Common HCI methods in the software lifecycle System Formulation e.g., interviews, questionnaires,Contextual Inquiry Requirements Architectural Design Detailed Design e.g. MHP, GOMS, Heuristic Evaluation, Cognitive Walkthrough, Rapid prototyping + Think-aloud testing, Controlled experiments. Implementation System Test and Deployment e.g., Think-aloud Usability Testing, Log analysis, Contextual Inquiry, Controlled Experiments
Design Ideas Prototyping New Design Ideas HCI methods in the design process Contextual Inquiry • Contextual Inquiry is used in the beginning of the design process Tasks Think-AloudUsability Studies Heuristic Evaluation Cognitive Walkthrough GOMS Empirical Methods Analytic Methods
User Study Methods& the different fields they come from • Questionnaires, Interviews • Social Psychology • Focus Groups • Business, marketing technique • Laboratory studies • Experimental Psychology • Think-aloud protocols • Cognitive Psychology • Participant/observer ethnographic studies • Anthropology
Contextual Inquiry & Design • Contextual Inquiry • An evolving method • A kind of “ethnographic” or “participatory design” method • Combines aspects of other methods: • Interviewing, think-aloud protocols, participant/observer in the context of the work • Part of “Contextual Design” • Also includes models to describe results
“Contextual Inquiry” • Interpretive field research method • Depends on conversations with users in the context of their work • Recommends “direct observation” when possible • When not possible • cued recall of past experience, or • recreation of related experience • Used to define requirements, plans and designs. • Drives the creative process: • In original design • In considering new features or functionality
Why Context? • Design complete work process • Fits into “fabric” of entire operations • Not just “point solutions” to specific problems • Integration! • Consistency, effectiveness, efficiency, coherent • Design from data • Not just opinions, negotiation • Not just a list of features
Who? • Interviewers: “Cross-functional” team • Designers • UI specialists • Product managers • Marketing • Technical people • Customers • Between 6 – 20 • Representative of different roles
Where? • Design is a group activity • Shared across different groups • Useful to have a designated, long-term space for the project team • Interviews at customer site
Key Concepts in Contextual Inquiry • Context • Understand users' needs in their work or living environment • Partnership • Work with users as co-investigators • Interpretation • Assigning meaning to the observations • Focus • Listen and probe from a clearly defined set of concerns
Context • Definition: • The interrelated conditions within which something occurs or exists • Understand work in its natural environment • Go to the user • Observe real work • Use real examples and artifacts • “Artifact”: An object created by human workmanship • Interview while she/he is working
Interviews, Surveys, Focus Groups Summary data & abstractions Subjective Limited by reliability of human memory What customers think & say they want Contextual Inquiry Ongoing experience & concrete data Objective Spontaneous, as it happens What customers actually need Key distinctions about context
Elements of User's Context: Pay Attention to all of these • User's work space • User's work • User's work intentions • User's words • Tools used • How people work together • Business goals • Organizational and cultural structure
Standard Contextual Inquiry:Work-based Interview Use when: • Product or process already exists • Or a near competitor’s • User is able to complete a task while you observe • Work can be interrupted
What to Record • Work flow and tasks • Work opportunities and problems • Tool opportunities and problems • Design ideas and validations • User's words • Ask for elaboration, explanation • Your observations
When to take notes? Any observations not being recorded Note taking can help you pay closer attention Notes lead to faster turn-around Do not let it interfere with interviewing How to record? What the user says – in quotes What the user does – plain text Your interpretation – in parentheses Write fast! Interview Note-Taking
Reasons for variation on the standard work-based interview • Different goals • Designing a known product • Know the competition • Addressing a new work domain • Study what replacing • Designing for a new technology • Types of tasks that make work-based inquiry impractical • Intermittent – instrument or keep logs • Uninterruptible – video and review later • Extremely long – point sample and review
Some Alternative Contextual Inquiry Interview Methods • For intermittent tasks • In-context cued recall • Activity logs • For uninterruptible tasks • Post-observation inquiry • For extremely long or multi-person tasks • Artifact walkthrough • New technology within current work • Future Scenario • Prototype or prior version exists • Prototype/Test drive
Partnership • Definition: • A relationship characterized by close cooperation • Build an equitable relationship with the user • Suspend your assumptions and beliefs • Invite the user into the inquiry process
Why is Partnership Important? • Information is obtained through a dialog • The user is the expert. • Not a conventional interview • Alternative way to view the relationship:Master/Apprentice • The user is the “master craftsman” at his/her work • You are the apprentice trying to learn
Establishing Partnership • Share control • Use open-ended questions that invite users to talk: • "What are you doing?" • "Is that what you expect?" • "Why are you doing...?" • Let the user lead the conversation • Listen! • Pay attention to communication that is non-verbal
Making your interpretations explicit Procedure we recommend (not in Beyer & Holtzblatt’s writings) • Label “facts” with the line number of the transcript or time on the tape • Interpretations are then anything not labeled that way • If you do this all the way through, the links back to facts are explicit and the intermediate hypotheses and ideas can always be challenged
Analysis • In the moment:Simultaneous data collection and analysis during interview • Post interview: • Using notes, tapes, and transcripts • Analysis by a group: • Integrates multiple perspectives • Creates shared vision • Creates shared focus • Builds teams • Saves time
Defining the Tasks • In a real Contextual Inquiry, user decides the tasks • Investigate real-world tasks, needs, context • But you still must decide the focus • What tasks you want to observe • That are relevant to your product plan • But for Assignment 1, you will have to invent some tasks
Test Tasks • Task design is difficult part of usability testing • Representative of “real” tasks • Sufficiently realistic and compelling so users are motivated to finish • Can let users create their own tasks if relevant • Appropriate difficulty and coverage • Should last about 2 minutes for expert, less than 30 for novice • Short enough to be finished, but not trivial • Tasks not humorous, frivolous, or offensive • Easy task first, progressively harder • But better if independent
Test Script • Useful to have a script • Make sure say everything you want • Make sure all users get same instructions • Should read instructions out loud • Ask if users have any questions • Make sure instructions provide goals only in a general way, and doesn’t give away information • Describe the result and not the steps • Avoid product names and technical terms that appear on the web site • Don’t give away the vocabulary • Example: • “The clock should have the right time”; not: “Use the hours and minutes buttons to set the time”
Example of CI • Video of sample session with a eCommerce site: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/EHCIcontexualinquiry.mpg • Issues to observe • Interview of work in progress, in “context” • Actual session of doing a task • Not an interview asking about possible tasks, etc. • Questions to clarify about routine, motivations • Why do certain actions: need intent for actions • Notice problems (“breakdowns”) • Notice what happens that causes users to do something (“triggers”) • E.g. appearance of error messages, other feedback, external events (phone ringing), etc.
Screen shots of important points in video http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/EHCIcontexualinquiryScreens.ppt