Emma Maguire (née Campbell)
July 9, 2022
The importance of getting to know your users is not to be underestimated. It can provide a wealth of information that you can utilise to help differentiate and tailor your product to their needs.
A product with impressive features and a beautifully designed interface could all be in vain if the product's functionality doesn't deliver on expectations and leaves users with a negative experience.
Getting to know how your users interact with your product or a new feature (through the simple method of observation) is an impactful solution for you to understand what is or isn't working.
Many agritech applications are used on-site with various external factors to consider, such as internet connectivity, weather conditions, and the speed at which the tasks are to be completed. For example, if your users are in the milking shed, they are challenged to move fast to perform both milking duties and utilise your technology. Compare this to a home or office environment with different sets of distractions and unpredictability.
In this article, we delve further into how integrating user observation into your product development process can benefit your users and how you can quickly implement these methods into your organisation.
Understanding your users doesn't need to be an arduous exercise, nor does it need to be hugely demanding on time and resources. The simplest form of user research is observing your users, also known as shadowing.
Don't be fooled by the simplistic nature of observing.
The benefits gained can be impactful and hugely valuable despite the low effort and resources required. Making user research observations part of your development process should not be missed!
The opportunity to observe your users in their natural environment makes this type of user research so invaluable. These kinds of observations can provide several benefits, such as:
How do we go about performing this type of observational user research? With a few considerations in mind, ultimately, it involves being observant and unobtrusive. You are the fly on the wall, so to speak.
Let your users go about their activity naturally without prompt or guidance. This way, you get an accurate insight into how they truly interact with your product, allowing them to showcase product strengths as well as usability issues that impede performance and user experience.
To make user observations a success for your team, it's important to put processes in place. Processes prevent observations from becoming a cumbersome task each time someone new carries them out and ensure your team looks forward to their turn observing users.
Need support to get you started? Bo Studio can create a tailored user observation research plan that your team can follow every time they're out in the field, making this activity effortless and consistent. The plan can include guidance on what to send to potential participants, presentation templates to report back to your company, and feedback forms with valuable prompts.
With user research comes greater understanding and, ultimately, a greater user experience. It's a partnership worth investing in for business success.
At Bo Studio, we're your agritech experience design specialists. If you're ready to work with an experience design studio, or you're already in the midst of a project and want a fresh perspective, don't be shy to get in touch with us for an initial consultation.Get in touch
Discover how to make the most out of your time at events like Fieldays and gain valuable insights with these simple tips: actively listen, prepare a short script, be curious, keep a record, and share your insights with your team.
Direct customer feedback can sometimes be misleading when validating new feature ideas. To build better customer experiences, try alternative approaches such as observing customers, using indirect questioning, and creating prototypes. Trusting what people do, not just what they say, is key.