Many companies are facing the task for radical innovations—totally new concepts and ideas for products and services, which are successful at the market. One major factor for success is a positive user experience. Thus, design teams need, and are challenged to integrate, an experience-centered perspective in their human-centered design processes. To support this, we propose adjusted versions of the well-established user research methods focus groups and cultural probes, in order to tailor them to the specific needs and focus of experience-based design, especially in the context of solving “wicked design problems”. The results are experience focus groups and experience probes, which augment the traditional methods with new structuring, materials, and tasks based on the three principles experience focus
, creative visualization
, and systematic guidance
. We introduce and describe a two step-approach for applying these methods, as well as a case study that was conducted in cooperation with a company that illustrates how the methods can be applied to enable an experience-centered perspective on the topic of “families and digital life”. The case study demonstrates how the methods address the three principles they are based on. Post-study interviews with representatives of the company revealed valuable insights about their usefulness for practical user experience design.
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