Contextual Inquiry

Milestone Leader: Eric Garcia

Due Date: September 25, 2008


The goal of this milestone was to get a better understanding of our stakeholders and to obtain a more explicit scope of our project. Since our last milestone, we have redefined our project scope and researched different areas of alternative energy use. We met with Sean and Robyn from the Clean Energy Coalition organization and found a definite need for a network to be formed between homeowners who have implemented alternative energy and those who haven't. Contractors will also use this network to offer their services and will be reviewed by their previous clients. With that said, we have three groups of stakeholders: homeowners who have implemented alternative energy, those who haven't, and contractors.


We have done 8 interviews from the three groups. We interviewed four homeowners who have not implemented alternative energy in their homes, two homeowners who have implemented various types of alternative energy, and two contractors from the Ann Arbor area. The homeowners provided us with information regarding the types of incentives and resources they are interested in, reasons for and for not implementing alternative energy, and any benefits they have received from installing alternative energy solutions in their homes.

Interview 1: Solar Power Contractor

Interviews 2,3,4: Homeowners without Alternative Energy

Interview 5: PPM Energy

Interviews 6,7: Homeowners with and without Alternative Energy

Interview 8: Homeowner with Alternative Energy


We held interpretation sessions after conducting the interviews. All four of us had gathered together at the Duderstadt building and carefully converted the acquired interview answers into affinity notes. The affinity notes were then posted into Google Docs to be easily viewed and accessed by all of the members.


For the affinity diagram, we gathered at the UGLi and transferred the affinity notes from Google Docs to the Post-Its. After interpreting and evaluating each Post-It, we formed categories that represent various design and systematic components of our project.


  • More interviews to keep us focused on the concerns and interests of our stakeholders
  • Defining Personas