Discussion of guidelines for user observation
From User Observation: Guidelines for Apple Developers, by Kathleen Gomoll & Anne Nicol, January 1990
User testing covers a wide range of activities designed to obtain information on the interactions between users and computers. Most user testing requires considerable expertise in research methods, as well as skill in using complex data collection tools. For example, user testing techniques include: interviews, focus groups, surveys, timed performance tests, keystroke protocols, and controlled laboratory experiments. Of the many user testing techniques available, user observation is one technique that can be used by anyone with a concern for including the user in the product development process.
User observation involves watching and listening carefully to users as they work with a product. Although it is possible to collect far more elaborate data, observing users is a quick way to obtain an objective view of a product.