Contextual inquiry is a semi-structured interview method to obtain information about the context of use, where users are first asked a set of standard questions and then observed and questioned while they work in their own environments.

  • Four principles define the contextual inquiry method:
    • Context: To understand the ongoing experience and tacit knowledge of the worker, it is critical that the researcher observe details in context.
    • Partnership: This is similar to a master/apprentice model, watching, asking questions, and seeking to understand how the data more reliably reflects reality.
    • Interpretation: What researchers see and hear must be interpreted for meaning and double-checked with participants on-site.
    • Focus: The researcher must learn to expand beyond personal focus to see more in the participant’s world, picking up on idiosyncrasies and contradictions.
  • This is used to understand communication flows, the sequence of tasks, artifacts, tools, and the influence of culture and the physical environment on work.
  • Interview multiple people in different user segments before synthesizing contextual inquiry findings.

More Readings,

User Journey Maps try to capture the experience of a user during the interaction with the products. They are a visual trip of the user across the solution. Journey Maps are some kind of a journal, where user notes their feelings, pain points and the ...

Anthropomorphic forms are appealing when they are dissimilar or identical to humans, but unappealing when they are very similar to humans. Anthropomorphic forms are generally appealing to humans. However, when a form is very close but not identical ...

A content inventory is a collection of data about your content. Unlike the content audit, which is qualitative, the inventory is quantitative. It's a comprehensive list – typically a spreadsheet – of all content assets, ideally across all content...

An imageboard or image board is a type of Internet forum which operates mostly via posting images. The first imageboards were created in Japan and inspired the creation of a number of English language imageboards. They are based on the textboard conc...

A tendency to find forms that appear humanoid or exhibit humanlike characteristics appealing. In 1915, worried that their straight-sided bottle could be easily confused with those of imitators, the Coca-Cola company set out to create a distinctive n...

A literature review is a text of a scholarly paper, which includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Literature reviews are secondary sources, and do n...