Observational Field Studies: user observation for out-of-the box thinking


These marketing research studies consist in observing the participants (with their consent) in the environment where they are exposed to a product or service. The studies enable us to identify unsuspected parameters which can either benefit or damage the use of a product (problems of usability or use, etc.). The observer must blend into the environment so that his presence has as little affect as possible on the study.

Such studies require a lot of initial preparation. The observation phases are generally interspersed with debriefing interviews with the participants, and there are often brainstorming sessions to confirm and analyze the observations which have been made.


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