Module Catalogues

User-Focused Research

Module Title User-Focused Research
Module Level Level 2
Module Credits 5.00

Aims and Fit of Module

Part of the Industrial Design process, requires designers to understand the needs of a range of stakeholders who are often referred to as users. Users are typically the people who purchase and use designed artefacts, but may also include, engineers, retailers, and factory workers, amongst others, who are all involved in the production, mediation and consumption cycle.
The course aims to develop student understanding of the different user groups and how to carry out research which captures their particular characteristics. By the end of the module students should be able to identify different research strategies and apply these appropriately in different contexts. As such the module builds on introductory modules such as IND101 and feeds directly into later studio practice modules where user research is an essential component.

Learning outcomes

A. Distinguish and classify a variety of stakeholders/users within industrial design contexts.
B. Identify and show how different research strategies might be applied to different users.
C. Draw conclusions based on the application of a user-centred design process.
D. Propose concept or product directions based on the analysis of user needs.
E. Formulate explanatory and visual interpretations of data collected in the research process.

Method of teaching and learning

Lectures are used to introduce user research methods and tools.
Group and Individual tutorials offer opportunities to explore and apply research methods in given contexts.
Field work and presentations allow students to present their research findings and exercises to tutors and their peers.