Contextual Inquiry Plan


The Plan:

Our design is primarily directed toward people who frequently either ask unanswered questions or answer unasked questions about the world around them–this may include wanderers, students, and resident experts. We plan on observing people in places where they are inspired to be more curious than normal, as well as during their daily routines to see what types of questions pop up.

Our three targets for this contextual inquiry are an outdoorsy Williams student, a museum visitor, and a geocacher. Our Williams student is already known; he is a frequent hiker and member of the Williams Fishing Club. He is also an amateur birdwatcher and generally explores the outdoors when possible. For the museum visitor, we plan on visiting either the Clark or WCMA this coming Sunday and interviewing someone there. Finally, our geocacher is also known and also enjoys wandering around in general. We have scheduled a meeting with him for Friday, Feb 23.

When interviewing the outdoorsy Williams student, we will be asking about any trips he has taken into the surrounding area or elsewhere. Specifically, we would like to know whether he has ever been in situations where Googling anything was insufficient to answer questions and whether he would be interested in using our product. Furthermore, we would be interested in how he interacts with the world around him when fishing and/or birdwatching.

When interviewing the museum visitor we will both be observing their current behavior and asking them about recent behavior. We will be observing how they interact with exhibits in order to develop an understanding for how we could improve those interactions through our app. When talking to the visitor we would ask them if there was any information they wished they had access to while at the museum. We will also ask them if they think they would utilize a service allowing them to interact with past and/or present museum visitors in the form of tagging certain works with comments or thoughts.

When interviewing the geocacher, we will observe his process of finding geocaches and ask about how his previous caches have gone. Additionally, we will see how long he spends on the geocache before/if he is curious about something he happens upon. We will see if he and other geocachers would be interested in an app that facilitates wandering. We will ask him to voice aloud any questions that come up, and observe what he does when he does have a question. Does he write it down or remember it for later, or does he just forget about it? We will look for potential niches in the process of curiosity that our application can fill.