No design without research

Interaction design

Like industrial design, the discipline (...) would start from the needs and desires of the people who use a product or service

Bill Mogridge, Designing Interactions (2007:14)

Can interaction design exist without research?

The naysayers - a classification

  1. The itch-scratchers
  2. The scornful
  3. The dismissive
  4. The defeatist

1. The itch-scratchers

# users your itch %
0 100%
1 50%
2 33%
3 20%

When you release your code,
you release your itch

2. The scornful

3. The dismissive

Great designers are like great novelists: acute observers of human behaviour.

Don Norman, Workarounds - Leading Edge of Innovation (2008)

Design research is about uncovering the common patterns that underpin individual human behaviour.

4. The defeatist

Research for software-making

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Effort
  4. Some common sense advice

if the goal is to describe a shared perception, belief, or behaviour among a relatively homogeneous group, then a sample of 12 will likely be sufficient (…) A sample of 6 interviews may have been sufficient to enable development of meaningful themes and useful interpretations.

How Many Interviews Are Enough? An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability, by G. Guest, A. Bunce and L. Johnson (2006)
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1525822x05279903

Elaborate usability tests are a waste of resources. The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford.

Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users by J. Nielsen, (2000)
https://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/

45 minutes per research session

Usability study: 3h 45m

Interview study: 4h 30m

Research for software-making

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Effort
  4. Some common sense advice

Taking part in research is a form of free software contribution, just like submitting code, localising strings or writing documentation.

Research can be done for 0 EUR

Research for software-making

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Effort
  4. Some common sense advice

Research for software-making

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Effort
  4. Some common sense advice

several small studies
instead of a massive one

do research periodically
(e.g. one user interview per month)

research is not an activity:
it's an attitude

Just software

Good software

Credits

S is for Superman by Gareth Simpson - CC BY 2.0

Untitled by rodr_dpu - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Opinions! by Joe Wolf - CC BY-ND 2.0

Street TV interview by Pedro Ribeiro Simões - CC BY 2.0

Untitled by Raúl Villalón - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

lui by Annalisa Lombardo - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

San Fermín - Pamplona by Pablo Matamoros - CC BY 2.0

All gear'd up by Ian Mackenzie - CC BY 2.0

San Fermín - Pamplona by Pablo Matamoros - CC BY 2.0

Thank you!

Slides at

https://belenbarrospena.github.io/no_design_without_research_lgm2019

Script at

https://preview.tinyurl.com/yx9hpwg6

Get in touch

belenbarrospena@gmail.com