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PHD-DESIGN  August 2007

PHD-DESIGN August 2007

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Subject:

Re: design culture

From:

mschmidt <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

mschmidt <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Aug 2007 09:49:18 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

Excellent points, David. I'm a graphic designer, and the work my colleagues
and I are doing with respect to designing decision-making aids for parents
and children considering Phase 1 pediatric clinical trials could not proceed
without adopting an evidence-based approach. In addition to the rationale
you provided, there is simply the pragmatic problem of satisfying the
gate-keepers: hospital scientific review boards, in particular. But even
more critical is the fact that an evidence-based approach is required in
order to generalize our application to other healthcare institutions,
parents, and patients.

Going one step now beyond the justification for an evidence-based approach
is what type of approach to take. If one is working in healthcare,
quantitative studies are preferred. However, much of the user-centered
design process is qualitative. Experimental study designs can and should be
developed, given that any intervention should have a robust research
question, but that doesn't diminish the need for qualitative
research--which, in my opinion, is vital to understanding the user and
his/her context. Unfortunately, it's been a real battle for us to educate
medical researchers in a medical research institution to permit us to employ
simple qualitative techniques, like interviewing users. Such a proposal
should receive expedited review, actually. And now that we've won our
battle, it just might. But I don't know if I'll ever be able to convince
them of how valuable intuition and empathy were to the design process and
the final software product outcome.

The upshot: I'm still trying to resolve the problem of what methodology,
what combination of studies and design process steps, will satisfy the
demands for evidence-based research rightly required by scientific review
boards and the ultimate goal of generalization, but still provide my design
team with the qualitative, first-hand, empathy-driven intuition that I
believe played a huge role in making the project a success with the end
users.

Michael

-- 
Michael Schmidt, Director
Center for Multimedia Arts
Associate Professor, Graphic Design
The University of Memphis/
FedEx Institute of Technology
365 Innovation Drive
Memphis, TN 38152

P 901-678-1777
F 901-678-2735




On 8/7/07 10:33 PM, "David Sless" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi all,
> 

> For many reasons‹getting a better understanding of social
> consequences being one‹its time that design practitioners and
> researchers adopted an evidence based approach to what they do. In
> saying this, I'm pointing the finger very much at my colleagues in
> graphic design. I think it is less of an issue in engineering and
> some others areas of design, but I leave others to make that call.
> 
> Without appropriate evidence, we are all just speculating.
>
> 
> David

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