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Observing the User Experience, 2nd Edition by Andrea Moed, Mike Kuniavsky, Elizabeth Goodman

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Chapter 10

Diary Studies

Dear Diary…

Imagine you want to learn more about how people commute by car. Following all those people in person from their homes to workplaces over days, weeks, or even months would take up all your time—not to mention how much it would irritate them. This isn’t an unusual problem. Most, if not all, processes or activities don’t happen only once. Nor do they unfold in convenient locations.

The solution is to use a diary study. Diary studies, as the name implies, ask a group of people to report their activities over time. Diarists track which mistakes they make, what they learn, how often they use a product, and anything else that is of interest to the project. Diarists can also give you a more general window into their ...

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