Field research

Researchers visit a participants home for a field study about Xbox.

Conducting a UX field research study helps you understand how your users interact with technology (or without it, in the case of a brand new product category) in real-world environments such as homes, offices, restaurants, airports, shopping centers, schools, sports facilities, medical clinics, transportation systems, etc. Want to understand how families manage calendars and reminders? Go out to homes, interview busy moms and dads, and observe the paper-based, app-based, software-based, and memory-based methods they use to manage the chaos, and listen to the pain points they encounter.  Want to know how customers use your software?  Observe a small sample of people in their workplaces for an hour or two each.  What you see and hear will surprise and motivate you—at the very least you will gain a deeper understanding of core audiences, their activities, their needs, and their frustrations.

We plan field research engagements by listening carefully to your research questions and goals. We then work with you to hone in on the right methodology ranging from ethnographic observation to contextual interviews. Field research can be designed to be short-term or long-term, involving site visits or interviews at more than one step along a journey. As field research is often done during the conceptual or formative stages of product design, common outputs are visualizations of common behaviors of interest, themes, or patterns that we observe. We augment findings with representative video clips, photos, key quotes, user profiles, experience or journey maps, and other artifacts from the visits such as user sketches or results from participatory design exercises to bring the visits and the study participants to life for your team.

Conducting field research in international markets can uncover important cultural and societal variables that impact the usability and acceptance of products by their intended users. We collaborate with trusted research partners in non-English speaking countries and have conducted research in many global locations including France, Germany, the UK, India, Brazil, China, and Japan, as well as across North America.

Recent field research projects Blink has conducted for clients include:

  • Visiting expectant and new moms in their homes to gather requirements for a healthcare and support app. focusing on them
  • Observations and interviews with independent insurance agents in their offices to understand how they help clients manage risk
  • Multinational study in people’s homes to understand evolving personal device use
  • In-home studies to understand different ways children use technology in the home
  • Multinational study in homes and small offices to understand changing technical support needs
  • In-home research in Brazil to learn about the end-to-end home buying and renting process