This course will introduce students to theory and methods of behavioral observation, description and analysis. Students will use a variety of techniques derived from social and behavioral psychology and anthropology to develop useful, powerful approaches to solving modern design and business problems. Readings and theory are integrated with observational fieldwork exercises to provide rich learning experiences both in and outside of the classroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will develop a strong understanding of how different information gathering techniques impact data perspectives and analytic outcomes.
  • Students will gain hands-on experience building fieldwork skills using a variety of tools.
  • Students will gain experience planning and executing a variety of field research activities.
  • Students will gain a basic theoretical understanding of human cultural processes, behavioral schemas and how to develop their own frameworks from observational data.


Learning Outcomes

  • Students of Observing Users will demonstrate new skills planning and executing field research activities ranging from behavioral observation to interviewing.
  • Students will be more confident designing and executing their own research projects.
  • Students will be better able to understand the outcomes of other people‚Äôs research and the kinds of implications that can be drawn from different approaches to user and design research.