BMGT 311: Assignment #3, Observation (Due 10.7.14)

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.18.36 PM

Class,

Observation is a simple, yet powerful tool, in the field of Marketing Research and business in general. Walking in your customers shoes, and experiencing what they experience, helps managers develop products and services that better meet the needs of their customers.

Observation is also a key component of human-centered design, or ethnographic research. By observing customers in their natural environment, key things can be learned that otherwise may go unnoticed in a lab or in a focus group. See the example below on how Nordstrom’s designed an app in their stores, learning from customers as it was developed.

Today, observation is difficult because we are often distracted by technology, and not paying attention to the world around us. For this assignment, I want you to explore the world around you, around us, on campus, and observe humans in their natural environment for a few moments to see what you learn.   I want you to observe their usage of Smartphones specifically.

I want you to note:

1. Where did you go?

2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?

3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?

4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)

5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them?  Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?

6. Are they with other people?  Is everyone in the group using smartphones?  Or just some?

7. Is everyone engaged with each other?

Please post your answers directly to this blog post – and we can discuss next week. I look forward to the discussion.

Chris Lovett

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “BMGT 311: Assignment #3, Observation (Due 10.7.14)”

  1. 1. I went to Chipotle during lunch hour, when the line wraps around the restaurant.
    2. Surprisingly, I only counted five people in line on their smartphones at any given time. Most people were either talking to each other or waiting silently, without their phones.
    3. It looked like most of the people on their phones are just killing time. Two men (who seem to be businessmen) seem to be doing work (checking email or scheduling something). However, the other people seem to be killing time.
    4. The person in front of me was on Facebook. I could not tell which apps the other people were using.
    5. I suppose the smartphones are preventing their users from being fully immersed in their environment. However, I do not think that there is much to take in while waiting in line at Chipotle, alone.
    6. The two businessmen that I mentioned earlier seemed to be together, both working on their smartphones. Otherwise, the people using their phones seemed to be alone.
    7. The two businessmen were somewhat engaged with each other. They mostly kept their eyes on their phones, but would make comments to each other every so-often. The other people on their smartphones were not engaged with the people around them. Some people not on their phones were engaged with each other (they seemed to have come to Chipotle as a group from their workplaces), while other people not on their phones were just silently taking in the atmosphere, waiting to order.

  2. 1. Where did you go?
    I observed people at where I work, the Heinz History Center Museum.

    2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?
    No, the majority of people are not on their smart phones or tablets; however, there is a large group that are on their smart phones. It is mostly younger generations that are on their smart phones (teens and young adults).

    3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?
    The younger generations that are on their phones are predominately killing time. For the most part, they seem disengaged and disinterested in the museum. The adults who are on their phones seem to be more productive. They usually are calling or texting another person with them to find out where they are. Also, the museum does have a Groupon right now, so the adults who are using their phone to pull up their Groupon are being productive.

    4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)
    Like I previously mentioned, the museum currently has a Groupon, so the majority of the apps I witness people using is Groupon. Young adults who seems to just be killing time on their phone are either texting or on social media websites (mainly Facebook).

    5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them? Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?
    For the young adults who are killing time on their smart phones, I would say it is preventing them from being fully immersed in where they are. It is a museum and to get the best experience, one has to immerse themselves in it by paying attention and reading, throughout each exhibit.

    6. Are they with other people? Is everyone in the group using smartphones? Or just some?
    The museum is mostly a family friendly atmosphere, so we get a lot of families that visit. The young adults who are on their phones are usually the only one in their group using their smartphone. However, if young adults come with people closer to their age (friends, siblings, etc), then they tend to stay off their phones.

    7. Is everyone engaged with each other?
    For the most part I would say everyone is engaged with each other, especially in groups (families, etc.). People who visit the museum by themselves are rarely walking around using their smartphone, but instead are immersing themselves in the exhibits. However, there are instances where someone in a group is not engaged and like I previously stated, it tends to be the younger generations.

  3. Aaron Outlen

    I decided to go to Starbucks in Market square. We recently discovered that Starbucks was launching a new campaign that urged customers to come inside the store and interact with one another in real time. I wanted to put that theory to the test. Out of the 11 people sitting down, only 3 of them were on their phones/ tablets.
    Tablet users appear to be doing constructive work while those on cell phones seem to be killing time. I can infer that the tablet users are also students, as they have books on the table and look like they are studying. There is only one person on a cell phone however. The lady on her cell phone was definitely just browsing the web. I wasn’t able to make out what app she was using but I saw that her screen changed several times. One of the tablet users set up his station with a keyboard and mouse; he is obviously working. It looks like he is using a word pad to write down something. The other tablet user is the student, studying vigorously for what appears to be some sort of science class. He is using his tablet as a companion to his book–occasionally flicking the screen to get more information. Another cell phone user just entered the fray and she has just made a phone call.
    The smartphone/tablets do appear to be enhancing the created environment of those who are using them. In particular, the tablet users are hard at work and I think this environment is exactly what they wanted when they entered the store. It is relatively quiet, calm, and relaxing. One the other hand, the smartphone users look slightly zombified as I’m not one hundred percent sure that they even know where they are. They are not fully immersed in their environment. I am beginning to think that the immersion factor may have something to do with size. The bigger the device (tablets), the more aware of their surrounding the user appears to be. The smaller the device (smartphones), the less aware the users seem. Perhaps it requires more energy to focus on something small than it is to focus on something big.
    Everyone who has a smart device is sitting alone. This is both refreshing and a scary statistic to me. I am happy that at the very least the smart device users aren’t blatantly ignoring the person that would be sitting across from them. However, on the other hand it is sad to see so many people coming to a public place to have a private experience.
    As expected, the people who are not sitting alone are fully engaged with each other. No one sitting with other people has a phone or tablet obstructing their conversation. I observe laughter, smiling faces, and even a job interview in progress–all things I think Starbucks would be proud of. But that is not all. I also see people who are not engaged with each other. They are locked into a digital space that will only allow them to re-enter the real world if they are interrupted by a bodily function. Not one time since my being in here has someone looked up from their devices.

  4. Noelle Novakovich

    1. Where did you go?
    My roommate and I went to Papa Davinci’s in Oakland on Monday night for a pizza.

    2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?
    Out of the 7 people there, 4 to 5 were on their cell phones. There were no tablets being used.

    3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?
    Definitely killing time. It was just because being on the phone seems to be a lot easier than striking up a conversation with someone. Social skills in today’s generation are diminishing and it’s largely because of how we mostly interact online.

    4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)
    I saw lots of texting, using Facebook and Instagram. I saw a a Tinder app and then there was a guy playing a farming game on his phone.

    5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them? Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?
    I already kind of touched on this a bit in question 3, but the smartphone is preventing them from being immersed in where they are.

    6. Are they with other people? Is everyone in the group using smartphones? Or just some?
    Everyone was sitting alone, spread across the bar. The only group sitting together was my roommate and I.

    7. Is everyone engaged with each other?
    No, I started striking up conversations here and there but for the most part it was pretty quiet. What was even more interesting is that I never told my roommate I was observing people and their phone usage and she was one of the people on her phone. She was engaged with me but not entirely, I would have to stop talking so she could check her phone and then wait for her to put it down so she could “check back in” with me.

  5. 1. I observed nine people sitting in the new lounge space in Lawrence Hall (Point Park University). This new space isn’t typically heavily populated so I wasn’t too sure of what information I would discover.

    2. Of the nine people I observed, five were on their smartphones. I want to note that all phones in use were IPhones. I saw no tablets during the observation period.

    3. From what I could tell three of the five were all texting, or at least reading old text messages. I would say that they were most likely not being productive but rather killing time. One individual appeared to be watching a short video clip on Facebook. The last person was on Instagram. In summary all subjects appeared to be engaged in leisure activity on their phones. I observed zero productivity (question 4 is combined in answer 3).

    4. Based on the environment that I chose I would say that the subjects displayed appropriate behavior. They were all sitting in comfortable chairs in a space designed for relaxing activity. I wouldn’t say that they “missed” anything around them. Although I suppose they could have been more immersed in their environment had they been in a different location.

    5. Everyone on their phones appeared to be alone. Some were sitting in close proximity to each other, but nonetheless they appeared to be separated. Of the four not on any device, two appeared to be together while the remaining two were not.

    6. As a whole all of the subjects were not engaged with each other. They were all staring into their phones. It almost seemed as if their bodies were too. They were mostly hunched over with their heads held low. Their smartphones had them all captured.

  6. 1) On Saturday evening I went to a restaurant/bar called Hal’s with my boyfriend for some food.
    2) I was very surprised to see that out of about 50 people only a handful were on their phones. I was pleasantly shocked to see that everyone was enjoying the company around them talking and laughing to each other.
    3) The people that were actually browsing on their phones seemed like they were waiting for someone and killing time on it. It did not seem like anything productive was taking place especially because the atmosphere of the restaurant was very loud and energetic.
    4) I could not see what they were doing with their phones but I am guessing they were browsing on different websites or texting.
    5) I think that when people are constantly on their phones while they are in the company of other people makes the moment less enjoyable. My boyfriend and I made a promise that when we are out with each other that there are no phones on the table or in front of us because we just want to enjoy the now. It feels like our society is so wrapped up in what other people are doing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. that they can’t just enjoy the moment.
    6) The few people that are using their phones seem to be waiting for someone or even waiting for their food/drinks.
    7) It was nice to see that there were only a few people using their phones and that more people were laughing, talking, and engaging with one another.

  7. 1. I went Village Park, sat down and watched what people were doing there. Generally everyone in Village Park is either smoking or on their phones.

    2. Not so much a majority, more like half. The other half are smoking and talking.

    3. It looks like they’re killing time. Most of them were communicating (texting) but I’m sure most of it wasn’t stuff that was of the utmost importance or else they would have called the person.

    4. I don’t know what apps people were using, from what I could see everyone was either texting or on Facebook. Does Facebook have an app? I guess that counts as one.

    5. It wasn’t enhancing the environment but it wasn’t taking away from anything either. Most people are only in Village Park to hang out and being on your phone is part of hanging out for a lot of people.

    6. Almost everyone who has alone had a smartphone, most groups had at least 1-2 people who were using their smartphone (except for the all smokers groups).

    7. Yes, the people on their smartphones (unless they’re by themselves) can still hold a conversation and keep the attention of the people in their immediate vicinity. The people smoking and talking were obviously engaged with each other as well.

  8. 1. Where did you go?
    I was sitting on the Bus, a half hour bus ride.

    2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?
    Almost everybody was on their smart phone. I didn’t count the specific amount but in the group I was with (5) everyone but me were on their smartphones.

    3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?
    They all seemed to be killing time.

    4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)
    I noticed a few people on snapchat, a lot of people were on facebook and listening to music(I am assuming from their head phone), One woman I believe was reading a book.

    5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them? Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?
    I think it was preventing them from fully being immersed in where they were, which is really bad, because they could miss their stop.

    6. Are they with other people? Is everyone in the group using smartphones? Or just some?
    It seemed that if they were with someone, the conversation was slim to none. It seemed like everyone in the groups were using smartphone.s

    7. Is everyone engaged with each other?
    It didn’t seem like anyone was engaging with anyone else the whole time.

  9. 1. I had to work this morning and I work at Ross Park mall so I decided to take a look at the food court on my 15 minute break.
    2. Definitely a majority of the people were on their smartphones but I did notice that most of those people were the ones eating alone. Of the people eating with friends and family, only a handful were on their phones and for a short period of time.
    3. It looked like almost all were killing time, a lot of people were mall employees on their break so they were not working. Others were killing time because they were eating alone, I’m sure someone was probably doing something productive but no one I specifically noticed.
    4. Most of the people I walked past were texting. A group of friends were all on Instagram at the same time. The people that were eating with their family or friends were not on their smartphones as much which I liked, many of them were engaging in conversations and showing off what they bought. When they did go on their phone it seemed like they sent a quick text or took a picture they put it back down for most of the time.
    5. In this situation I don’t think the smart phone was enhancing their experience or environment because they weren’t doing much anyways, from my experience working at the mall, most people will shop on their day off or come to kill time. And being at the food court isn’t as intimate as going to dinner with family or friends so I was actually a little surprised that not everyone was on their phones the whole time, they were still engaging in conversations.
    6. The majority of people on their phones were alone, and only a few that were with people picked theirs up for a minute or two.

  10. 1. I went to Bootlegger’s in Oakland.

    2.The majority of people are not on their smartphones. If most people are on their phones, its for a fairly short period of time.

    3. I’d say there’s more people killing time than being productive. Some people are using their phones and still involved in the conversation, but the majority looks like they’re killing time waiting for other people.

    4. I could only see the screens of a few people and they were either texting, on Facebook, Twitter or Untappd.

    5. The phones are keeping people that look like they’re killing time out of the conversations around them. They are not experiencing the environment that they are in. Most people on their phones look like they are bored being there.

    6. The majority of the people on their smartphones are alone. It seems as though they are waiting for another person to arrive or something like that. Very few people that are in groups are on their phone, the majority of them are engaged in a conversation.

    7. For the most part, everyone is engaged with each other. They seem like they’re having a good time. Most people came in groups of people that they know, which cuts down on the phone time because most of the people that they want to talk to are already there with them.

  11. Cara Skelley
    1. Where did you go?
    I observed people at the bar I work at.
    2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?
    Majority of people are on their smartphones.
    3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?
    They are definitely just killing time.
    4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)
    Some people were using the app to play music on the juke box. One guy in particular I asked said he was using Facebook chat.
    5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them? Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?
    I think it is both preventing people from fully being immersed but I also see them being used by the entire group for entertainment purposes. Some people on their phones were not engaging in any conversation that was going on around them. Then on the other side the phones were being used to play music and look at certain things together. I also noticed a kid that was playing darts that would text the entire time in between throws.
    6. Are they with other people? Is everyone in the group using smartphones? Or just some?
    Most of the people are with others and most of them use their phones just as much as the other. There were a few people I didn’t see use their phone at all even while other were.
    7. Is everyone engaged with each other?
    Everyone is engaged for the most part. I didn’t see any one only paying attention to their phone for the entire night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s