I’m taking David Travis’s The Ultimate Guide to Usability and UX course on Udemy. I just finished the section on Contextual Inquiries. I understand it in theory, and I understand why it’s so important and the steps to go about conducting it in a team environment with an actual product.
The thing is, I’m learning UX on my own. In December I plan on attending General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive course, but right now, I’m a lone wolf.
Contextual inquiries sound intimidating (I’m a slow note taker, I have a hard time being concise, I imagine that the transcription process afterwards takes forever, I don’t have the best memory, and I am a perfectionist which makes me super detail oriented and thus slower.) And because of this, I would like to get in some practice right now. Learning about it and learning by doing it are two completely different things.
As I am on my own though, I’m trying to figure out how I’d overcome the following issues:
I don’t have a product to have them use. I’m not a programmer, nor am I a visual designer – at the moment. The only way I can think of overcoming this is to give the participant a product which I haven’t made that I already use – like my Kindle Paperwhite.
Where do I get participants? I can think of a few, like my parents, one of my friends, and my girlfriend, but beyond that, I’m not sure where to turn. Additionally, I have learned that it is best to conduct contextual inquiries with people who already use the product (that way they can act as the expert, and you the apprentice, and tell you how they use the product). None of the people I just listed have ever used a Kindle. What if they genuinely don’t know how to use the product? If I tell them, I’m no longer the apprentice.
Once I get the data, I imagine that I would go back, transcribe my notes and audio/visual recordings, and try my best to summarize each thing onto a sticky note. From there I would group them and put them on a board, creating a user journey map. But then what? I’m not in a team and so there is no one to share this information with. Also, there are no iterations that I can make to this already existing product.
Thanks, and I hope this post wasn’t too long!