How to do field observations?
Field observations are a method where you observe people in ‘real’ locations and situations, such as workplaces, homes, etc. They can be particularly helpful if the causes of 'wasteful' energy behaviour are not clear to you. Field observations help you to understand people's behaviour, habits, needs and social relations in their environment. Field observations can give you unique information, because you don’t have to rely on other’s verbal interpretations of situations, but you can see it for yourself! If your field observation is successful, you can have plenty of new ideas and a valuable knowledge base for your project.
- Field observations are more suited to the planning phase of a project, when you want to acquaint yourself to your target group and their context.
- Field observations are also useful when you want to further develop your project because it allows you to observe how your project is ‘functioning’ in certain locations and situations.
- Even small scale field observations might take quite a lot of time, and you’re not guaranteed to get the results that you need. So you have to weigh up carefully if this is the method that you want to use.