Introduction to Observing Users

This course will introduce students to theory and methods of behavioral observation, description and analysis. Students will use a variety of techniques derived from social and behavioral psychology and anthropology to develop useful, powerful approaches to solving modern design and business problems. Readings and theory are integrated with observational fieldwork exercises to provide rich learning experiences both in and outside of the classroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will develop a strong understanding of how different information gathering techniques impact data perspectives and analytic outcomes.
  • Students will gain hands-on experience building fieldwork skills using a variety of tools.
  • Students will gain experience planning and executing a variety of field research activities.
  • Students will gain a basic theoretical understanding of human cultural processes, behavioral schemas and how to develop their own frameworks from observational data.


Learning Outcomes

  • Students of Observing Users will demonstrate new skills planning and executing field research activities ranging from behavioral observation to interviewing.
  • Students will be more confident designing and executing their own research projects.
  • Students will be better able to understand the outcomes of other people‚Äôs research and the kinds of implications that can be drawn from different approaches to user and design research.
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution