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Tools | observation

We have to leave the safety of our office and enter the space of activity that we need to understand.

Unlike desires that may be announced verbally, needs will only be revealed by observing life as it happens. This is important because the most innovative solutions were originated by necessity, not by desire. Desire is conscious and is based on something people are already able to articulate, while need is often "carried" unconsciously, unable to be spoken about. The key to innovation rests on observation. To observe is to assume that the mere fact of being there with the eyes wide open will reveal the hidden dimensions of those we want to serve, of which they have never been aware. There's no point in just asking them because nothing really original could be said.

But contrary to what may seem, an observation is never done unintentionally and, although exploratory, is never entirely passive. The observer is always actively looking and trying to find things that might indicate a problem or an unmet need. Thus, when we observe we go with a mixed attitude of participation and expectancy. On the one hand, we have a good idea on ​​what we want to observe and on the size of our doubt, but on the other hand, we do not know what we will find, expecting the events will take us by surprise.

Here are some examples of how observation was used to bring value to our clients:

To accompany people through a sequence of activities, spaces and during a period of time, can reveal surprising aspects on how they relate with objects and with others. Although this kind of monitoring becomes time consuming, the method allows us to gain people's trust and become the "transparent" element inside their lives. Through shadowing, Quotidian helped an urban transport operator in understanding the reasons why people prefer to waist more than 90 minutes in traffic jams instead of parking their cars near a train station and make their commute in less than 30 minutes.

Video Ethnography:
To make small documentaries on video about groups of users is a very effective way to bring the real life of products and services into organizations. It was through this method that Quotidian helped a major mobile operator to restructure their stores.



© Quotidian 2011