At the end of the study unit, students will be able to … (between brackets the number of the corresponding intended learning qualification of the programme):
- explain the major stages of a user-centered design process (2.1);
- explain the advantages and drawbacks of a user-centered design process (2.1);
- explain the most important qualitative research methods that are used in user-centered design processes (2.1);
- evaluate the methodological strengths and weaknesses of qualitative methods in a user-centered design process (2.1);
- decide which qualitative method to use to answer a specified research question within a user-centered design process (2.3);
- explain how to analyse a small set of qualitative data collected in a user-centered design process (2.4, 2.5).
In a user-centered design process of a new technology, several research methods must be applied. Prospective users and other stakeholders need to be consulted and observed at several moments to provide the designers with information about how to proceed in order to design an app that meets the expectations, and that results in good user experience. At every stage in the process, specific methods can be applied. These are qualitative methods that focus on collecting in-depth data about users’ and other stakeholders’ needs and wishes regarding the to be developed technology, about how they interact with the new technology, which aspects of the new technology they particularly like, which problems they encounter while using the new technology, which kind of support they need, etc.
In this study unit, students get acquainted with a variety of qualitative data collection methods that are used in user-centered design processes, such as interviewing, observation, and other methods related to usability testing. Strengths and weaknesses of the methods will be discussed, so students can make informed decisions about which methods to use at which moment in a design process. The acquired knowledge and insights will be used in the project and tested through an individual written exam with open questions (4R1).
This study unit is part of the module Design for user experience. Because the four study units, which are part of the module, are highly related to each other it is not possible to follow this study unit separately.