Site visits, also called contextual inquiry, provide the opportunity to learn about user´s tasks and goals, while at the same time understanding the environment in which they perform these tasks. The environment could be the office, factory floor, home, or out in the world.
We conduct site visits to provide useful, valuable information to you about your users, their tasks, and environments in a number of contexts:
Unlike focus groups, site visits let us observe what is important to users, not just get their opinions (which may or may not represent what really matters to users).
Unlike lab testing, site visits let us see, observe, and understand the world of the user, not the sometimes artificial world of the lab. Site visits let us in on restrictions users may have regarding space, noise, access to information, and other limitations on users´ ability to perform optimally with your product.
Unlike telephone or paper-based surveys, site visits put the user in the driver´s seat, avoiding the potential bias inherent in surveys and questionnaires.
Site visits are an essential part of a user-centered design process. Ideally, they should be conducted before design begins.
But at any point in the development process and also after the product launches, site visits can provide valuable insights into users´ goals, tasks, and environments.