** Using User Research: A workshop at ACM Creativity and Cognition 09,
Berkeley October 27 2009 **
User research has becoming an increasingly important activity when
developing any product, system or service. Whilst our understanding of
the methods and techniques available for generating user research is
maturing, understanding how to use that user research in the design
process is less well developed. Open questions include:
- USE: How do we enable user research to be effectively leveraged in the
design process? How can we make sure that user research is both
insightful and actionable? Can we do user research to both define
requirements as well as spark ideation? What is the best way to
communicate user research (and to whom)? Is co-design the better
alternative to ensure update & use of research insights?
- ROLE: Does user research within the design process itself incubate or
quash creativity and innovation? Does user research work best in service
to design or as design strategy (or neither)? What role does
meta-analysis (or 360) play in user research and design strategy? What
role does user research play in bridging disciplines beyond design in
the development process?
- METHODS: Is user research something best gathered from users or
generated with users? Is user research best accomplished with designers,
for designers, or by designers?
Do different communities (e.g. academia and industry) define 'valid user
research' in the same ways?
- SCOPE: Is "the user" the limit? how about people? business?
stakeholders? experience? ...biosphere? - What's next? And is creativity
itself a domain that is readily accessible to 'user' research?
Using User Research is a full day workshop at CC09 which aims to answer
these questions, and no doubt generate others, through gathering and
exploring case studies of user research in use, mapping best practice
and lessons learned, and stimulating a community of practitioners keen
to work together in the future to extend this initial exploratory work
and address the challenge of improving the use of user research.
We invite industry, non-profit/creative, and academic sector designers,
managers, developers, and user/design researchers. We are keen to create
a group that contains people who are enthusiastic proponents or bringing
user research into the design process; people who are not convinced that
user research can or is exploited usefully in design processes, and
those who have yet to make up their minds!
Selection for participation is on the basis of a short (max 500 words)
'user research case study' outlining the following:
1. your current role / situation (eg designer in industry, or
non-profit, user researcher in academia, etc.)
2. your background
3. a short overview / case study of using user research in the
design/development of a service, product or system intended to support,
facilitate or enhance creative activity in either individuals or
We welcome case studies of both successful and unsuccessful design
projects, and examples of both 'good' and 'bad' uses of user research.
The case study may be of a project you worked on, or one reported by
others. There is no set format for the case study however we ask that
they are all provided in a simple text format suitable for posting on a
wiki or similar. If the work refers to work published elsewhere please
include a reference. Note: we are not looking for 'academic' case
studies, simply for material that will allow us to synthesize and
consider a variety of different experiences of user research.
The organizers (Catriona Macaulay University of Dundee UK, Daniela Busse
SAP Labs Palo Alto, and Nancy Frishberg MSB Associates CA) will select
participants based on a desire to create a lively mix of people with
different backgrounds and experiences of / attitudes to the role user
research can play in design. We invite submissions via email to
[log in to unmask] by August 31st 2009. For full
information visit our website at:
Catriona, Daniela and Nancy
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