We offer a flexible method for observation and interviewing in context.
Contextual Inquiries are a qualitative observation and survey method from the field of contextual design, in which users are observed in their respective context of use and interviewed about their experiences. The context of use depends on the product or service: for example, an investigation of the check-in process at airports would take place with real passengers on site at the check-in counters. Realistic insights gained in this way about users and the context of use (so-called bottom-up insights) form an important basis in the product development process. Contextual inquiries and comparable ethnographic approaches ensure that developers do not bypass the users, but consistently incorporate this knowledge about users and the context of use into their designs.
Particularly suitable for:
- Elicitation of requirements at the beginning of the development and innovation process
- Summative evaluation in the middle of the development and innovation process (e.g., to get feedback on a prototype or an existing product)
- Increasing empathy on the part of the developers: “empathizing” with the circumstances of the users
- Individual setting
- Directly with the users in the relevant context (e.g., workplace)
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