Framing Complexity: an experience-led approach to designing user research



Media & Communications Design


  • human-centred design, collaboration, collaborative research, learning approaches

Human-Centered Design (HCD) methods have been identified as valuable and effective approaches to designing with and for people, but is also due to complexity and indeterminacy, often difficult to practice. With the popularisation of HCD in contemporary design education, and the subsequent emphasis of human-centered research an ethical question arises as to whether design students are adequately prepared to engage with the type of research that more and more they are expected to conduct.

This paper engages with this concern by presenting an approach, which utilises Marc Hassenzahl’s Three-level Hierarchy of Needs model to conceive and design a human-centered research plan.  The approach described in the paper is first introduced from a theoretical perspective, and then illustrated as applied in a design project.

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