Instead of relying on a verbal recount of experience, ask users to show you how they use a product or service. What people say they do is often quite different than what they do.
Observing users in action will help you understand the spectrum of experiences users can have with the same product or service.
Surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups don’t tell you what you need to know. Prompting users to show instead of tell often reveals what others have missed.
We conducted several hours of contextual inquiry, watching providers run chart prep before ambulatory visits.
We observed providers searching and gathering the same data elements across all patients, inefficiencies such as 'fruitless' clicks due to extraneous encounter listings and inadequate filters, and volumes of telephone encounters burying the minority of actionable messages.
We also uncovered the importance of designing for trust and transparency to reduce the anxiety amongst our clinicians that they might 'miss something.'
Our earliest prototypes were simple Word documents.
We compiled the clinical data Focus would aggregate and shared it with rheumatology providers to elicit insights into exactly what was required for chart review.
We also facilitated card sorting exercises to inform subsequent digital mockups to test interactivity and user interface requirements before creating a working version of the web application.
Ask users to wear a GoPro, keep a diary, or snap photos throughout their day. Artifacts like these will help you understand their first-person perspective.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had to conduct research and development remotely. As we scaled the application to new divisions, we asked clinicians to share their screens while conducting chart review and note prep. The new insights we gathered from these observations enabled us to improve Focus further, making it even more efficient and automated for users.