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Open AccessArticle

Guided User Research Methods for Experience Design—A New Approach to Focus Groups and Cultural Probes

1
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2
OrangeTM, 22300 Lannion, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030043
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 17 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 26 July 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: user experience; user research; experience focus groups; experience cultural probes; building ideas; design thinking; user-centered design; design for experience user experience; user research; experience focus groups; experience cultural probes; building ideas; design thinking; user-centered design; design for experience
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Krueger, A.E.; Pollmann, K.; Fronemann, N.; Foucault, B. Guided User Research Methods for Experience Design—A New Approach to Focus Groups and Cultural Probes. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4, 43.

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