Design Sponge

A simple blog to showcase my projects, as well as what excites me in the world of design and engineering

Human Factors – Ethnography

Using methods we were taught during our human factors methods workshop I decided what I wanted to discover/learn from the target user. This was largely achieved through initial desktop research into the product line, competitors, the target user and other relevant articles.

Initial auto-ethnography was then carried out for a week. This allowed me to get a feel for the product and helped me think of useful questions to ask and interesting areas to probe and learn about.

Using all of the above I decided in terms of design ethnography it would be useful to test the product in it’s natural environment and it would be useful to test it for a week. This allows for the user to have time with the product and get used to it as this may be a factor with this being a self monitoring device. As a result of this it would not be useful to simply have a questionnaire that was filled out at the end of the week. It is important to get an understanding of how the user is interacting with the product and how the feel as the week progresses. Therefore I opted to use a journal. This allowed me to do much more then I would be able to do with a simple questionnaire. I decided it was very important that the journal did not promote the product at all, which is why there are no images of the Fitbit One in the journal. I also did not want to introduce any bias into the study so I decided not to fully introduce the product or tell the user how it worked or how to use it. This will also be vital in discovering how intuitive the product is and how good the instructions are.

photo (2)

Below I have summa

rised what sections I have included in my journal:

– Friendly, informal introduction thanking the participant for taking part in my study. Here I explain who I am and what my project regards. I explain why I do not want to give them too much information on the Fitbit One and ask them to use the product for a week in the same way they would if they imagined they had just bought it. I also explain that all information they provide will be kept anonymous.

– Un-boxing Video

I thought it was important to get the participants initial impressions of the product as well as the packaging. This will show me straight away whether the packaging causes any problems and requires re-designing. I provided a list of questions to help prompt their initial thoughts as well as an explanation of how to record their video (including images).

– Setting Up

I asked if the participant could use a email account I had set up for them when setting up the Fitbit. This would allow me to see the data the Fitbit collects across the week and compare it to other participants.

– Physical Ergonomics

I asked the user to draw an outline of their hand on one of the pages so that I can get an understanding (roughly) of the target users hand anthropometrics.

– Quick Questionnaire

A small questionnaire to be filled out at the beginning of their week so I can get an understanding of who they are as well as their experiences with these types of products.

– Things I like / Things I don’t like

For this section I had two pages opposite each other so the participant can see both at the same time. Throughout the week they can use these pages to note anything they like or do not like.

– Try a competitor for the day

On day 5 the participant is asked to use Steps Pedometer on their Iphone (or equivalent if they are using and android or windows phone). This allows them to get a feel for what else is out there and allows them to compare.

– How they are using it / Features

Here I try to discover what platform they are using the review the Fitbits data, whether it be the website, the app or just the Fitbit itself. I also ask the participant to list all the features they think the Fitbit One has in order to gain an understanding whether they are aware of everything the Fitbit One offers.

– Final Questionnaire

This is just a very quick questionnaire for the participant to complete when they finish their week. Many of the questions are the same as the initial questions to see if the Fitbit has changed their exercise patterns over the week they used it.


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This entry was posted on February 25, 2014 by in Design, Projects, Uncategorized.
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