• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Design Approaches (redirected from Design Themes)

Page history last edited by Ami Mehta 12 years, 1 month ago

Working in pairs, please add a design approach to our table with a brief description and a connection to your technology theme.  These articles don't need to be scholarly ones (though they can be) but they should support one another to offer a basis for your claim.


John Kim's Design Approaches List

  • Video Ethnography
  • Lit Review
  • Talking to the users
  • Map out stakeholders
  • Create Personas
  • User Needs
  • User Motives
  • User Rewards
  • Write a list
  • Concept
  • System Maps Ketch
  • Brainstorming
  • User Scenarios
  • Wireframes

If you need ideas, look through the IDEO method cards or Universal Methods of Design by Frog Design founders Hannington and Martin. Or you can also visit the LDT time machine for our design for learning website 


Design Approach Description/articles Connection to Technology Theme(s) Your Name(s) 
Human-Centered Design  A design approach that prioritizes the skills, needs, and
contexts of the people actually using the product or experience;
Ideo toolkit  on human centered-design
As voice recognition technology advances, and data-mining improves, designers should redouble their commitment
to keeping humans at the center of the experience
Dan Gilbert 
Rapid Prototyping

Building, sketching, mocking up, acting out, and otherwise creating artifacts that demonstrate your ideas in physical form. Prototyping is intended to bring a concept to life to allow users to give feedback, not to mention to demonstrate to the designer where there may be breakdowns in their thinking.


The d.school has shown it this way, and creating both early low-resolution and more advanced high-res prototypes can be invaluable:

Articles showing empirical support for rapid prototyping:


Surgeons use rapid prototyping techniques to plan pediatric spine/pelvis surgeries and perform faster, more accurate operations:



Benefits of rapid prototyping in manufacturing:



Benefits of rapid prototyping in engineering:



It can be worth putting pen to paper before writing code for an idea that involves the application of technology (this is the concept of a "sacrificial prototype" that can be put in front of users and that the designer doesn't feel too attached to yet).
Alexis & Emily

A decentralized method of getting large numbers of people to complete "microtasks" that inform the design or solve a problem of the design.

Source: Universal Methods of Design

"A Taxonomy of Distributed Human Computation" by Alexander J. Quinn


In this article, Quinn describes the possibilities of Distributed Human Computation (DHC). Humans can solve more complex problems than computers, but they are slow.  Computers are fast, but their quality on complex problems is low.  DHC allows "the possibility of combining humans and computers to offer another point in the tradeoff space where solutions are faster than individual human efforts, and quality is at least as good as human efforts – sometimes even better due to diversity and network effects of human participation"

The growth of microblogs and weak-tie networks have contributed to the ability to crowdsource microtasks to a wide network. However, these large and anonymous data sets could distort the perspectives of individuals. 


Another example is the use of online games to source the performance of some task.  For examples, see http://www.gwap.com/gwap/about/

Jen and Kerri 
Needfinding and User-Testing

In Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things, he warns that "designers are not typical users... they become so expert in using the object they have designed that they cannot believe that anyone else might have problems; only interaction and testing with actual users throughout the design process can forestall that" (p. 152).



When it comes to human-computer interaction, one of the key goals is to make computers more "usable" and receptive to the user's needs. Thus, rigorous user-testing is an important and necessary part of the design process. It's easy for designers to project their own rationalizations and beliefs onto the actions and beliefs of others. But until they actually engage with actual users and interview them, they are merely making assumptions about how they're addressing their needs (if any). 


Heidi & Joy
Why-Laddering  I decided to focus on a specific technique that can be used during needfinding. Why-laddering is an exercise in helping designers get to the deeper insights and underlying issues of a given challenge. When you take a broad issue or an insight and keep asking the question "Why?", you eventually get to a very specific insight or issue, which can then lead to a solution. This emphasis on not being satisfied with a very shallow understanding will then lead to better needfinding.  As more technological solutions are being created, it is important to understand which technologies address an existing need effectively and which technologies are more superfluous.  Tara 
Parallel Prototyping  Simultaneously exploring multiple design opportunities can help teams keep from fixating on a design direction too early, improve the nature of design critiques, and lead to more effective design results.   Technology are more than just solutions to problems in our lives, they also transform and shape cultures. We should keep our minds open when we are designing a new product, and think not just about the problem it is trying to solve, but also its potential impact on people. Shannon 

a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its member(s). The term was popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1963 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas

Technology has been transformative for many industries..others have been stymied by fear, politicians, and incumbents. Brainstorming can be an inclusive exercise where those who fear change can be part of the solution. June 
HCI Design Approaches

Eberts (1994) describes four Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design approaches that may be applied to user interface designs to develop user-friendly, efficient, and intuitive user experiences for humans. These four approaches include the Anthropomorphic Approach, the Cognitive Approach, the Predictive Modeling Approach, and the Empirical Approach. One or more of these approaches may be used in a single user interface design.

Behavioral Design with Persuasion in Mind The best design solutions today change human behavior. Yet despite decades of research, challenges remain for people who design to influence.

First, “persuasion” seems a dirty word. It shouldn’t be. We should now embrace that we’re in the business of behavior change. Next problem: conceptual confusion. The landscape of persuasion can be disorienting, muddied by impractical theories and over-hyped techniques. Our new work provides a clear view of behavior change, including language that is simple yet accurate.

Behavior change is a step-by-step process. This explains why one-shot solutions rarely achieve outcomes that matter most. To help designers and researchers succeed more often, my Stanford lab has created the “Behavior Wizard,” which maps routes to the 15 ways behavior can change.

What Matters in Behavior Design

1. We humans are lazy. BJ Fogg has mapped out the six elements of simplicity that account for this reality. With this new insight, we can pinpoint why many designs fail to achieve results. Simplicity matters more than motivation when it comes to influencing people.

2. Hot triggers change people. Many people would argue that information matters most when designing for behavior change. Not so. Hot triggers are the most powerful element in changing behavior.

3. Daily habits are powerful. In fact, daily habits are the most powerful of all behaviors. While technology can help people create good habits most attempts fail. Why? Few designers understand the psychology of long-term behavior change. We know what it takes to create a habit – in yourself, a customer, your dog.

Designing for behavior change via social and mobile tech is new, with no leading books or conferences to provide guidance. Our goal is to explain human nature clearly and map those insights onto the emerging opportunities in technology.

Behavior Design


by Dr. BJ Fogg

Ami Mehta



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.