Posts

Contextual Inquiry in My Own Closet

Every few years, I try to improve my own product. Prompted by a sense of dissatisfaction with my clothing, I clean out and rebuild my wardrobe. I fill a trash bag with clothes to be donated, and feel accomplished as I look at my newly spacious closet. Each time I do this I’m convinced that I’ve solved the problem, only to be faced with that same problem again within a year or two. Read more

Video Capture and Analysis: 5 Ways You’re Hurting Your Video Analysis

This blog post is part two of a two-part series on using video records in contextual inquiry.

In part one Video Capture and Analysis: 5 Reasons to Film Your Research,” we discussed five reasons to film your research. One of the biggest advantages of filming your research is that you can analyze the video after the research has concluded.

In video analysis, you codify behaviors or events to put quantitative values to qualitative observations. These quantitative values can be a useful way to quickly and simply communicate your findings. Video analysis has been a staple of behavioral research methods for a long time, but there’s surprisingly little information about how to do it effectively. Read more

Video Capture and Analysis: 5 Reasons to Film Your Research

This blog post is part one of a two-part series on using video records in contextual inquiry.

Design Science researchers almost never go into the field alone—we’re accompanied by a videographer, who may be carrying up to 5 cameras. The ability to film in restricted areas like operating rooms and catheter labs is something that sets Design Science apart, and with good reason: it’s difficult to gain permission to film in an operating room. It requires long-standing relationships with surgeons, physicians, nurses, and the medical facilities they work for. These relationships are built on complicated, time-consuming navigation of hospital approvals, and repeated positive experiences with our researchers and videographers. Read more

The Unique Insights of Home Visits

At Design Science, our research most often focuses on the environments of medical professionals—ORs, cath labs, clinics. Yet some of the most rewarding research I have conducted here has involved visiting patients’ homes. Accompanied by a videographer, I’ve traveled past cornfields and baseball diamonds to meet families that are coping with serious conditions and investigate how they are wielding the medical tools and technologies they need to lead fuller and more independent lives. Read more

Illustration of audio waves

Listen: Podcast on Human Factors & Usability Testing for TechnologyAdvice

Check out Design Science founder Steve Wilcox’s thoughts on ethnography, prototyping, the FDA, and more through TechnologyAdvice’s TA Expert Interview Series.  Read more

Hospital, Home, and Beyond

While Design Science is most well known for its experience in conducting ethnographic research at medical facilities, a growing number of our projects provide opportunities for us to venture outside of the hospital and apply our methodologies to the study of non-medical products. As a field researcher I have had the chance to participate in a number of “unconventional” projects that took me to unexpected places to answer unusual questions. Read more

Steve Wilcox Co-Writes AAMI Guidance

A new guidance for medical-device field research has just been released: the Technical Information Report, AAMI TIR51:2014, “Human factors engineering – Guidance for contextual inquiry.”

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