To introduce students to the concepts of observation and interviews through a pre-made video
5-30 min depending on the length of the videos and number watched
What is Video Observation?
Video observation is an entry level empathy tool that is used to teach students about observation and interviews. Since the teacher can look at the video in advance they know what the students are going to see and experience so they can prepare a good set of guidelines and follow-up questions that clearly illustrate the value of interviewing and observation. For examples of videos used in video observation exercises see the Sample Empathy Videos
Why teach Video Observation?
Video observation is a great way to introduce you students to empathy. It introduces the students to valuable empathy tools such as observation and interviews in a controlled environment and helps prepare them for performing their own interviews etc. It is also a great way to do empathy if you only have a limited amount of time because you can edit videos to highlight the most relevant points and thus squeeze the empathy stage of a design challenge into a relatively short amount of time. Finally, it is a really useful tool for bringing outside experts or potential users into a classroom when you can't bring the students to the user.
How do we teach Video Observation?
Video observation is taught by doing! Show students the videos and give them a set of guidelines for how you want them to observe and take notes on the video. For example videos go to Sample Empathy Videos
Sample Lesson (10-15 min)Materials:
Computer, projector, access to the internet, pen and paper or postits for taking notesShow Video(s) (5-10 min)
Go to the Sample Empathy Videos
page and select a video to show to the class. Before showing the video instruct students to write down everything that they hear that is important to the person being interviewed.Debrief Video (5-10 min)
Ask students a selection of the following questions
1. What did you learn about the user?
2. What surprised you about the user?
3. Did the user ever contradict themselves?
4. If you could ask additional questions what would you ask?
5. How can we use what we learned in this video to inform designing for this user?
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