Field study: Observing the piece of the reality of your users to help your team set the strategy
How field study help us set the strategic direction in GovTech Edu
Visiting the a small part of reality
Our team visited a school in Bali. We are building a technology for teachers, so it’s a natural move to understand our users in a deeper way. The plan was to observe teachers so we can learn from them. But we also had a chance to be a teacher for one hour, so we can experience what it likes to be a teacher. I was nervous about it. Yet, it’s most rewarding experience because that shaped my product intuition.
In this trip, we have one big question: What’s blocking teachers to adopt student-centered teaching?
In the previous post, we discussed how the strategy narrative could give clarity on the direction. If you want to write a strategy narrative, you might wonder where to start. I’ll say, having a deep understanding of the problem space is a good starting point—because it will help you to build a painkiller product. One way you can do it is by going to the field and get closer to your customers.
Here’s how my team did the field study and how I translated into a strategy.
The benefit? Getting to your user’s shoes
The most valuable part of the field study is observing the users in their most natural environment. So we use the opportunity to observe teachers and learn from them. Our team builds technology for teachers. Yet, we still don’t fully grasp teacher’s pain in the deep way.
How this field study help us shaped the strategy
1) It gives us deeper level of understanding. On the high level, our team understand that teachers are adjusting their practice to the new curriculum. The new curriculum is a huge transformation that shifted the mindset from teacher being the person who know everything to teachers being the facilitator and put the students at the center of the learning. After this field study, we become aware of nuances and context.
2) Multidisciplinary observations and live synthesis. In this trip, Designers, Researchers, PMs, and Engineers are going in together. It’s super effective because the team will align about the observation on the spot—no need for the formal research report. For example, we can start to draft the hypothesis and potential strategy with the Head of Product right away.