Contextual Inquiry

Secondary Research

What is a Contextual Inquiry?

A contextual inquiry is a research method used in product and service design to gather in-depth information about how users interact with a product or service in their natural environment. It involves observing users as they perform tasks related to the design project and asking them questions about their experiences and decision-making processes.

During a contextual inquiry, a researcher visits the user's environment, such as their workplace or home, and observes how they use the product or service in real-life situations. The researcher may ask questions about the user's goals, motivations, and challenges to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and behaviours.

Contextual inquiry is a valuable research method because it provides rich and detailed data about how users interact with a product or service in real-life situations. By observing users in their natural environment, researchers can gain insights into the context in which the product or service is used and how it fits into the user's broader workflow or daily life.

Contextual inquiry is often used in combination with other research methods, such as interviews and surveys, to gain a comprehensive understanding of user needs and behaviours in product and service design. The insights gathered from contextual inquiries can be used to inform the design process and improve the user experience.