Empathic design/contextual inquiry report discussion | MAR6833 | University of Florida


Knowing how the design process works is different from actually being able to practice it (IDEO). The purpose of this assignment is to apply empathic design and contextual inquiry techniques discussed in class and in the readings. Choose a product or a product category (different from the one chosen for your team project) and find an observation venue that will tell you something interesting about people’s needs when using products in the selected category. If possible, pick a place where you can see mainstream needs, extreme needs, cultural attitudes, and/or analogous behavior. Use your judgment to choose any of the observation and contextual inquiry methods discussed in class and in the readings.

There is no formatting requirement for this assignment.

       Recommended Structure:

  • Make notes about who you observed, where you observed them, and how people used the products and interacted in the situation.
  • Offer three interpretations of what you saw and heard. What did people think, feel, and desire while interacting with the product? Don’t stay at the observational level—peel back the layers. Go deep. You may take photos or shoot some video footage to document your discoveries.
  • Based on your observations and interpretations, describe at least one novel unmet customer need in that product category.