Essay about Psychology-Naturalistic Observation

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Naturalistic Observation

Primary Reference Source

Loucopoulos P and V Karakostas (1995) System Requirements Engineering. McGraw Hill International.

Summary description

Observational methods involve an investigator viewing users as they work and taking notes on the activity which takes place. Observation may be either direct, where the investigator is actually present during the task, or indirect, where the task is viewed by some other means such as through use of a video camera.

Typical Application Areas

Useful early in specification for obtaining qualitative data. This method is an alternative (non-involving) version of Contextual Inquiry. It is useful for studying currently executed tasks and processes. It has been extensively
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2.Gain contacts and especially their co-operation with the process of Naturalistic Observation that you intend to carry out establish the times, places, and people who will be observed. Note that in some countries, the law may prohibit you from taking video films of people without their explicit written consent.
3.Decide on the recording technique you will use. Will you rely on hand-written notes (traditional), audio, or video and audio records? Note that the more complete your record, the longer it takes to analyze. It is useful to be able to make some kind of first-cut analysis during observation
4.Analyse, summarize, and report in relation to the objectives set out at the start.

Observation as an approach in a laboratory setting is instantiated quite specifically using the Laboratory Based Observation approach. A variation of single user observation is two-user observation where pairs of users are invited to work together and the above process is carried out on the pair. One of the 'users' in two-user observation may be a member of the design team, and this is particularly useful in situations where there may be an unstable prototype.

Laboratory-Based Observation

Primary Reference Sources

Rubin, J. (1994) Handbook of Usability Testing. John Wiley, NY.
Nielsen, J (1993) Guerilla HCI: Using discount usability engineering . In R Bias and D Mayhew (Eds) Cost Justifying
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