IDSE101 Interaction Design Research and Synthesis


About this course

This class focuses on methods of qualitative design research and design synthesis used to approach complicated problems of technology, behavior and society. Students learn techniques and processes that allow them to gather data in the field, analyze that data in a rigorous and substantial way, and extract multi-dimensional insights, meaning and trends.

Outcomes and competencies

The following outcome statements articulate the competencies, abilities, and skills a student will have as a result of completing this class. Students will...

  • Be able to apply methods of qualitative design research, including contextual inquiry, in the context of a large-scale interaction design problem
  • Be able to apply methods of design synthesis, data mapping, work and task-flow modeling in the context of a largescale interaction design problem
  • Be able to articulate the principals of qualitative design research, how it differs from quantitative approaches, and the value of the approach in establishing a foundation for divergent thinking.
  • Understand how to extract insights from data
  • Understand the role of research and synthesis in the design process

Core concepts and ideas

This class emphasizes the following main ideas, themes, and concepts:

  • Qualitative design research, including research planning, execution, and documentation
  • Design synthesis, including extracting insights from data and methods of communicating design synthesis results to stakeholders
  • Data modeling techniques, intended to visualize complicated and multi-layered problems in easy to understand and approachable formats

Schedule

Tue

8/23

01 Introduction to Design Research and Contextual Inquiry: Context, Partnership, and Focus; Building a Research Plan: Recruitment, Scripting around a focus

Define your research focus, and use it to identify participants for research

Create a research plan

Read Contextual Design: Chapters 1-4

Sample Research Plan

Thu

8/25

Assignment 1 Due: Research Plan

02 Conducting Research: Preparing for the field, Intercepts vs social recruiting, research teams, equipment and tactics.

Conduct contextual research

Each group to bring at least one video (inquiry) to critique next class

Sample Consent Form

Tue

8/30

03 Interview guidance and interview critique

Work session: planning future sessions and transcribing previous conversations

Continue conducting research sessions

Begin Transcription of sessions

Each group to bring at least one video (inquiry) to critique next class

Sample transcription

Thu

9/1

04 Intro to research presentations - Building a Fieldwork Presentation

Interview critique

Finish conducting research sessions

Continue transcription

Build a fieldwork presentation

Read Exposing the Magic of Design: Chapters 1-3

Tue

9/6

05 Introduction to Synthesis

Continue transcription

Finalize research presentation

Thu

9/8

06 Translation: Affinity Diagramming and converting transcriptions into usable data

Finish transcription

Practice fieldwork presentation at least once

Tue

9/13

Assignment 2 Due: Research Presentation

Begin affinity diagramming

Thu

9/15

07 Insight Statement Creation & identifying opportunity areas

Complete affinity diagram

Tue

9/20

08 Building a Synthesis Presentation

1st draft insight statements and opportunity areas.

Thu

9/22

Work session: insight statement creation and design opportunity areas

Refine insight statements and opportunity areas.

Build a synthesis presentation

Tue

9/27

Assignment 3 Due: Preliminary Design Synthesis Presentation

 

Thu

9/29

09 Contextual Design Research Modeling and Customer journey mapping

Begin work modeling

Tue

10/4

Building an end-to-end Research and Synthesis Presentation

Continue work modeling

Thu

10/6

Work session: preparing final research presentation

Continue work modeling

Begin final presentation

Tue

10/11

Work session: preparing final research presentation

Continue final presentation

Thu

10/13

Assignment 4 Due: Final Design Research & Synthesis Presentation