Teaching Principles of Qualitative Analysis to Industrial Design Engineers
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Stappers, Pieter Jan
Institution: TU Delft, The Netherlands
Section: Design Methods - Theory and Methodology
Doing qualitative field research has become a standard part of academic human-centred design education. Part of the challenge is to bring design students a thorough understanding of research methods, and practical skills in performing small scale user research as part of design projects. This involves understanding and ability at interpreting data, categorizing information, and appreciating how theories are built. This paper reports on an exercise sequence in which students go through the analysis process of a transcript from a field study, and discusses how a relatively simple exercise can serve to equip students with both a practical know-how of carrying out analysis as well as instantiation and experience for discussing underlying concepts such as triangulation, abstraction levels, and the relations between data, information, and knowledge.