Opportunity for user research through training process...pointers?



I have sort of an unusual opportunity for gathering user information…I’ll be accompanying others onsite during an implementation and training process. It’s not the usual user testing setting, but I’ll take my data how I can get it. Basically, my colleagues will be training the users, and I’ll be observing, taking notes, and possibly soliciting feedback. This will help inform future enhancements, and identify usability problems.

Has anyone ever been in the position of ad-hoc research? If so, what sort of tools or techniques are recommended? It probably won’t be an isolated controlled environment typical of a user testing setting, and I doubt I’ll get to employ a full questionnaire, or record the session, for example. Maybe I’ll get to ask a few questions here and there.



This is common contextual inquiry research. :grinning:

I would ask if you can quietly record sessions for internal use just so you can refer to it later.

You want to really see what tasks people want to accomplish and how they actually accomplish these task. A Task Analysis is a good tool to help you generate questions. Then you can refine them after being in the field.

Hope that helps!


If they’re being trained on a digital tool may I ask why you wouldn’t be able to record the sessions? For the implementation, I second the comment from @jdebari about quietly recording them. This would give you the opportunity to not only revisit your work the way it played out for a user but you could also later evaluate how your team did as well.

If it’s not a digital tool may I ask what they’re being trained on/to do?


@stevejoseph, I may not have the opportunity to record because user testing is not the primary focus of the visit.