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My main focus in UX is web UX, but I've been requested by my supervisor to help with improving the process of an installation company (not web-related). I proposed doing contextual interviews (CI) to observe the installation process in hopes to discover any bottlenecks/pain points that can be improved in order to make the installation jobs more efficient. However, there are a couple of problems:

  • An installation job usually has around 2-3 people working on different jobs (roof crew does installations, ground crew does prep work, etc). How would one conduct a CI with so many different roles?
  • Given the above problem, is contextual interview even the best approach? Would having another person help with the CI work? I've also thought about doing diary studies.

Any articles or case studies on applying UX techniques to improving a process would help.

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How to observe different roles

"An installation job usually has around 2-3 people working on different jobs (roof crew does installations, ground crew does prep work, etc). How would one conduct a CI with so many different roles?"

  1. Option 1: Recruit help and have multiple people observing the different roles at the same installation. This might be good because all of your users are in the same context (if one problem happens to ground crew, you can see if that affects roof installations)
  2. Option 2: You observe the different roles across multiple installations (you follow one role for the entire installation). A possible downside is you might not catch the inter-dependencies as efficiently.

Research approaches

"Given the above problem, is contextual interview even the best approach? Would having another person help with the CI work? I've also thought about doing diary studies."

A contextual interview would be more powerful than a diary study because it's less burdensome on the user and there's less room for misinterpretation when you're reading their reports.

Other research you might want to consider doing would be a survey or some other large-scale quantitative research to supplement this qualitative research.

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