User workshops: a method for eliciting user needs

In many of the design cases designers may not have the required knowledge about users’ needs, and it may be difficult to empathize with users. In order to meet the needs of users, designers should gain knowledge about them, and users can be consulted to elicit their tangible and emotional needs. However the users may have difficulties in expressing their needs or they may not be aware of them. This paper presents a method called user workshops, which investigates tangible and emotional user needs by letting them imagine and express a usage context and design problems, and to experience a concept development process. In user workshops, by taking certain steps users are asked to create a product for their personal use. In order to prepare them to conceptualize a product they are asked to prepare mood boards with given images considering a theme related to the product usage. This process directs them to consider their needs and to define problems related to the product and their emotional relation with it. Later the users are asked to express their concept product solutions verbally and visually in the form of sketches and cardboard and/or play-dough mock-ups. This method proposes means for designers to empathize with users.


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Citation Formats
G. Töre Yargın and G. F. Hasdoğan, “User workshops: a method for eliciting user needs,” presented at the Design and Emotion (2006), Gothenburg, 2006, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: