TwinTide Newsletter N.4, May 2013
The Number 4 of the TWINTIDE Newsletter is available for download at here. The current issue is dedicated to the TwinTide Training School TUTOREM which was organized in Autumn 2012, in Bled, Slovenia.
WG 1: Critical Reviews of D&E Method Potential and Value-Realisation in IT-enhanced Sectors

Coordinator: (acting) Gilbert Cockton, Northumbria University (UK)

Overview:

This activity will critically examine the current use of design and evaluation methods and contribute to the maturation of those methods.

Basic concepts:

To identify and analyse D&E methods and techniques used in a range of IT-enhanced sectors, including healthcare, aviation, education, entertainment, commerce and government. These "modernizing sectors" (EU IST i2010 vision) have a wide impact on people's lives. They share prime concerns (e.g. safety and reliability for healthcare; adaptivity for education and entertainment); formal methods employed in some can be augmented by informal ones adopted in the others.

The selection of sectors will be modified contingent on ongoing inputs of the partners involved in the Action and on the dynamic evolvement of the field of HCI. For each sector, the Actionís partners aim to understand what D&E methods/techniques are judged appropriate for what circumstances and what theoretical models they are based on. A palette indicating sector-based tasks and processes and their associated D&E approaches will be developed, serving as a knowledge pool.

This Action will inherit from COST294 the results of analysis and review of the traditional D&E methods and focus on the emergent ones. Here is the list (though non-exhaustive) of the Third Wave D&E methods:

  • experience-centred design method
  • worth-centred design and evaluation method (e.g., worth maps, UX frames, direct worth instrumentation)
  • ethnography-informed design method
  • psychometric-based UX measures
  • experience prototyping methods
  • reflective design
  • ludic design
  • sketching user experience
  • repertory grid technique
  • electrophysiological approaches
  • structured experience questionnaires
  • product reaction cards
  • creativity methods
  • heuristics for user experience attributes (e.g., playability, desirability, etc.)
Implementation Plan:

The major challenge for WG1 is to collect a critical mass of D&E methods being used in a range of sectors and disciplines. The number of research projects in which this Actionís partners involved is large, serving as one of the main data source. Other sources include the ever expanding research networks of the Action's partners, related COST Actions and European research projects, the Action's open workshops and conferences, etc.

The D&E methods of interest will be subjected to critical review on the following aspects:

  • General descriptions: To specify techniques, tools and procedures required;
  • Origin and assumptions: To identify the origin of the method, the discipline from which the method is derived, underpinning values and assumptions, and history of evolvement;
  • Usage contexts: The conditions under which the method is applied: who are involved for how long at which development stage and whether is it lab or field-based; critical success factors in application
  • Stakeholder types: Different stakeholders are involved. The two basic types are people who apply the method to the computing artefact of interest and those who are users of the artefact and participate in its design and evaluation. It is relevant to identify the profile of each type such as specific knowledge and experience with the methods used and the artifact developed;
  • Task model: the characteristics of the activities within which the method is applied;
  • Sector-specific features: To identify the particularities of the sector contributing to the fit (or misfit) between the method and the use contexts;
  • Organizational culture: To identify what opportunities and constraints the organization, where the method is applied, imparts;
  • Strengths and limitations of the techniques/tools: To identify particular strengths and limitations specific techniques and tools implicated in the method for realising its functions;
Expected outcomes:

Templates for describing D&E methods and guidelines for structured analyses of the methods will be developed. A knowledge pool (or a digital repository in the form of wiki) to document the results of the analyses will also be created. This pool will support the activities of the other WGs, and be rendered accessible to a wider HCI community when the contents are mature.