"To understand users needs and desires we are using a variety of research and development methods from cooperative design, CSCW (computer supported cooperative work), industrial design and ethnography. Some of the methods used are cultural probes (Gaver, B. & Pacenti, E. 1999), workshops (Westerlund et al, 2003), technology probes (Hutchinson, H. et al, 2002), observation and interviews.
The cultural probe method is an open-ended self-documentation activity that in our case involved taking photos and video as well as writing diaries. These would hopefully reveal more of the individuals' preferences, desires, context and needs. This would be done much with the users' own categorizations.
Technology probes were invented to collect information of how users would use, to them a not known shared communication artefact. The technology probes are based on well-known technology, they should be easy to use and open-ended. Technology probes combines the social science goal of collecting data about the technology use in a real-world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing technology and the design goal of inspiring users and designers.
The workshops themselves included several methods, like brainstorming, building scenarios, video-prototyping, low-tech prototyping, etc (interLiving, 2003). Instead of general descriptions that are reduced and without detail, we focus on actual descriptions of real situations that make sense to the family members. These descriptions should cover the whole context of the situation. We encouraged the group to think of communication situations that would have been problematic. From that they made scenarios, both written and drawn, but most importantly stage it and videotape it. Through videotaped scenario iterations they refined their design ideas."
(Sinna Lindquist & Bosse Westerlund, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden)
Lindquist, S. & B. Westerlund (2004) Artefacts for understanding. Working Papers in Art and Design 3 Retrieved from URL http://www.herts.ac.uk/artdes/research/papers/wpades/vol3/bwfull.html ISSN 1466-4917
[This clipping is an example of a 'research methodology' used within the context of applied research.]