Field studies involve a researcher going to a user's real world context and observing them go about their tasks and activities as they would naturally. Field studies are one of the most powerful types of research for understanding users goals, challenges and activities. As well as observing users, it’s possible to conduct interviews, prototype tests and other forms of research activities with users whilst in their location.
NOTE: We don't support this method on our platform just yet, but stay tuned!
Field studies are generally conducted at the very beginning of product development to gather early insight on users within their real world context. These studies are especially useful where the product or service will be used whilst traveling or in very specific environments. For instance products or services used on construction sites would benefit from researchers observing users on the construction site to quickly build understanding of the context. Visiting a user in their real world environment is often much more efficient than attempting to build the same level of insight through methods such as interviews or surveys because the researcher can experience it for themselves.
What context will the product be used in?
What problems can be solved for users in specific scenarios?
How will the product perform in real world environments?
Real world observations of users creates the most reliable data sources
Rapid generation of context and deep understanding of what causes behaviors, attitudes and opinions
Build deep understandings of pain points and opportunities
Very time and travel intensive
High volumes of data can be collected which can be complex and difficult to analyze
Recruiting participants can be difficult