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Qualitative Research Methods for Interaction Design

ID Masters' Programme 2007-2008

C.1.2 Module - OWIS code: DBB03

The aim of this course is for students to familiarize with methods and processes for performing qualitative research to support interaction design.

Qualitative research methods have developed largely within the social sciences and recently have been applied to the field of interaction design. This application is usually combined with a mix of creativity and elements of surprise introduced in the research, but also often with a lack of the methodological knowledge needed to analyze the data collected or to put the findings into perspective.  

This course aims to provide interaction designers with an awareness of processes for analysing non numerical data, but also related caveats and opportunities.  It aims also to provide them with a reference framework so that the numerous combinations and variations of known methods that they may apply in a particular project can be related to each other. Most of all, the objective is to break mental barriers between research and design and to show how a scientific approach to studying humans may be revealing and rewarding for interaction designers.


The course is given twice a year.  For the academic year 2006-2007 it will be run at the following dates:

The rough schedule of the module is as follows



Meetings / Lecture / Presentations


Mon 2


PT 223


Lecture: Introduction to Qualitative Research

Exercise 1:

(reading assignment) In pairs. Create your extended method card (A3 method poster).

Deliverable: Method Poster for the method you have chosen from the literature or the method cards.


Tue 3 10:30-12:30

PT 223


Lecture: Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis Exercise 2: In teams of 5 Analyze given set of qualitative data.

Deliverable: Presentation and report on your process and findings.  Suggest (and pilot if possible) future steps for triangulating your findings or answering open questions.

Wed 4




Thur 5 9:30-11:00 

HG 0.40

Presentation of Ex 1 (Method Poster Show) Exercise 3.

part a. "Follow Up" Data Collection

part b. Reflection on the validity of the analysis.

Fri  6


HG 3.18

Ex.2 Presentations of your analysis, follow up and reflection.

By 17:00 Hand in: revised extended method poster and reports exercise 2 (.pdf file on studyweb and hard copy at my 'pidgeonhole')



Coursework rules

Recommended textbook

Reading list for 1st assignment

Past Runs of the course