Contextual Research

A design method to figure out, observe, and learn about the user or users leading to a soultion.
The purpose of this research is to encourage exercise to SCAD students.

Research Methods

- Observation

- Interview

- Focus Group

- Survey

- Cultural Probe

- Affinitization

- Opportunity Map

- Insight Map


During the observation phase, it was key to write down every little thing that I saw. In the gym, I was taking notes from the position of machines, to the steps in what people took to take off the weight. My goal through the observation phase was to be unbiased about any situation and just learn the patterns that people took.


During the set of interviews, I made sure to focus on questions that were always leading towards discussion. Within the gym interviews, I looked towards seeking people of a wide variety. This allowed me to see the sides of those who do enjoy the gym and the ones that don't. From the interview, it led to many points as to why exercise was bigger for some than others.

Focus Group

The focus group led to many points that allowed open discussion and key points on how the user feels about the situation. Keeping the topic on track was an as important part to keep things flowing smoothly.


To me, a survey was the most important part to collect information for my topic. Due to needing many opinions a survey was a good way that could lead to solutions. Finding the key areas that were brought up during the interviews led to the types of questions that were formed.

Cultural Probe

This kit allowed us to visually see what the user was doing and the knowledge he or she may have when participating in the gym. The pages that were given allowed us to know the knowledge of the user and the area that they liked to work out when going to the gym. It also challenged them on their knowledge and what they knew about working out.


The process of this step was gathering all of our information and then categorizing them into topics. Once we set our categories we looked towards insights for each topic that was created. This was the key concept for our team to run off because it set up for a better way to solve our problem statement. Concluding with our data points we were soon able to finish our research.

Opportunity Map

Once all the data points were concluded I set out to create an opportunity map that gave solutions to the categories relating to each topic. The focus area for each topic then had to fit into an area of services, environment, people, messages, and objectives.

Insight Map

The last step in our research was creating an insight map. This allowed us to quickly generate all of our points with how they were relating to our problem statement. Placing these together allowed us to see if what we had down was optional to what our problem statement focus was.