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.

Reading list

The Interpretation Of Cultures - Clifford Geertz

Contextual Design - Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer

Interviewing Users - Steve Portigal

Exposing the Magic of Design - Jon Kolko

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, participatory design and cultural probes, in the context of a large-scale interaction design problem.
  • Be able to apply methods of design synthesis, including affinity diagramming, data mapping, and workflow modeling in the context of a large-scale interaction design problem.
  • Be able to extract rich insights from data.
  • Be able to articulate the principles of qualitative design research, how they differ from and complement other research methods.
  • Be able to articulate the role and value of design research and synthesis when trying to solve wicked problems.
  • Be able to produce compelling narratives and viewpoints for a non-design audience that cultivate empathy, tame chaos, and illuminate opportunities for productive action.

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

In classOut of class

Read
Interpretation of Cultures: Preface through Chapter 1.

Interviewing Users Chapters 1-2

Tue

8/22

Introduction to Design Research and Synthesis
Establishing a Research Focus

Read
Contextual Design Chapters 1-4
Interviewing Users Chapters 2-6

Do
Assignment 1: Define your research focus

Thu

8/24

Assignment 1 Due

Research Planning, Recruiting, and Screening
Interviewing Subject Matter Experts
Secondary Research

Read
Interviewing Users Chapters 7-9

Do
Interview 2 people about your general focus area
Assignment 2: Research Plan

Tue

8/29

Assignment 2 Due

Intro to Contextual Inquiry
Preparing for field research
Capturing Data
Debriefing & Initial Analysis

Do
Assignment 3: Interviews & Inquiries

Thu

8/31

Working Class:
Secondary Research
Contextual Inquiries
Interviews

Read
Kolko’s 2B Readings (Gaver, Sanders Dourish)

Do
Conduct Interviews, Inquiries, Secondary Research
Assignment 3: Interviews & Inquiries

Tue

9/5

Guest Lecturer: Leah McDougald

Cultural Probes
Participatory Design

Read
Contextual Design: 5 - 7 first edition

Do
Assignment 4: Participatory Design Tools
Assignment 5: Participatory Design Research

Thu

9/7

Assignment 3 Due

Guest: Jon Freach

Work Models

Read
Modeling Readings (Link to be sent out)

Do
Assignment 4: Participatory Design Tools
Assignment 5: Participatory Design Research

Tue

9/12

Assignment 4 Due

Concept Models

Do
Assignment 5: Participatory Design Research

Read
Exposing the Magic: Chapters 6-8

Thu

9/14

Introduction to Synthesis & Insight Statements

Do
Assignment 6: Draft Presentation Research Themes, Insights & Concept Models

Read
Danger of a single story (link to be sent out)

Tue

9/19

Assignment 5 Due

Filling research gaps
Opportunity Areas

Do
Assignment 6: Draft Presentation Research Themes, Insights & Concept Models

Finish ALL Research (participatory, secondary, contextual, etc)

Thu

9/21

Building a design synthesis presentation

Do
Assignment 6: Draft Presentation Research Themes, Insights & Concept Models
Assignment 7: Final Presentation

Tue

9/26

Guest Lecturer Reagan Pugh
Storytelling

Do
Assignment 7: Final Presentation
Assignment 6: Draft Presentation Research Themes, Insights & Concept Models

Thu

9/28

Working Class

Do
Assignment 7: Final Presentation
Assignment 6: Draft Presentation Research Themes, Insights & Concept Models

Mon

10/2

THIS CLASS IS ON MONDAY!!!

Assignment 6 Due

Present wireframes of design synthesis presentation
Invite subject matter experts

Do
Assignment 7: Final Presentation

Thu

10/5

Working Session

Do
Assignment 7: Final Presentation

Tue

10/10

Working Session

Do
Assignment 7: Final Presentation

Thu

10/12

Assignment 7 Due

Final Presentations