Tuesday – User research in the fields

Tuesday was out and about today in the North York Moors. Talking to farmers. And the occasional sheep. 

It was also the first time out with a new mobile lab set up. The plan was set up by my Ideasmith partner Ian, and uses OBS recording software to capture the user’s screen and a webcam. Kudos to him, it works really well for recording, including crisp audio, which made the replays to the team the following day very smooth. In terms of kit set up, we’ll probably do some tweaks to reduce the snake pit of cables and space it takes up but as a first run it stood up really well. It’s always nice when a plan works out. 

Wednesday – popcorn and post its

With kitchen table interviews like we did on Tuesday, there’s no room for observers to come along and watch live so we organised a “popcorn session” for stakeholders to watch the recordings. We had a full house in the room and more on remote, watching and taking notes of the key points. 

Sitting with stakeholders experienced in the sector is not only useful and illuminating but an absolute privilege. They are able to explain references a new researcher in the sector might miss and the context of throw away comments that shed light on the insights. The challenge is, you almost end up with as many notes from listening to stakeholders as you do from users. But this is all good for researchers to work with and develop the insights the team needs. 

Weekend – things you might not know

End of the week and I was beaten by the common cold. Pounding head, sore throat, runny nose. You know the drill. Frustrating but not the end of the world, and a fine excuse to snuggle up and binge watch Black Mirror. And if you’re wondering why we still suffer these indignities… I shall pass over to Tom Scott, explorer and explainer of many things you might not know

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