Goal: to watch the users in action in their own environment. The observation takes place in the field because we want to see the environment that these actions are taking place
Qualitative: designer's handwritten note
Quantitative: collected of counts of various actions or interactions with other users that
Advantages of Naturalistic Observation:
No direct interactions with users
No social desirability bias (users not changing their behaviors based on what the designers might need or might ask for)
Disadvantages of Naturalistic Observation:
Observer Bias may lead to incorrect notes
No feedback from the users
Maintain anonymity of users
Identifying information must only be collected with user permissions
Designers could use the notes taken during the naturalistic observation to notice that there are three prominent ways the user is completing the task.
The designer can then develop a survey where we find out where these preferences for using a given task comes from. Then the designer can host a focus group or do a set of interviews to further clarify the findings from the survey data.