UTHI-hw3-contextualinquiry08 - Understanding Technology and...

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Understanding Technology and Human Interaction Comm.St. 395-0 Sec 20 / EECS 395-0 Sec 7 Spring 2008 Homework 3: Contextual Inquiry Prerequisites For this assignment you will be conducting a Contextual Inquiry. However, before doing so you should become very familiar and comfortable with a number of resources: 1. The lecture on Contextual Inquiry https://courses.northwestern.edu/webapps/login/ 2. Contextual Design Chapter 3. 3. HCI textbook §13.1-13.3 If you haven’t read each of these items carefully, please do so before beginning the assignment. The success of a Contextual Inquiry depends on understanding the principles which underlie Contextual Inquiry and Ethnography in general, and there are a number of pitfalls which these resources will help you avoid. You might also find the following technical report useful: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rsbaker/StarE.pdf -- it’s a writeup of the findings from a set of contextual inquiries (conducted and analyzed by some colleagues: Ryan Baker, Univ. of Nottingham and Angela Wagner, Carnegie Mellon University. The Goal In this assignment, you will begin to learn more about the potential users who may make up the clients and user base of your final project. Your goal for the final project is to design a potential application of interest to you, your group members, or even an outside stakeholder such as a paying client on the Chumby platform. A major first step to doing this successfully is to understand the people, the technology, and the social and physical context that play a role in the interaction for which you are designing. For example, you’ll need to know how people use an existing application and what workarounds they use to complete their work, what social factors play into their decision to contribute to an online community such as Wikipedia, how the physical environment influences a decision to deploy a technology, etc. Conducting a Contextual Inquiry will help you understand the process, workflow, social and physical context in which interactions take place. You will be doing this homework by yourself, in part, so you each learn how to do a Contextual Inquiry. In addition, when you form groups for your final projects, each group will then have a number of different ideas to start with when designing the final project. You should think of this as an opportunity to explore a potential topic area that you might want to make into a final project.
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Understanding Technology and Human Interaction Comm.St. 395-0 Sec 20 / EECS 395-0 Sec 7 Spring 2008 In this module, you will collect some field data, write up field notes, and do an initial analysis of these data. Good qualitative research takes considerable “on the job” experience, protracted time in the field, and writing experience. This is hard to gain in one single homework, but we can offer a structure for getting started and some heuristics for organizing and interpreting your data. Step One: Find a User
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UTHI-hw3-contextualinquiry08 - Understanding Technology and...

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