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PHD-DESIGN  November 2018

PHD-DESIGN November 2018

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Subject:

mapping analytical methods for design research

From:

Danielle Wilde <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 1 Nov 2018 07:06:17 +0100

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Dear all,

this is a great conversation, that is leading me down a very interesting rabbit hole, out of which I hope something useful will emerge—broadly applicable yet not diluted. A nice challenge that will take me a bit of time and effort.

David, 
I completely agree. A map that is to be of any use requires critical analysis to develop the underlying framework. That is why this will take me some time. If you can share any of your findings I would be grateful. Have you published anything about how you approach analysis?

> From:    "[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
—snip—
> Can I suggest, however, that mapping is in the end only of limited value. Of much more importance in the long term is a critical analysis of design research methods. 
—snip—
> In my own limited field of information design, I have put some effort into making research and practical decisions about the methods that work best in my field, when to apply them, and how to value the findings and outcomes from these methods.

Dear Jacob,
on-list, thank you :)
[Jacob is my colleague and head of research at SDU, Kolding. This is not a conversation we were having off-list, which reaffirms to me the value of this list and posing questions here] 

What is particularly useful in your comment below is the description of how you interpret the methods.
I would be very grateful if others followed suit (on or off-list)—as some kindly have already. At the moment I am collecting them. I will begin my analysis in the new year.

> From:    Jacob Buur <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
—snip—
> Dimensional Analysis – This is a scaled-down version of Grounded Theory. It basically challenges you to find ‘dimensions’ in empirical observations by lining them up along axes of opposite statements, and to repeat this procedure with new opposites until you identify an ‘overarching dimension’ which helps express a theory. I like it, because it involves physical action (you actually line up things and discuss why), and because it teaches students that there are many perspectives one might apply on the same set of data. Only by trying do you get deeper in your understanding. For instance, we’ve recently used it with pictures of design studios around the world ('What makes a creative design studio?’). Works fine up till some 60 observations in 2-4 hours, more than that gets cumbersome. Groups of 3-15 participants has worked for me.
> 
>>> Kools, S., McCarthy, M., Durham, R., and Robrecht, L.,(1996). Dimensional analysis: Broadening the conception of grounded theory. Qualitative Health Research , 6 (3), 312–330.
> 
> KJ Method – Also known as card sorting, affinity diagrams etc. Likely the most common analysis method in design, I just like to go back to the Japanese origin that I learned from Jiro Kawakita 1988 (Oops, long time ago). Were most people will tend to go for grand categories when sorting data, Kawakita combined his Ethnography training with buddhism virtues to urge a true bottom-up approach to the analysis of observations. For instance, he challenged analysts to stay very close to the wording of the original observations (no general categories), and his method includes mixing up the data several times to get a fresh view. And this was in the age before posits… I routinely use it in student reflection sessions to show how much we can get out of their collective efforts, and in field research where we video and photos are not allowed. Recently, for instance, to understand how pupils and teachers in schools relate to indoor climate. I’ve worked with up to 800-1000 snippets of text/observations (that takes a week :) I happily engage up to 20 participants, but in the end, it seems only 3-4 have the patience to help see it through :)
> Kawakita did not publish much in English, there was an internal report:
> 
>>> Kawakita, J: The original KJ-method. Kawakita Research Institute, Tokyo 1982.
> 
> Video Card Game – A collaborative method for sorting large numbers of video clips. In all modesty one I developed in the early years working in industry to engage video/analysis novices (engineers and designers) in making sense of field recordings. It builds on the KJ Method, but uses video clips of 1/2 - 2 min duration as data. We use the ‘Happy Families’ card game as a metaphor to explain the procedure. The field researchers select (many) clips that seem ‘interesting’, but without arguing precisely why. Then they invite colleagues (researchers, clients, users…) to help structure. For instance, we had great success sorting through field recordings of forklift truck operation in warehouses (‘What is the practice of forklift truck driving?’). It effortlessly works with 30 - 150 video clips in 2-4 hours. Groups of 3-20 participants.
> 
>>> Buur, J and Søndergaard, A (2000). Video Card Game: An augmented environment for User Centred Design discussions. Designing Augmented Reality Environments, Helsingør, Denmark.
>>> Ylirisku, S and Buur, J (2007) Designing with Video. Focusing the user-centred design process. Springer
> 
> Through all of them, I find that the difficulty for students is to learn that
> - analysis takes patience, you can’t go with your first hunch, you’ve got to DO rather than speculate
> - the craft of ‘making headlines’ (i.e. hypotheses, design trajectories) only builds with experience.

Dear Francois,
Your comments, while tightly held to product design are useful. While some of the students I teach develop products, it is far from what I do myself, and where I consider myself expert. That said, I can clumsily remap your comment to other kinds of design that are more generative in the way that conception and development unfold: collaborative, experience, (people-based) system design and more. This almost clumsy remapping to my own areas of expertise is insightful. It helps me to better understand the motivations in other areas of design scholarship and practice. 

> From:    Francois Nsenga <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
—snip—
> I see conceiving artifacts as a two level continuous analytical
> process, prior to ‘creating’ or ‘making’: 1.analysing and deciding on which
> artifact to conceive; 2. Followed with analysing, deciding on, and
> proposing the best way to make the artifact selected.
—snip—
> To me, too, all these already
> existing methods should each be scrutinized on the basis of their
> pertinence to clarify the two objectives above: which artifact, and which
> ‘best’ way to make it, under circumstances of the moment.
> 
> For daily use products conception, my sub-field, I propose that ‘methods
> that will work best in/for this sub-field, when to apply them, and how to
> value the findings and outcomes from these methods’ should be assessed and
> selected, not in abstract, but all along following a 12 steps prior product
> concept – not focus on methods first  - analytical procedure that I
> reported on in “Design Issues, Autumn 2010, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 57-71”. It
> is following decision analytically reached on each of the 12 steps that
> corresponding method(s) will be searched, researched (analysed), and
> decision taken to use it/them. To me, those 12 research phases LEAD the way
> into mapping/analysing those only needed methods for design related to
> daily use products.
> 
> The other way to understand Danielle's query is in relation to,
> comparatively or not, study/analyze different design research methods per
> se, and their respective degree of pertinence to…. 
—snip—


Dear João,
Thank you for your suggestion to look to Conversation Analysis (CA) and the accompanying literature. 

I would like to add Interaction Analysis, in case you are not familiar with it—an emerging sub-field within CA that applies the methods to embodied engagement (i.e. analysing how people do things, rather than what they say, as such). Interaction Analysis is neither about spoken utterances or body language, per se. It brings focus to embodied engagement with an activity in order to understand what is unfolding: learning to drive a forklift, knitting by hand in comparison to machine knitting. I’m sure there are many rich examples that I am not aware of and can come back to the list with some references if no-one else has any to hand.

> From:    João Ferreira <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
—snip—
> In short, CA is the study of naturally occurring talk; which means one of
> the precepts of CA is that the study of talk should take place in its
> *natural* occurring context.
—snip—
> From my experience with CA, the method is useful to uncover how
> participants in a conversation generate meaning by interpreting,
> understanding, and responding to one another in their turns at talk. It is
> a very simple mechanism in which the next-turn clarifies how the previous
> turn was interpreted by the participants. In other words, during a
> conversation person A states something and person B responds, in the
> response we may find evidence and clues of how person B interpreted what
> person A said. Thus, the shared understanding, interpretation, and
> meaning-making that emerges between participants can be analysed by
> sequentially considering how a person follows up on what the other has said.
—snip—
> I find that Conversation Analysis works
> well with the already mentioned Grounded Theory approach.
—snip—
> Hutchby, I., & Wooffitt, R. (1998). *Conversation Analysis: Principles,
> Practices and Applications*. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
> 
> Oak, A. (2011). What can talk tell us about design?: Analyzing conversation
> to understand practice. *Design Studies, 32*(3), 211–234.
> 
> Sacks, H., & Jefferson, G. (1995). *Lectures on Conversation*. (G.
> Jefferson, Ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
> 
> Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). *A simplest
> systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language,
> 50*(4), 696–735.
> 

Dear Klaus,
Can you provide a reference for me please?
thanks in advance,
Danielle
> From:    "Krippendorff, Klaus" <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
—snip—
> my “semantic turn; a new foundation for design” is full of empirical proven methods dealing with issues of the meanings of artifacts. 
—snip—

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