Observation is about observing users behaviours inside the context we want to analyse. It provides more accurate results than asking users about their behaviours when they are away from the context of their activities. There are different techniques that can be used to do that:

1. Look at the place where customers hang out. Observe what they do, what they like what they dislike, analyse their behavior in different context (Mind Map and diagrams could help visualise these information)

2. Follow a person during their day-to-day activities (Shadowing).

3. Try to look at things using all the 5 senses: images, smells, sounds,think, taste (Empathy Map).

4. Look at the past, the present and the possible future of places or people (Literature review).

5. Search for traces, things that people have left behind (Traces).

6. Be curious of seeing beyond the tangible (Diversity Mapping).

7. Take pictures, video and record the sound of what you experience.

8. Take notes of what you observe.

9. Interview people in the context of their activities (Contextual Inquiry).


Different ways of documenting ‘observations’:
::Digital Cameras


Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and Dave Cronin, About Face 3 (Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007)