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Module DHCM411 - ID Masters Programme

Research Methods

Instructor: Panos Markopoulos

2016 April-June

About the Course

This course aims to equip design students with the knowledge and skills needed to engage in research projects. Students will be exposed to a mixed methods approach, that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. The course will focus primarily on qualitative research methods and students will be exposed to making choices between methods, for collecting and analysing data. Students will be given an awareness of quality criteria for research and will acquire hands on experience in setting up a small research project and writing up its results in a scientific paper. While quantitative analysis of data is not covered in this course, we shall cover elements of experiment design and mapping research questions to testable hypotheses.

·         Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Research

·         Phrasing Research Questions

·         Choosing research design to fit the method

·         Relation of research to design

·         Analysing qualitative data

·         Reporting research.

The students will do individual work based on analysing existing papers, and work in teams of three on a small scale research project. Assessment will be based on presentations and reports delivered at the end of the quartile. 


week ends on





Introduction and project choice

Reading assignment (I). formulating a RQ (G) Lit survey).

Initial discussion of research paper(I)

Presentation Research Question (G)


Qualitative Data Collection Methods

Research Method "Manual" (G)

Card set (G)

Method Presentations/ Card set (G)


Research Strategies and Plan

Research Plan for project (G)



Ethics Introduction

Data Collection (G)

Ethics document and review (G)

Ethics Review (G)



Data Collection (G)

Analysing Qualitative data (lecture)


Data Analysis Practice

Data Analysis (G)

Data Analysis homework


Results of analysis (G)

writing paper (G)

Communicating Research Results /Mixed Methods Research


Quality Criteria for Design Research

Review form (G) /Review (I)

Iteration in data collection

Invited Lecture on Design Research by Zeljko Obrenovic


No lecture

Rebuttal/Final paper (G)  Reflection (I)

Presentations of research papers (G)


Useful video material (from ID students to ID students)

1.      Introduction to cultural probes video by Roland Corps and  Dirk van Erve (2011)based on Gaver, Dunne and Pacenti (1999) and related articles. 

2.      Technology Probes. Video by Bastiaan Ekeler and Nik Sturkenboom (2011), based on paper by Hutchinson et al (2005).

3.      Diary Studies, by Marco van Beers and Kim van Iersel (2011).

4.      Repertory Grids, by Jelle Dekker, Michael Geertshuis, Robbert van Vliet (2011), based on the paper by Hassenzahl and Rainer Wessler (2000).

Papers for Individual Assignment

·         Hassenzahl, 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.

·         Brown, B.A.T., Sellen, A.J. and O’Hara, K.P. (2000). A Diary Study of Information Capture in Working Life. Proceedings of ACM CHI’00 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 438-445

·         Carter, S., Mankoff, J., When Participants Do the Capturing: The Role of Media in Diary Studies, Proceedings ACM CHI 2005.

·         L. Palen and M. Salzman. Voice-mail diary studies for naturalistic data capture under mobile conditions. In ACM CSCW ’02, pages 87–95, 2002.