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7.6: Recording Observations

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    There are a range of ways you can record your own observations when watching user testers complete activities. You might use an informal strategy, like taking anecdotal notes, then expand on those notes after the session. As mentioned previously, you may wish to videotape the sessions, then after the sessions are complete, watch the videos and create notes. Or, you could create a blended observation strategy, recording specific behaviours in a spreadsheet based on the scenarios, with codes to indicate particular behaviours or observations, with space to add anecdotal notes, and perhaps in addition record the sessions so it is possible to go back through the session later to provide clarifications on recorded observations.

    The following is an example of a record sheet, based on the Lake Devo Testing – Scenario 1 introduced on the previous page. Notice a short description of the task in the first column, a coded level of effort in the second column ranging from 1 (no difficulty) to 5 (unable to complete task). In the third column record the tester’s comments as they think aloud, and in the final column record the observer’s comments.

    Toolkit: Download the Observation Notes Template [docx] and add it to your Toolkit.

    7.6: Recording Observations is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School.

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