2.009 Product Engineering Processes

Observation Exercise

This exercise will help you practice your customer observation skills and also help you to develop a broader range of ideas for the project. Simply watching potential customer behaviors (unobtrusively) and talking to people is an excellent way to identify product opportunities. Any time that you are out and about is an opportunity to observe!

This exercise is scheduled to help your 2.009 project idea generation in the second week of lab.

There is also an optional, special tutorial on Friday, September 15 at 5 PM in 3-370 to help you develop skills for observing and learning from potential users.

One member of your lab section should complete the web form below and submit it for your entire section. After picking your section in the combination box, assign each section member to one venue to go and observe. Since there are more options than section members, all places will not be assigned. After all section members have been assigned, submit the form. Your section and the course instructor will receive an email with the venue assignments.

Details of how to complete your observation task are with the observation submission instructions.

Venue list with suggestions

an airport
a bike ride/trail
Boston public market
a community center
a doctor's officeincludes urgent care facilities
a festivalthings to do in Cambridge this weekend, including Danehy Park Family Day, Revels RiverSing
Eastern Massachusetts list, including The Big E
a fire station
the freedom trail
an ice cream shop
a live performanceArts Boston Calendar
a museumMIT Museum (free w/MIT ID), Boston Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard Museum of Natural History (free Sunday morning to MA residents), Boston Children's Museum ($1 Friday nights)
a park
the seaport
a shopping mall
a soup kitchenMA Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry list; Boston Soup Kitchens on Yelp
South Station
a supermarket
the swan boats
a theme parkEdaville USA, Six Flags New England, Davis Farmland, CoCo Key Water Park
a tourist attraction
a workshop/machine shopMIT Hobby Shop; lots of maker spaces in the Boston area
a zoo or aquariumFranklin Park Zoo, Stone Zoo, New England Aquarium
otherHave an idea for a great place to do your observation exercise? Let us know where you'd like to go!


Lab section:


Section member
select section first

I have completed the form and I am ready to

(Note: You will be redirected to the course home page after submission is complete.)