Research Methods for Interaction Design
Programme, Module E2-1, by Panos Markopoulos
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.
The aim of this course is
for students to familiarize with methods and processes for performing
qualitative research. The skills learnt are useful for both research projects
and for supporting the design process; during the course we shall highlight how
one needs to adapt methods and mindset for one or the other. 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
The topics covered
· What is qualitative research?
· Why should you do it?
· An overview of different ways to
collect qualitative data
· Cultural Probes and Context Mapping
· Repertory Grids
· Affinity diagrams: a simple but robust
way to analyze qualitative data
· Open and Closed Coding
· Quality criteria for qualitative
This year the course is
aligned with the design case. There will be two mornings with lectures, and the
methods taught will be applied to the design case projects. The work will be
presented in the following design case presentation (24/11)
Lecture / Presentations
Introduction to Qualitative
Research and Qualitative Data collection
Writing a research plan
Data Analysis: a simple and practical approach for designers
of data collected
Presentation of data collection and analysis as part of the design case
presentation of needs analysis
material (some teasers for the methods created by ID students)
to cultural probes video
by Roland Corps and Dirk van Erve
(2011)based on Gaver, Dunne and Pacenti (1999) and related articles.
Probes. Video by
Bastiaan Ekeler and Nik Sturkenboom (2011), based on paper by Hutchinson et al
Video by Marco van Beers and Kim van Iersel
Grids, Video,by Jelle Dekker, Michael Geertshuis,
Robbert van Vliet (2011), based on the paper by Hassenzahl and Rainer Wessler
Some useful reading
Davis, A., Rafaeli, E. (2002) Diary
Methods: Capturing Life as it is Lived. Annual Review of Psychology Vol. 54:
Mankoff, J., When Participants Do the Capturing: The Role of Media in Diary
Studies, Proceedings ACM CHI 2005.
Dittmann-kohli, F., & Westerhof, G. J.
(1997). The SELE sentence completion
questionnaire : A new instrument for the assessment of personal meaning
in research on aging. Anuario de Psicología, (73), 7-18.
Dunne, T., & , Pacenti. E. (1999). Cultural probes. Interactions, 6(1),
M. and Wessler, R., Capturing design space from a user perspective: The
Repertory Grid Technique revisited. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,
2000. 12(3-4): p. 441-459.
Mackay, W., Westerlund, B., Bederson, B.B., Druin, A., Plaisant, C.,
Beaudoin-Lafon, M., Conversy, S., Evans, H., Han-sen, H., Roussel, N.,
Eiderbäck, B., Lindquist, S., & Sundblad, Y. (2003). Technology Probes:
Inspiring Design for and with Families. CHI 2005, (pp. 17-24). ACM Press.
Larson, R., & Csikzentmihalyi, M. (1996). Experience sampling method
applications to communication research questions. Journal of Communication, 46,
Rodden, T., Rouncefield, M., & Hughes, J. (2000). At Home with Technology:
An Ethnographic Study of a Set-Top Box Trial. ACM To-CHI, 6(3), 282-308.
Salzman, M. Voice-mail diary studies for naturalistic data capture under mobile
conditions. In ACM CSCW ’02, pages 87–95, 2002.
McGeorge, P., The sorting techniques: a tutorial paper on card sorts, picture
sorts and item sorts. Expert Systems, 2005.
Reynolds and Jonathan Gutman, "Laddering theory, method, analysis, and
interpretation," in Understanding consumer decision making : the means-end
approach to marketing and advertising strategy, ed. Thomas J. Reynolds and
Jerry C. Olsen (Mahwah N.J. ;;London: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001), 25-52.
(1998). An Ethnologist in Cyberspace. Scientific American, April 1998. [Online]
http://www.sciam.com/1998/0498issue/0498profile.html [2000, May 8].
Mynatt, E. D., Erickson, T., and Kellogg, W. A. 2004. Interviewing over instant
messaging. In CHI '04 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
(Vienna, Austria, April 24 - 29, 2004). CHI '04. ACM, New York, NY, 1344-1347.
Past Runs of this
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012