Designers' perceptions of methods of involving and understanding users

Joy Goodman, Susannah Clarke, Patrick Langdon, P John Clarkson,


Numerous methods have been developed to help designers to understand and consider the needs and desires of end-users, but many have had limited uptake in design practice. In order to understand why this is and to enable the development of more effective methods and tools, it is important to uncover how designers themselves think about and react to these methods. We are therefore currently conducting a card-sorting study with designers. We aim to uncover their perceptions of underlying similarities and relationships between design methods, and relate them to the frequency and enjoyment of use. This paper presents results from an initial sample of six designers. A cluster analysis identified a very strong clustering in these results, indicating that common underlying views about methods do exist. Six key clusters are identified, including two focused on user involvement and one on understanding users without direct user contact. The effect of different method characteristics on the frequency and enjoyment of method use are also considered. Initial results indicate that certain clusters of methods are used more often, as are methods that are informal and cheap.

The full paper

BibTeX citation

  Author = {Goodman, J. and Clarke, S. and Langdon, P. and Clarkson, P.J.},
  Title = {Designers' Perceptions of Methods of Involving and 
Understanding Users},
  year = 2004,
  BookTitle = {Universal Access in HCI (Part 1), HCI International},
  Series= {LNCS},
  number = {4554},
  Address= {Beijing, China},
  Publisher = {Springer},
  Pages = {127-136},
  Keywords = {design, process, user centred, methods}}
Joy Deane (Goodman)
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