A study in which the designer observes the participant in the location and context of their usual activities, observing and recording events to understand the activities from the participant’s point of view.
1. Based on your design question, define the activities that you want to understand better.
2. Find participants that are willing to be followed for some hours (or even an entire day).
3.Arrange/schedule to follow participants throughout their day/activities.
4. Make sure you have materials to capture the data that the participants feel comfortable with (audio/video recordings, note taking, etc.)
5. Follow participants and capture the information. Sometimes it help to ask participants to explain the reasoning they have for doing things in a certain way.
6. Go over the information that has been captured. Make storyboards that include a timeline of actions and explanatory text
7. Analyse the data to gather insights.
When you need to understand how users go about their day and how your design could fit with their routines.
Following a user allows you to see how they behave in the real world, which can be different from how they say they behave.
Make sure to have a balance between asking questions to understand and just observing the actions.
Storyboard(s) of users’ routines that allow you to understand how your design can fit in them.
Collect insights and design opportunities.