Category Archives: Discover

Lead User Research

Authour: D. Lloyd Gray Edited by Christine Keene Overview Lead Users (senior members of a group using a product or process) frequently modify or develop systems and products to solve problems they are encountering for which there are no existing solutions. Locating Lead Users and using them as key informants can be a cost –effective […]

Cross-Impact Analysis as a Research Pattern

Authours: Goran Matic & Martin Berry Edited by Christine Keene Problem Quite often, there are research contexts and situations where understanding the likelihood of future events is beneficial, desirable or required—as in future forecasting scenarios—in order to clarify the probability of some set of events taking place or to obtain a deeper understanding of a […]

World Cafe

Authours:Uma Mahara & Chris Meier Edited by Christine Keene Problem Even with technology that facilitates an increasing interconnectedness among people, disengagement is an issue. What is lacking is the synergy that happens through human interaction and discussion: making sense of the really important issues and possible solutions. Understanding the issues that contribute to complex problems […]


Authour:Josina Vink Edited by Christine Keene Problem Understanding complexity, developing empathy, establishing common ground, and eliciting participation and collaboration with stakeholders. Solution Storytelling is a flexible design research method with a broad range of applications, associated processes and variations. While there are no universal standards for implementation, there are a variety of documented procedures for […]


Authour:Jen Recknagel Edited by Christine Keene Problem Contextualized information about how, when and why people act is needed to generate understanding of human need and to develop meaningful insights for innovation. Traditional observation and diary studies do not provide the same depth of contextual information or detail about purpose that is achieved through the shadowing […]

Semi-Structured Interviews

Authour: Ben McCammon Edited by Christine Keene Problem Identification of insights into an issue from the perspective of participants or end-users. Solution Semi-structured Interviews are used to gather focused, qualitative textual data. This method offers a balance between the flexibility of an open-ended interview and the focus of a structured ethnographic survey. Use When This […]

Mobile Diaries

Authours: Mary Myers & Karen Maxwell Edited by Christine Keene Problem Exploring possibilities and uncovering specific user requirements can be challenging. Solution A mobile diary is a way of gathering specific user/participant information. It is typically used with a group of one to 10 identified individuals, capturing their reflections of their daily routines from their […]

Empathy Tools

Authours: Jon Hoss & Naseer Roopani Edited by Christine Keene Problem Designers may have difficulty empathizing with a user who has different abilities (e.g., a physical or mental impairment) or who lives in a very different personal or social situation. This makes it hard to design empathically without resorting to stereotyping or unintentional ego-design. Solution […]


Author:Oksana Kachur & Peter Jones Edited by Christine Keene Problem: “Computeritis” is a growing problem. The computer is a logic machine that only makes visible the conditions that existed before it. People, on the other hand, are logical but also perceptive. Dennis Schliecher, Director of User Experience architecture with Sears, argues that we are becoming […]

Cultural Probes

Authours: Adam Starkman & Jennifer Chow Edited by Christine Keene Problem When designing research for groups that are not well known to the designer, it is often difficult to gain a true understanding of the group’s culture, behaviours and attitudes, and even more difficult to dig deeper to uncover preferences, concerns and desires. If the […]