Research to inform Human-Centered design draws from a variety of disciplines (chiefly Human Factors and User Research) to solve complex, ambitious problems in technology design. The process across fields is the same: leveraging empathy and psychological research principles to bring human needs and experience into product design and development.
This course will cover a range of research methods that apply to product design, predominantly through the lens of digital products (but applicable to other technologies). Key primary research methods will include contextual inquiry, expert interviews, diary studies, usability testing, cognitive walk throughs, A/B testing, and surveys.
In order to ground these methods in theory, as well as provide practical experience, the course will be a blend of lecture, readings, discussion, and projects. The course is ideal for students with a social science background and an interest in applying this discipline to technology, or students who have had an introduction to research methods for product design and an interest in learning more. A background in statistical or data analysis is helpful but not compulsory.