Contextual inquiry

This method is about collecting insights about the users’ context by observing your users when they are performing tasks related to the problem space.

How does it help

Just like Diary StudiesContextual Inquiry also removes the memory issues from the research process: we can gain firsthand information about your users’ needs, behavior, actions, motivations and context.

What will you get

You will not only get all the documentation (audio and/or video recordings, notes, photos) of our observation and the User Interviews conducted during the site visit, we will also provide a list of the main findings.

The Contextual Inquiry is based on idea that what your users report and what they actually do can be two completely different thing. It is a powerful method, because it allow us to observe your users in the context of use. Next to removing the self-reporting problems, it has the potential of providing insights about steps or problems the user has not even identified, or reveal unconscious behaviors. Conducting a Contextual Inquiry helps us getting answers for example for these questions:

  • What tasks, actions are your users completing?
  • What steps create friction or unnecessary difficulty in your users’ task?
  • What do your users’ do to avoid or solve these steps?
  • What parts of the process could be improved?

What is the process

We follow these steps:

  • Setting a framework for the Contextual Inquiry
  • Preparing questions, main areas of interest
  • Identifying participants
  • Scheduling the site visits
  • Conducting the Contextual Inquiry itself
  • Analyzing the collected insights