Opening up the user research process

In this blog entry, we’ll be sharing a little more about how we’re looking to broaden our user research for the Grotowski Institute’s new digital project, and asking for your input in helping to improve the e-services as we develop them.

The initial phases of the project involved several two-week long ‘rounds’ of research that took place mainly through working group sessions, interviews, and contextual observation, with the key aim of identifying and profiling sets of potential users and their wants. However, there was a particular area that we wanted to focus on using additional research methods, since the services are intended to be multilingual and to help people find out at least some basic information about the full range of the Institute’s online resources, even if these resources aren’t always available in the user’s own language(s). The project team has some previous experience of researching cross-cultural discovery in this field, but — based on the priorities articulated in the project brief — we were keen to capture more data about how the Institute’s international audience currently finds and accesses theatre and performance content.

In this and future posts, we’ll be asking for your help with a series of questions and surveys related to our user research on this project, so we can extend the conversation to a wider group. We’re looking especially to find out about your experiences with trying to identify, search for, access, read, view, translate, re-use, share, publish, or otherwise interact with theatre and performance materials across different languages, regions, and cultures. One of the main objectives we’re looking to achieve in building the e-services is to create a technological infrastructure that supports freely accessible, multilingual publishing and discovery — so we’d love to hear about any positive or negative experiences you’ve had when attempting to work cross-culturally; about things that have frustrated or impeded you in your efforts; and equally about channels and approaches that have worked well for you already elsewhere.

We’ve compiled a short survey so you can share some details of your experiences in an easy way within just a few minutes (updated version here). We’d be really grateful if you could spare a little of your time to help us understand what kinds of tools and resources have aided or hindered you in pursuing your interests. And if there’s anything you’d like to share outside the scope of the survey, you can always get in touch with us using the contact form below.

Until next time…

Duncan Jamieson

TAPAC: Theatre and Performance Across Cultures, 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE, United Kingdom