User Observations
User Observations
individual and group assignment
To conduct a series of contextual inquiries and practice the process of synthsizing the information and communicating the results.
It is now time to identify the particular task that you are going to take on as a group. The goal of this assignment is to identify the class you will address and the learning problems that you are going to address.

You also need to identify who has the problem. Is it the teachers, the TAs, the students? It makes a difference.

Each team member conducts 3 inquiries each with a different prospective user. Each session should be at least 30 minutes. For each session prepare extensive notes on observations of both behavior and issues you discover. Each observation is a sentence or two with a user number and observation number for further reference in the process.
individual submission
Each individual should submit a Word document with all of the observations listed.

Each individual should prepare the following PowerPoint slides

  • A culture diagram showing the kinds of people involved and their influence on the primary users
  • A flow diagram that shows how and what information flows among the various players
  • A summary of each information artifact including who produces it and why?, who uses it and why?

Paste your PowerPoint slides into your Word document for submission.


__ 4) Careful and complete list of observations

__ 1) Clear culture diagram

__ 2) Clear flow diagram that shows all of the information flow

__ 2) Good complete set of information artifacts

group synthesis
Take all of your observations and use affinity grouping to synthesize them into a coherant set of key observations.

Use these to generate a single set of diagrams (culture, flow, artifacts, physical). Prepare these as a set of no more than 8 PowerPoint slides for presentation at critique.

group submit
Put all of your affinity groupings with their observations and final synthesis diagrams into a single Word document as a final report of your inquiries and one of your team submit through LearningSuite. Also include a camera shot (from somebody's phone) of your raw affinity grouping exercise (photo of the stickies)


  • __ 6) Good use of affinity grouping to condense observations into a series of key issues
  • __ 2) Good diagrams that unify the observations
  • __ 2) Clear, well prepared presentation