Studying Designers, Artifacts and Users: Learning to Frame Research (Sometimes Mislabeled as “Design Thinking”) that Informs Interaction Design from Three Intersecting Perspectives

workshop – 120 min | Feb 4 – 1:30

Participants in this actively collaborative, methodologically focused, two-hour workshop should come prepared to use an extant or proposed interaction design project, or a possible IxD research trajectory or line of inquiry, as primary subject matter for examination. This subject matter can consist of work that participants are directly involved in designing and developing, or that their students have worked or are working on, or some aspects of both. The learning experience that Professors Gibson and Owens will facilitate will help participants broaden and deepen their abilities to contextualize, or “situate,” what they’re working on in relation to one of three investigational approaches:

01 a critical examination of the design(er) and his/her/their decision-making processes;

02 a critical examination of how and why the designed artifact or system affects and is affected by its social, technological, economic and political surroundings;

03 a critical examination of how and why the user’s interaction with the participant’s proposed or extant artifact or system will or could affect the intended user’s reality (or perception of reality).

In short, this workshop has been designed to ensure that participants emerge from it with knowledge of and about how to situate the analysis and assessment of their work from the perspective of the design(er), the artifact or system, and the user. Constructing this type of knowledge is crucial to ensuring that projects guided by research—as most interactive projects tend to need to be—actually yield useful, usable and desirable understandings that 1) positively affect a specific project’s outcome and that 2) enable other interaction designers, educators and researchers to learn from the work undertaken to produce a given project or pursue a specific research endeavor. Engaging in this “three-perspective” approach to framing research that informs interaction design can enable desirable change across a diverse array of landscapes.

Michael Robert Gibson

Michael Robert Gibson
The University of North Texas, United States

Keith Owens

Keith Owens
The University of North Texas, United States

About the speakers

Michael Robert Gibson

Michael Robert Gibson

The University of North Texas, United States
I am the graduate program coordinator for the MA program in Interaction Design operated by UNT’s Department of Design. I am also the graduate program coordinator for UNT’s Design Research programs, which are also operated by UNT’s Department of Design. Along with Professors Keith Owens, Troy Abel and Clinton Carlson, I try to forge and sustain collaborative, user experience and interaction design partnerships between groups across UNT’s academic spectrum AND into the private sector that surrounds our facilities in Frisco, Denton and Dallas, Texas.

Keith Owens

Keith Owens

The University of North Texas, United States
Associate Professor, Communication Design (Project Lead, MA in Interaction Design)

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