by Jim Ross
"From the perspective of a participant, user research is not very natural. We ask participants to try to act naturally in the artificial environment of a lab, or we impose ourselves on their environment and hope our presence doesn't affect their behavior. We often forget how unnatural user research can be and the negative effects it can have on participants.
In this presentation, we'll first examine the ways in which user research can be unnatural, such as the people recruited, the location of the research, the things we ask participants to do, the effects of thinking aloud, the effect of prototypes, recording, observation, and the interaction with the facilitator. Then we'll discuss ways to minimize or eliminate these unnatural aspects of user research, including recruiting better participants, minimizing the formality, setting the right expectations, minimizing the effect of observers and technology, and conducting more remote and natural research."
21st–25th March 2012