Contextual inquiries combine the classical in-depth interview with the observation of users in the context of use. While participants are carrying out their tasks, the interviewer observes them and asks questions at appropriate moments.
Conducting the interview in the context of use enables the interviewer to better understand work processes in the real world and to identify external influences at the working place (e.g. ringing telephones, bright light, low room temperature, etc.) Moreover, the user’s behavior is realistic, so that habits and workarounds can be observed as well.