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Guided Tour

Taking a Guided Tour through the home or workplace of the person you’re designing for can reveal their habits and values far better than talking to them on the street.

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Stats

Suggested Time

2-4 Hours

Level of Difficulty

Moderate

Materials Needed

Pens, paper, camera

Participants

Design team, person you’re designing for


Process Phase

A Guided Tour is a great method to employ when you’re in the field. Immersion is one of the primary ways we learn about the people we’re designing for at IDEO.org. Having one of them give you a Guided Tour of their home, workplace, or daily activities will reveal not just the physical details of the person’s life, but the routines and habits that animate it.

Steps

  1. Arrange with someone you’re designing for to get a Guided Tour of her home or workplace. Cultural and gender dynamics may come into play when you visit someone’s home, so be sensitive to those issues and make sure you’ve got full permission before your visit.
  2. Come with just two team members, one to ask questions and the other to take notes. Pay close attention to the space that you’re visiting, the rituals you see there, what’s on the walls, who uses it, and where it’s located. All are key pieces of information.
  3. Only take photos if you can get permission.
  4. Ask lots of questions about the person’s habits and space. Why does she do the things she does? Who uses the space and where are things kept or why are things organized the way that they are?