Friday, September 07, 2007

What not to wear: Contextual Inquiry at its best

I am a serial Discovery Travel & Living addict. All their programs are entertaining & very informative. Off late, I have got hooked on to another of their program called What Not To Wear. In UK, this program is aired on BBC. It's a program where the anchors, who are known fashion stylists, shortlist a candidate, track his or her dressing, grooming & attire habit and based on the profile suggest what will suit the person best to make the person look stylish. To study the candidate, you need to do certain amount of what we call as 'user research'. In this program, the user research is done through Contextual Inquiry (CI) method. The candidate is secretly filmed in day to day life as she/he performs her daily routine. To trigger a CI, you always need a focus point. In this case, the focus point is the attire. The stylists, through the video films, probe about the person especially his/her dressing patterns, likings, disliking, his or her daily routine, people they meet, their reactions, any socio-emotional traits, etc. and then create visual persona about what will suit best for the candidate. This helps in creating the focus point for them to probe further when conducting f2f meetings with the candidate. In f2f meetings, the stylists validate certain observations that they made during video filming and try to gather as much user authentic data that can help them in building good style statement for the person.

After giving tips to the candidate about what will suit them best and taking them through the secretly recorded video sessions too, the stylists again observe the candidate from background - mostly through hidden cameras and observe if their 'styling interventions' have brought about any change to the candidate. The visual personas that the stylists had earlier created also gets validated as the candidate goes out for shopping .

1 comment:

unitypeace said...

Check this link out-
Plus they have been in this business for quite a while now. I love their show too. They earlier on did a series with BBC- I caught on after I watched them do magic in an Oprah show.