User workshops: procedure for eliciting user needs and user defined problems

Töre, Gülşen
Not in every case, the designer is knowledgeable about the potential user. Users can be consulted, in order to obtain knowledge, which is required for the design process. However such a consultation process can be problematic, since users may have difficulty in expressing their needs and problems or they may not be aware of them. The study is devised originating from the idea that if appropriate tools are provided for users, they can express their needs and design related problems. The thesis involves a literature review on the necessity of user knowledge as an input for the design process, and methods, techniques and tools, which provide this knowledge. Based on the findings from the literature review, three fictional case studies were planned and performed by employing two techniques, namely mood boards and drawing and shaping ideal products. These two techniques are developed into a procedure step by step by carrying out the case studies. The thesis proposes guidelines for the procedure of “user workshops” as a way to elicit users’ tangible and intangible needs, and user defined problems by directing them to imagine and express a usage context and conceptualize solutions considering their design related problems through a concept development activity and additional creative activities.


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Citation Formats
G. Töre, “User workshops: procedure for eliciting user needs and user defined problems,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2006.