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Processes of Design Seventh lecture: Diary Studies 27 October 2003 William Newman.

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1 Processes of Design Seventh lecture: Diary Studies 27 October 2003 William Newman

2 Initial goals of our Diary Study Identify generic problems that people encounter during the day Identify the metrics by which people estimate what they can get done, e.g., I like to get 500 words written in an hour I see patients for about 10 minutes and aim to move them a step towards better health I usually give myself 2 hours to write the report Develop scenarios for use in design

3 Some past diary studies and their results At Xerox Research Centre, Cambridge Discovery of agenda-benders – things that wreck your daily agenda Discovery of last-minute authoring Observing library users reading in order to write A recent HP-funded set of one-day studies Identifying generic problems Identifying UbiComp application opportunities

4 Before-and-After Diary Studies Studying peoples days without following them around But simple diaries dont tell you what didnt get done Its hard to reconstruct the days logic Hence we elicit a plan for the day Then we obtain a detailed diary Then we can compare the two.

5 How the plan helps: examples Take sons music (forgotten) and drop off at school 20 mins H Plan: Dropped off sons music10:0510:30 Diary: Write proposal, 2-3pp, not too long or technical, maybe send it today 2-3hH Plan: Prepared proposal, stopped because had been looking at it too long. 13:5015:00 Diary:

6 Your participant: What he/she signs up for At the start of D-Day, or late on D-day Minus One: spend half an hour being interviewed Throughout D-Day: keep a diary of his/her activities On D-Day evening, or the morning of D-Day Plus One: spend 45 minutes being interviewed.

7 Signing up your participant Sign up your participant well in advance Select someone who leads a busy life Avoid studying a quiet or unusual day Explain what the study is about (see handout) Make sure there are no show-stoppers, e.g. confidentiality Provide a Consent Form and get it signed.

8 The Pre-Diary Interview: 30 mins Ask about the work If relevant, ask about the domestic situation For each of their planned activities: What are they aiming to get done? When will they do it (if known)? [to the nearest 5 mins] Its duration [to the nearest 5 mins] How important to get done on the day – H/M/L? Give them the diary form to fill in, and explain it Take the plan away with you!

9 A Typical Plan Excerpt Make coffee, open delivered mail. Can do it faster if necessary. H130m Hoovering if time.L25m Make up order for Churchford Cathedral. Two boxes of 500 each. H320m Make up order for Woburn College Oxford, 1000 candles. H41h Pay some bills. May consult with David on this. by 2pm M51h 8:30 9:00 early

10 Filling in the Diary Form: Instructing the Participant What is an activity? When does a new activity start? Every time the participant - makes a change in their object of attention makes a change of location changes the people theyre interacting with For example: Switch from writing a report to reading email Go to the meeting room, do email while you wait After the meeting, stay on to talk to someone

11 Post-Diary Interview (1 hour) Go through the diary with them, making sure: 1.Activities are related to entries on plan 2.Activities are understood by you 3.You know why it happened when it did 4.If it didnt get done right, you know what went wrong 5.If they did better than plan, you know how 6.You know about other problems 7.You have filled in any obvious gaps Check for planned activities not done, and why.

12 Diary Form Excerpt with annotations Coffee, sorting post, etc., with David (partner). Orders given to David. Talk over todays work and plan jobs. 8:30 Cut short on finding Omega letter, see next. 1 8:50 Deal with post, with David. Clay had to call (carriers) to complain about overcharge on bill, kept waiting a long time. 8:50 Boxes can get distorted in transit, they get surcharged £20 ~ 9:05 Agnes arrives unexpectedly to collect London orders and deliver Cambridge orders, none of which are ready. Must leave by 14:00. 9:05 Clay became apprehensive about his plan for the day. ~ 9:05 With David and Agnes, more coffee while revising todays plan and counting out small items (wicks etc.) for Cambridge orders. 9:05 Clay feeling better, but now no margin for error, or for the unexpected. ~ 9:30 A B C D

13 Analysis Do it right away, before they forget Type the diary onto a fresh form Anonymize it Now work towards building a complete story for the day Look for generic problems Look for metrics Develop scenarios from problematic activities.

14 In conclusion Dont worry if you forget things, you can go back and ask them questions Dont worry if you miss some data – what you get will be plenty Forget about technology during the study Acknowledge your participants achievements Share your data with us Enjoy yourselves!


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