Class notes: User research 1

The objective of the first out of 3 class sessions on user research was to get an idea of the steps you would take to move from the initial stage of having an idea (or a problem!) to specific design requirements.

Also, I wanted you to understand what goals you should hope to accomplish with user research and what to stay away from.

Finally, even though you cannot become experts in research methods in a 3-hour period, I wanted you to have an idea of what research tools are available to you. We discussed the components of a research plan (aka research design):

  • data collection procedures
    • in-depth interviewing
    • observation
    • diary studies
    • ethnography
    • ethnographic interviewing
    • contextual inquiry
  • sampling strategies
  • data analysis methods
  • validity & credibility

The slides I used in class summarize the research goals and the process steps I drew at the very end of class discussion – they are embedded below:

Keeping in mind the 3 learning objectives for the class (spelled out above and shown on the first two slides), can you blog about what you learned in relation to each of these objectives? Also, what is still unclear about each one?

Please let me know if you’ve read these notes and/or found them helpful by liking, rating, or commenting (it’s getting lonely here).


Stay posted for detailed information about your research plan assignment.

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