This indian usability/ux blog attempts to bridge the gap between user requirements research & user interface design. Muthu is based in Bangalore, India & works in the xDesign team, Sun Microsystems Bangalore.
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Contextual Enquiry / User Observation

Just got back from an enriching 'Site Visit'. This plant in Mangalore falls under the Automation & Control Systems domain.

I was lucky to be given an opportunity to observe users (Operators) contextually, in one of the biggest plants in India. Its an awesome experience getting inputs directly from the Horse's mouth and observing Users at their workstation. Also met some SMEs (Subject Matter Experts- guess we will have to live with these jargons). I also experimented with my User-interviewing skills. Did manage to PROBE too.

These Operators use software tools (touch screen interfaces) to monitor and control plant operations 24/7. At any point of time, any hiccup in the plant's operations can result in the loss of crores of rupees. Now, imagine doing a software migration in this scenario! : ) The flip side of this kinda Contextual Enquiry is that the User's get distracted by getting calls etc.,

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