WORKSHOP: Mixing Methods for Innovation and Evaluation
All theories have self-prescribed limits. All models are incomplete. All methods of analysis accentuate one perspective at the expense of others. The real power of any method comes when it is used in conjunction with others. Mixing methods becomes especially important when trying to introduce technology into a real setting. Actual circumstance involving individual idiosyncrasies and collective behaviors brings more complexity than any one method can handle. Artful triangulation across multiple methods can give an efficient handle on that complexity.
In this workshop, we discuss how different user-centered methods can be mixed and merged to drive inspiration, innovation and validation of interactive experiences. We first cover a basic framework of socio-technical design, highlighting areas of active research in the human-computer interaction community.
We will present a number of case studies where we combined methods (ethnographic field work, prototype development and evaluation, focus groups, data mining and field experiments) to derive innovation possibilities and then how we drove the invention process to develop new products. From these case studies, we will illustrate an observation to innovation framework and show how to adapt established methods to address emergent questions. We encourage participants to come to the workshop with their own case studies and/or questions about methods they have used.
We address the following questions of interest to innovators, designers, engineers, marketers, and managers using practical examples:
- What methods are available at the different stages in understanding
a new interactive experience?
- Which of the many meanings of the word ‘prototype’ might work best
in different circumstances, and at what cost?
- How do you identify the blind spots in one method and recognize
alternative ways to illuminate those gaps in understanding?
- How do you undertake conversations across disciplines, each with
their preconceptions, strengths, and limits?