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Qualitative Research Methods for Interaction Design

USI Programme,  Module E 2-1, Panos Markopoulos

February 2006

The aim of this 40hrs module is for students to familiarize with some qualitative research techniques used for Design Research.

The following topics will be covered:

The format of the module will include an introduction lecture to Design Research Methods, presentations and discussion of research papers by students, and a hands-on project involving setting up and executing Focus Groups.  Even more part of the exercise will be to assess the feasibility of using focus group in combination with video prototypes in two challenging contexts:




Lecture / Presentations

Deadlines/Presentations by students


Tue 31/1


Introduction to focus groups by Evelien Garde-Perik


Assignment 1: Focus Group Plan

  • Prepare focus group plan

  • Prepare analysis of focus group

Fri 3/2 14:00-17:00   Focus Group Plan Presentation

(get feedback from Evelien, Javed Selene &Panos)

Mon 13/2



Overview of qualitative design research methods


Assignment 2: Read papers from list and prepare presentation

Assignment 3: Focus Groups

Wed 15/2 11:00-12:00   Ethnography case study (by O.Moran)  

Mon 20/2



Research paper presentations

Thu 23/2 11:00-12:30   Preliminary discussion of focus group findings with Evelien, Selene and Javed  

Fri 24/2



Final Presentations  focus group results (combined with video prototype presentation)

Focus group report: includes  focus group plan, notes from the execution of the focus group, results and evaluation of the appropriateness of the method for the problem at hand to be included in the DVD of the team (see video prototyping course page)

Recommended textbook

Reading Assignment

Pairs of students are expected to prepare a presentation on one of these papers - different one fore each team.

Ground Rules for Presentations