People Shadowing as the name suggests, means becoming someone’s shadow for a while. Following someone, or a group of people, as they live their everyday life, or go about their daily work helps to understand the environment they are part of. It also allows you to observe for yourself the contextual details that can influence a person’s behaviour and motivations.
Often doing some Shadowing at the start of a project helps to familiarise yourself with a certain practice or group of people. People’s everyday life can be so habitual that some issues may not be as apparent to them – sometimes observing them can reveal hidden aspects that might be the core issue or even possible solution. These observations can act not only as inspiration but also a guide to help reach the core of how your work impacts people whose lives you want to make a difference to.