Homework 2: Your goal in this homework is to individually perform either a semi-structured interview or a contextual inquiry with 2 of your classmates (not on your team) on the topic of the design problem your team has chosen. If you would like to interview non-classmates, please look at the update below.
Your goal is to learn as much as you can about your informants experiences with the design problem you chose. You might decide that the best way to do this is through an interview because the context you would prefer to observe might be rare or private. Alternatively, the context might happen frequently, and so you might choose to do a contextual inquiry.
If you do an interview, write your interview questions that you'll use before you interview your classmates. To save time, you can coordinate with your teammates on what questions to ask and how to phrase them.
If you choose to do a contextual inquiry, write your focus before you observe your informants. You might write this with your teammates to ensure you all get data about the same issues.
After your interviews or observations, you need to write a report of your results.
Use the following TEMPLATE for the report (download)
Participant comment sheet
I would like to see:
- NAMES: The names of the classmates/non-classmates that you interviewed or observed
- PROBLEM: Brief description of the problem you are interviewing about or observing
- QUESTIONS or FOCUS: The questions you asked them or the focus that you prepared
- SUMMARY: A 500 word summary of the issues that you discovered about your design problem and how your data changed your understanding of the problem. You can write 250 words per participant if you want.
You also MUST bring a printout or copy of your report to class next week (Wednesday 1/13). You will read the reports written by the students who interviewed or observed you and grade them, commenting on anything you think was misinterpreted or needs to be clarified.
If you are conducting the interview or observation of a NON-CLASSMATE, please have them read your report and fill out the Comment Sheet.
Grading. If your report has all of the required elements and your informants believe your report is accurate, you'll receive a 2. If your informants believe the report is highly inaccurate, you'll receive a 1. If you do not bring a printout to class, you turn nothing in, you do not include all of the required elements, or you do not provide two comments about your report, you'll receive a 0.
1. If you want to interview / observe a NON-CLASSMATE please have them read your summary later and have them fill out the comment sheet by WEDNESDAY, 1/13 (turned in at class time). Make sure to have at least TWO comments done. If you are interviewing / observing a CLASSMATE, they will fill out the comment sheet in class (attached) on WEDNESDAY, 1/13. The comment sheet is on Canvas and will be printed out for class. For all cases, please bring a printout of your work. Use the template to write up your homework.
2. Some have asked whether to do two semi-structured interviews or two contextual inquiry observations or one semi and one CI. I'd say pick one method and stick with it per individual submission. So for example, if you have a team of three, all of you could do a semi, or a CI, or a mix between the two (two students do a semi, one student does a CI). But don't mix it up as an individual, you will just make too much work for yourself. Also, if you want to use the same questions or focus, that's fine.
3. As for the 500-word summary, you can split it up to 250 words per participant if that helps. Or 200 words per participant and a 100 word conclusion. Basically have it add up to 500 words, but no more than 500. It's totally ok to write more than 500 words for yourselves so that you have a record of what you did for your design specs and process books.
4. The interviews / CI observations don't have to be very long; at most you should do is 30 minutes per interview / CI. I would ask permission to record (audio or video) the experience. No need to transcribe the data.
5. Again, just focus on problems, not solutions. Your goal is to see what problems exist, not come up with designs (not yet). Make sure you document your process so you have good stuff to write about for your process books.