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BRINGING USERS
INTO YOUR PROCESS
THROUGH
PARTICIPATORY
DESIGN
DAVID SHERWIN AND ERIN MUNTZERT
@CHANGEORDER @ERINMUNTZERT
UX WEEK 2013 | 23 AUG 2013
WARM-UP
KEEP IT LIKE A SECRET

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
INTRODUCTION

CHALLENGE STATEMENT
Create a “best-kept secret” mobile app/guide for highlights in San Francisco
you won’t find in traditional tour books or on travel websites. This guide
does not show everyone the same content. It’s personalized to you.
In 15 minutes in your group, create a UX storyboard (6 frames, pictures
and words) that shows how on their mobile device a user would browse this
guide and select a place to visit. You will have 1 minute to present your scenario
to the other groups at your table.
Questions that might help kickstart your design process:
•Who is the intended audience?
•Where would they use it?
•When would they use it?
•What content do you think should be included?
•What functionality could be added to make this guide
•more useful and desirable?
•Why would they download and use the app?
•How would it be personalized for each unique user?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
1 MINUTE
TO SHARE YOUR SCENARIO

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
WHAT WERE YOUR GAPS IN KNOWLEDGE?

What could
the right design be?

Who is our
audience?

Why?

Where do
they go?
When?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

How can
we refine the
design until
it’s right?
©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
THE STRUCTURE OF RESEARCH

GENERATION
create the design

FOUNDATION
understand needs

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
refine until it’s right
THE STRUCTURE OF RESEARCH

FOUNDATION

GENERATION

understand needs

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION

refine until it’s right
Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate
the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right.

understand needs

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

refine until it’s right
Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate
the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right.

understand needs

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

refine until it’s right
Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate
the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right.

understand needs

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

refine until it’s right
Participatory Design
Cooperative Design
Co-Design
Co-Creation
Co-Production
Completely Too Much Vocabulary
©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

OK, SO WHAT IS PARTICIPATORY DESIGN?
Participatory design aims to bring users into the creative process. We take part in
activities with users, providing them with materials for them to descriptively
discuss their personal experiences and express their ideal solutions.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

THE DESIGN RESEARCH PROCESS
Participatory design is a method whose use is solely dictated by your research objectives.

selection
happens here

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

PARTICIPATORY DESIGN IS A METHOD
It should work alongside many other methods and types of design research,
it isn’t “one method to rule them all.”
CONCEPT
STRUCTURING

DIARY
STUDY

together
is better

TECHNOLOGY
EXPLORATION
JOURNALING

CONTEXTUAL
INQUIRY
PARTICIPATORY
DESIGN

IMMERSION

EXPERT

CONCEPT

ANALYSIS

MARKET

TESTING

EXPLORATION
frogMOB

BUSINESS
VALIDATION

TECHNOLOGY
ANALYSIS

TREND

SURVEYS
COGNITIVE

SCRAPING

WALKTHROUGH

COMPETITIVE
ANALYSIS
MARKET

USABILITY

ANALYSIS

TESTING

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

PARTICIPATORY DESIGN IS ITERATIVE
It should be used iteratively throughout the design process depending on the
overall objectives, logistics, and expected outcomes of the project.
CONCEPT
STRUCTURING

Discover

Design

Deliver

Deploy

Analysis Becomes Insights
DISCOVER

Insights Become Ideas
DESIGN

Ideas Become Products
DELIVER

Products Become Reality
DEPLOY

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

WHY DOES PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH WORK?
It helps us to communicate with people and discover what they know and feel. This
helps us gain the ability to empathize with them, seeing the world from their perspective.
Both users and designers can gain knowledge that isn’t easy to express through words.
Framework by Liz Sanders, learn more at MakeTools.com

MAKE
tacit
knowledge
explicit
knowledge
explicit
knowledge

SAY
©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

DO
DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH PROCESS
1

2

3

4

FRAMING

PLANNING

FACILITATING

ANALYZING

Identify research goals,
objectives, questions
and hypotheses.

Define activities to use to
help to (dis)prove your
design hypotheses.

Best practices for
moderating
participatory research
sessions with users.

Ways to make sense of
your research results,
which will help jumpstart
your next design
iteration.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
STEP 1 FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

FOUR STEPS TO FRAME YOUR RESEARCH

1 2 3 4
SELECT YOUR
USER(S)

CREATE YOUR
GOALS

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

DEFINE WHAT
YOU THINK
YOU KNOW

IDENTIFY
METHODS
TO USE
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

STEP 1 SELECT YOUR USER(S)
Any good design starts by defining who your intended user is. To qualify your design,
it is important to get specific with your user attributes. You may define multiple user
groups for your research. User attributes should include:

Demographics: gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location

Psychographics: personality, values, interests, lifestyles

Behaviors: mannerisms, actions, traits

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

USER

Trendy and forward thinking
visitors age 18-30 who
frequent social networks,
fashion and music blogs
from their smart phones.
They must have disposable
income and travel several
times per year
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

STEP 2 CREATE YOUR GOALS
Start by asking your team what questions you want to answer with your research
and write them down. A helpful tip to ensure you’ve created a comprehensive list of
questions is to make sure you’ve used the “5W’s and an H”: who, what, when,
where, why and how. Cluster and prioritize these framing questions to define your
research objective(s).
GOAL
Framing ?

When do p
eople
want to di
scover
new thing
s vs.
when do t
hey want
to plan an
d why?

Framing ?

of
What types
eople
vices are p
de
when
sing most
u
iting
hey are vis
t
SF?

Framing ?

How do people do
research to explore
where they want to
go in SF
beforehand?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

Understand what trendy,
young, tech savvy, affluent
visitors from out of town are
looking to do in SF—and
how they want to use
mobile devices to find out
about “best kept secrets”
once they arrive in SF
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

STEP 3 DEFINE WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW
We all have early ideas and assumptions related to a project. We call these our
hypotheses. Some clients may have initial ideas they would like “tested” as well.
Don’t be afraid to address these ideas early and often! These assumptions can serve
as a jumping off point and aid in the initial content for your research.

GOAL

Understand what trendy,
young, tech savvy, affluent
visitors from out of town are
looking to do in SF—and
how they want to use
mobile devices to find out
about “best kept secrets”
once they arrive in SF

HY PO TH ES IS
Young people are
constantly on their
mobile phones and are
looking for them to
heighten their “in the
moment” experiences

H Y P OT H E S I S
t
Our users will firs
reach out to their
social networks to
o in
find out what to d
a new city

H Y P OT H E S I

S

t kept secrets
Bes
e
d be kept elit
shoul
tay
exclusive to s
and
the “Best”

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

STEP 4 IDENTIFY METHODS TO USE
Define where you think you know a lot, and have the data to back it up, versus where
you have the most unanswered questions. Use the following framework to identify
how concrete your questions and hypotheses are, so you can focus what types of
methods you should use in your research (including participatory design).
HYPOTHESIS

People are more likely to
use travel apps when
they have never been to
a city they are planning
to visit.

understand needs

HYPOTHESIS

HYPOTHESIS

An ideal travel app
design experience
should be just like the
“Wanderlust”
application.

The top 5 features of current
mobile travel apps for college
students traveling over the
summer should be part of the
feature set for the ‘best kept
secrets’ application.

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

refine until it’s right
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

ACTIVITY 1
CREATE GOALS AND HYPOTHESES
You’ve been hired to create a “best kept secret” mobile app/guide for
highlights in San Francisco you won’t find in traditional tour books or on travel
websites. This guide does not show everyone the same content. It’s in some
way personalized to the user.
In 30 minutes in your group, do the following:
• Define your target user(s)
• Create your questions and your overall research goals
• Generate 15 early design hypotheses that will fuel your

participatory design research
Note: Use stickies for the above content, one item per sticky. It’ll save you time later…

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

STEP 1

STEP 2

STEP 3

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

STEP 4
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

Create a “best kept secret” mobile app for highlights in San Francisco

AT TR IBU TE
From outside of San
Francisco

AT TR IBU TE
Tech Savvy and owns
at least 1 smartphone

AT TR IBU TE
Traveling for pleasure,
not for work

QU ES TIO N

QU ES TIO N
When do people want
to discover new things
vs. when do they want
to plan and why?

What types of devices
are people using most
when they are visiting
SF?

QU ES TIO N
How do people do
research to explore
where they want to go
in SF beforehand?

USER

Understand what trendy,
young, tech savvy, affluent
women from out of town are
looking to do in SF and how
they want to use mobile
devices to find out about
the best kept secrets once
they arrive in SF

Young people are
constantly on their
mobile phones and are
looking for them to
heighten their in the
moment experiences

H Y P O T H E S IS
ften
Our users most o
t to
will first reach ou
rks
their social netwo
do
to find out what to
in a new city

GOAL

Trendy and forward thinking
visitors age 18-30 who
frequent Pinterest, social
networks, fashion and music
blogs from their smart
phones. They must have
disposable income and travel
at least 3x/year

HY PO TH ES IS

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

H Y P OT H E S I

S

ts should
est kept secre
B
nd
be kept elite a
tay the
exclusive to s
“Best”
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

ACTIVITY 2
IDENTIFY METHODS TO USE
In 5 minutes in your 3 person group:
• Qualify your initial design hypotheses on a continuum, from identifying

user needs to creating your initial designs to refining them
• See on which part of the spectrum most of your hypotheses live. Select

methods to use based on where they are most focused on the spectrum

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH

Understand what trendy, young, tech savvy, affluent women from out of town are looking to do in SF
and how they want to use mobile devices to find out about the best kept secrets once they arrive in SF

FOUNDATION

IDEATION

EVALUATION

HY PO TH ES IS

H Y P O T H E S IS
ften
Our users most o
t to
will first reach ou
rks
their social netwo
do
to find out what to
in a new city

H Y P OT H E S I

S

H Y P O T H E S IS

Young people are
constantly on their
mobile phones and are
looking for them to
heighten their in the
moment experiences

ften
Our users most o
t to
will first reach ou
rks
their social netwo
do
to find out what to
in a new city

rets should
Best kept sec
nd
be kept elite a
tay the
exclusive to s
“Best”

H Y P O T H E S IS
ften
Our users most o
t to
will first reach ou
rks
their social netwo
do
to find out what to
in a new city

understand needs

H Y P O T H E S IS
ften
Our users most o
t to
will first reach ou
rks
their social netwo
do
to find out what to
in a new city

H Y P OT H E S I

S

rets should
Best kept sec
nd
be kept elite a
tay the
exclusive to s
“Best”

H Y P OT H E S I

S

rets should
Best kept sec
nd
be kept elite a
tay the
exclusive to s
“Best”

HY PO TH ES IS
S

rets should
Best kept sec
nd
be kept elite a
tay the
exclusive to s
“Best”

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

H Y P OT H E S I

Young people are
constantly on their
mobile phones and are
looking for them to
heighten their in the
moment experiences

refine until it’s right
STEP 2 PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

SET THE STAGE
Choose a location to maximize the outcomes, based on what you
hope to get out of the research. Often group size and ease of access
for your location are the key reasons for deciding where to conduct
participatory design research.

In a Professional Facility

In Their Context of Use

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

Out in the World
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

SIZE IS IMPORTANT
Determining the structure of the session will shape some of your more
detailed planning decisions. Large groups are often sought after by the client,
but can be hard to manage. Small groups or one-on-ones may not provide
enough data points in the time you have to run research. It is up to you to
choose the most appropriate setup for your project.

Large Groups

Small Groups

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One-on-One
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

DATA CAPTURE TOOLS
Don’t let data from your research activities fall through the cracks. Utilizing data
capture tools is an essential part of remembering what was said, done, and made in
your sessions. It’s critical to run an intensive and thoughtful analysis process to
make sure the user’s needs, behaviors, and attitudes are addressed and accurate.

Artifacts

Notes

Photos

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

Recordings
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

TYPES OF PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITIES
NARRATE ACTIVITIES
Participants inform us of their needs,
wants, and desires through stories.

CREATE ACTIVITIES
Participants generate ideas and create
prototypes of products, services, and
experiences that would be ideal for them.

PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES
Participants make trade-offs,
connections, and definitions of value
for ideas, solutions, or system content.

CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES
Participant direct us with regard to their
preferences for how an idea or solution
would become part of their lives.

Adaptation of framework by Celine Pering, created while at frog

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

STEP

WHEN TO USE THEM
PARTICIPANT AS TEACHER

PARTICIPANT AS DESIGNER

NARRATE ACTIVITIES

CREATE ACTIVITIES

Participants inform us of their needs,
wants, and desires through stories.

PARTICIPANT AS DIRECTOR

Participants generate ideas and create
prototypes of products, services, and
experiences that would be ideal for them.

PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES
Participants make trade-offs, connections,
and definitions of value for ideas, solutions,
or system content.

CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES
Participant direct us with regard to their
preferences for how an idea or solution
would become part of their lives.
Adaptation of framework by Celine Pering, created while at frog
understand needs

create the design

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

refine until it’s right
NARRATE ACTIVITIES
Memory is improved when we use structured stimuli to recall stories.
Activities in this section provide thinking tools that can be used as a way
to jog a participant’s memory and guide them into recollecting and
generating stories. These stories help us better understand the nature of
a participant’s background, build empathy and rapport, and help us
relate to and understand a participant needs, wants, and desires.

JOURNEY MAPPING
LOVE & BREAKUP LETTER
TOPICAL COLLAGE
KNOWLEDGE HUNT
NARRATE ACTIVITIES

JOURNEY MAPPING
WHAT IT IS:
People are provided with a large worksheet
with a timeline or set of actions/happenings
provided on the horizontal axis, and various
contexts, devices, or situations on the vertical
axis. They fill in the worksheet, they speak
aloud, sharing stories and narrating their
experience.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Gets people comfortable in both doing
and talking
• Creates a venue for stories you may not be
able to access through everyday
conversation
WHEN TO USE IT:
This is good to follow an interview, and can
flow easily into a Create activity.

EXAMPLE: Sometimes it can be hard to talk about the journey that people take
through the process of being diagnosed and treated for a disease. The above is
an emotional journey map that encourages patients to tell stories about how
they felt in different parts of the diagnosis and treatment process, through the
lens of how the treatment process felt to them.
GENERATION

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EVALUATION
NARRATE ACTIVITIES

LOVE & BREAKUP LETTER
WHAT IT IS:
Developed first by Smart Design, a personal
letter is written to a product, service, or
company revealing what people desire, hate,
value, and expect from the objects or brands
in their everyday lives. This can serve as fuel
for starting to explore what areas should be
addressed through your design efforts.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Great to use in a group
• People really open up when sharing their
feelings about abstract things like inanimate
objects or brands
• Forces people to relate emotions, pain
points, or needs with lived experiences
WHEN TO USE IT:
This is a great icebreaker or first activity, as it
is often very funny and gets everyone in the
group sharing and listening.
EXAMPLE: When redesigning the consumer facing web portal for a telecommunications
company, we asked participants to write a love or break-up letter to their provider highlighting
the health of their relationship, the things that were going right and wrong, and what the steps
that the telecom needed to take to fix or mend their relationship. This helped us to understand
in real language some of the key problems people were having with their service, and their
hopes for solutions to mend the relationship for the future (or not).
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
NARRATE ACTIVITIES

TOPICAL COLLAGE
WHAT IT IS:
Participants use provided stimuli—or create
their own—in order to get at the quality of
how they feel about a product, service, or
experience. It inspires storytelling impulses in
participants, so they have better access to
stories about their subjective experiences.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Gets people comfortable both doing and
talking
• Doesn’t require reading literacy
• Easy to understand
WHEN TO USE IT:
This is a great icebreaker or first activity.
Then, consider following it with a Create or
Prioritize activity.

EXAMPLE: When designing a new pest repellent product, frog asked mothers to
put together a collage of pictures and images to describe to us what protecting
their child means to them. This helped the team to understand how they view
themselves, the people around them, and products and services when it comes
to protecting their most valuable asset: their children.
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
NARRATE ACTIVITIES

KNOWLEDGE HUNT
WHAT IT IS:
An activity that helps participants share their
thoughts, feelings, and attitudes towards
topics and issues that can be hard to talk
about otherwise.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Taps into a group’s collective experience
• Gives people a safe space in which to get
answers to questions they otherwise
wouldn’t be comfortable discussing
• Can be fun / feels like a game
WHEN TO USE IT:
This is best to use as an activity after you’ve
had a chance for you and the participants to
get to know each other. Consider following it
with a Prioritize activity to narrow in on
potential needs, or a Create activity to solve
problems uncovered through the activity.
EXAMPLE: Working with adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh, we used
this activity to provide girls a venue to solicit advice on topics that were important to
them. After they had shared their questions and provided answers, the girls marked with
a star the answers that were most valuable to them. We then facilitated a conversation
about why those answers were important and where they would expect to find them.
(You can find a variant of this activity in frog’s Collective Action Toolkit.)
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CREATE ACTIVITIES
Participants use activities to help us fill in the blanks, creating
elements of their ideal products, services, and experiences. This
helps us understand the expectations of participants. It also serves
to develop and validate working hypotheses for us and our larger
team. Constructing activities that provide the right balance
between structure and interpretation is key.

INTERFACE TOOLKIT
FILL IN THE BLANKS
IDEAL WORKFLOW
ECOSYSTEM MAPPING
CREATE ACTIVITIES

INTERFACE TOOLKIT
WHAT IT IS:
Based on Liz Sanders’s Make Tools,
participants are given designed elements to
organize, alter, and build an ideal product or
service to best suit their needs and priorities.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Great exercise where participants can
prioritize what really matters in a ‘perfect
world’ experience with the product
• Fun activity that keeps people engaged by
doing and making
WHEN TO USE IT:
This is a good activity when people are
comfortable with an existing product or
service and can relate to it (building an ideal
website, new phone, etc.). You can follow this
activity with a Prioritize activity.

EXAMPLE: frog tasked participants with designing their ideal desktop home page
for a new web-based operating system. These types of activities are great for when
people have finished their ‘design’ and are describing their ideal experience, as it
gives them stimuli to use to help them describe preferences. You can do this
through conferencing software as a remote method as well.
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CREATE ACTIVITIES

FILL IN THE BLANKS
WHAT IT IS:
Once we have an abstract sense of people's
priorities and interests, we can work with them
in an open-ended, exploratory fashion to craft
an interface design and potential content or
interaction models through the use of
whiteboard sketching and filling in the blank
interface elements. This low-tech and lowfidelity exercise empowers each participant to
build the design of their dreams.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Immediately exposes a participant’s mental
model around how they would organize
content or functionality
• Allows personalization and tailoring by each
participant

EXAMPLE: We created an activity where the participant could generate their ideal
TV interface. They were provided with a blank set of user interface assets on a
whiteboard with a ceiling-mounted camera pointing down. A TV was placed in front
of them that showed their designs in a 10-foot view. This activity was preceded by
two Narrate activities to understand what would content would be most relevant
for their interface, based on their TV-watching habits in different situations.

WHEN TO USE IT:
This must follow a Narrate activity or a set of
priming activities, so they are thinking of
content that may populate the interface.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CREATE ACTIVITIES

IDEAL WORKFLOW
WHAT IT IS:
This activity aims to understand participant
workflows with services or systems in which
users are very comfortable, by asking users
to set up their ideal experience under
different circumstances using lo-fi materials.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Gets participants thinking about what really
matters to them regarding the system by
taking the technology out of the equation
• Helps prioritize and understand key “use
cases” by participants and how they change
over a period of time, or under different
circumstances
• Great for understanding complex systems
and utilizing participants as experts

EXAMPLE: frog was tasked with designing an electronic trading platform through which
users can monitor and analyze real-time financial market data movements and place
trades. Participants were brought in to understand their ideal experience with the portal
and for us to understand their information hierarchy needs on such a complex device.
Through an activity in which the participants constructed their ideal screen states on a
“multi-screen” setup for a variety of situations, we understood the importance of building
an customizable platform that behaved differently based on time of day.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

WHEN TO USE IT:
When participants are using a service or
system—especially expert systems—on a
daily basis and it is top of mind. Often, the
solutions are less important than the stories.

GENERATION

EVALUATION
CREATE ACTIVITIES

ECOSYSTEM MAPPING
WHAT IT IS:
This activity aims to uncover the key
components of a specific “ecosystem” within
a participant’s life. It is great for determining
what makes things part of this grouping and
relationships amongst the parts of the
“ecosystem.” We have used this from
business applications (such as this
example), to mapping social relationships in
the activity “Rings of Connection” in frog’s
Collective Action Toolkit, to visualizing a
person’s “product world” in their home.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Helps us visualize intangible social
connections and communication priorities
• Doesn’t require literacy, easy to understand

EXAMPLE: When designing a new consumer-facing web portal for small and
medium size businesses, it was important for us to know and understand the
types of relationships that people valued and how those relationships were
fulfilled by their communication needs. We did this mapping exercise to clarify
how relationships and communication methods worked together in business.

WHEN TO USE IT:
This can be done as a great icebreaker or first
activity. Then, consider following with
another Create activity that allows them to
design for what they created here.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES
Projectionthe waysas a way to understandservices and
CARD SORT
Understand works people value the products, the expectations of participants.
information theyactivities that provide the right balance between structure and
CHANNEL SURFING
Constructing utilize. These methods help participants and
designers think through trade-offs, connections, and hierarchies,
CONCEPT RANKING
interpretation is key. Fill-in the blank activities for keyparticipants immerse into a world
help use
and often takes place to clarify information or evaluate fit
VALUE RANKING
that can help developincludes text, image, and iconography.
cases or tasks. The stimuli and validate working hypotheses for yourself and your larger
team.
PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES

CARD SORT
WHAT IT IS:
A technique used to explore how participants
group items into categories or find
relationships between concepts, subjects,
features, and so forth. (Note: We are
stretching traditional uses of Card Sorting
methods here for more creative aims.)
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• A way to discover how participants classify
and categorize information
• Helps you find out what participants view
as valuable and invaluable
• Easy to execute
WHEN TO USE IT:
Great for trying to understand taxonomies
and how to structure and prioritize
information for a system you’re designing.
Also works well as an evaluative tool to
understand participant’s mental models.
EXAMPLE: For a healthcare project, frog asked participants to sort through and prioritize
news sources, retail environments, hospitals, health advocates and experts, media outlets
and personalities and governmental organizations they believed were credible experts
when it came to helping them learn about health, wellness, and nutrition. This helped us to
better understand people’s mental models around what makes someone authentic and
credible as a source of information.
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES

CHANNEL SURFING
WHAT IT IS:
This variation of a card sort allows
participants to prioritize which actions,
services, or functionality they would prefer to
have on different devices (such as PC, mobile,
tablet) or be able to access through other
people or services (such as phone support, a
retail branch, a friend, and so forth.)
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Creates a venue for discussing issues that
happen due to functionality/service gaps
• Understand trade-offs that happen due to
shifting needs from channel to channel

EXAMPLE: Our client wanted to understand what services they could provide would be
most useful on mobile device, tablet, or both. We set up a card sort where cards on the left
were mobile, cards on the right were tablet, and cards in the middle were shared between
devices. This allowed us to understand what content was necessary to create more
seamless transitions between devices for those content types. The participant’s devices
were used as reference points in the sort. frog has conducted this with up to 8 different
channels for reaching content or services as prompts.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

WHEN TO USE IT:
Best used when you don’t know what devices
you should target for an app or services. This
can be done as an activity after an interview.
Consider following this with a Create activity
to focus on addressing service gaps or pain
points that emerge from this.

GENERATION

EVALUATION
PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES

CONCEPT RANKING
WHAT IT IS:
Participants are asked to rank a set of
products or concepts on a scale from most to
least desirable to determine user preference.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Helps to prioritize concepts based on what
the user finds most valuable and appealing
• Great for understanding what really matters
to users regarding your designs
• Helps to understand what people really care
about regarding your design
WHEN TO USE IT:
When you have multiple concepts and need
to make a decision around which best suits
the users needs. Works especially well when
there are physical forms, paper prototypes,
or digital prototypes that they can customize
or adjust at will.
EXAMPLE: When developing a wristwatch for women, paper mock-ups with exact
dimensions were created so that participants could not only get a sense of look
and feel, but also discuss fit when making judgements and ranking the concepts.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES

VALUE RANKING
WHAT IT IS:
Participants are asked to rank products or
services based on “value” attributes to define
what attributes will be perceived as desirable
and connect with the user.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Helps both the participants and designers
to identify the aspirational attributes of a
product or service
• Can contribute to brand strategy

EXAMPLE: Designing for a new product category for a consumer brand, the client was
interested in understanding how the new product line would be described by consumers.
We used a set of key words and adjectives in which the participants ranked which words they
would most likely use to describe the products. This helped us to make recommendations
towards how the client would want to position these products in the market.

WHEN TO USE IT:
When you’re trying to understand how
people describe the value of the concept,
product, service, or experience. Use it when
your are trying to meaningfully align products
with user expectations. It works well towards
the end of a participatory session when the
user understands the product, service or
experience concepts that have been
generated or provided.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES
Projection worksabout way to understand thein the story of a of participants.
These activities are as a immersing the participant expectations
COMIC STRIP
design. This may activities that provide otherwise presented with the
CUSTOMIZING
Constructing be verbal, kinetic, visual, or the right balance between structure and SCENARIOS
goal of eliciting feedback on the design itself. By being in context or
SIMULATING EXPERIENCES
interpretation is key. Fill-in the blank activities help participants immerse into a world
simulating a product or service experience, participants are able to more
INTERCEPT EVALUATION
thatexperience adevelopdesignvalidate working hypotheses for yourself and your larger
fully can help concept and or direction and describe their ideal
preferences for how the concept would best fit their lives.
team.
CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES

COMIC STRIP
WHAT IT IS:
Participants react to their ideas re-presented
in a simple comic storyboard, exploring their
context of use and how people benefit as a
result of them. The participant then provides
feedback on the individual ideas and whether
the story feels real to them.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• This grounds ideas generated during a
participatory session in a form of story that
people can connect with and react to
immediately
• Can elicit actionable feedback on what
ideas make most sense to move forward, and
why they are important
• Easy to understand/doesn’t require
complete literacy based on how it’s executed

EXAMPLE: When doing co-design work with adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa, a
frog facilitator listened to the girls’ ideas from their generative activities and created a
comic strip that strung their ideas together. She then shared the comic strip with the
girls, immediately soliciting their feedback through value ranking that was conducted
by girl leaders.

WHEN TO USE IT:
This is a powerful way to end a participatory
design session.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES

CUSTOMIZING SCENARIOS
WHAT IT IS:
An individual or group is taken through a
product narrative or scenario, then asked to
give feedback and customize the scenario to
their own life and experiences to make it
better suit their needs.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Helps people to better relate to the
product, service, or experience concept you
are presenting
• Helps ground scenarios in real-life events
and people’s personal narratives
• Participants feel ownership over product or
design
WHEN TO USE IT:
This activity should be used when you have a
product concept and narrative that you
would like to ground in people’s real lived
experiences.
EXAMPLE: When designing a new service for how media will be used on vacations, we
went into the homes of families, described our ideas in the form of a scenario, and then
had participants fill out a worksheet on how they would make the concept relevant to their
own vacation. They would then add in details around how they would typically travel and
what features they would be most likely to use from the concept.
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES

SIMULATING EXPERIENCES
WHAT IT IS:
When being in-context with participants is
not feasible, it becomes valuable to run
activities that get them into the mindset of
the real experience of using the product or
service. These activities enact and enable
users to feel like what they are doing is the
real thing.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Simulating real-life situations helps users
give more empathetic and directed feedback
on the product or service
• Can move tangible design work more
quickly into more rigorous evaluative testing
WHEN TO USE IT:
This activity should be used when you have a
product concept and narrative that you
would like to ground in a person’s lived
experience.
EXAMPLE: frog was tasked to look at new technologies and changing customer behaviors and
expectations of the future in-car experience. We designed in-car prototypes as provocations
and then simulated experiences with new and first time drivers to kickstart conversations about
what their needs were and how they’d intersect with new technological solutions. The users
were able to provide rich, valuable feedback.
GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES

INTERCEPT EVALUATIONS
WHAT IT IS:
Intercepting participants when they are in the
context of when and where they may be
using a product provides valuable insight into
how participants would complete a task or
utilize your product or service ideas.
WHY IS IT VALUABLE:
• Helps establish fit for a range of ideas
• Participants are already in the mindset of
the task at hand
• Quick, actionable feedback to inform your
next design iteration
WHEN TO USE IT:
This activity works very well when there is not
a lot of budget or time and you are hoping to
go ‘wide’ rather than ‘deep’ with feedback.
The output from this activity will include
quotes, photos, and stories that can help you
tune your approach.
EXAMPLE: frog set up a ‘lemonade stand’ in the heart of Union Square in San Francisco
to try out a new product that provided users with context-aware information while they
are shopping. We tested it with people who are already completing the task we were
designing for, which helped us gain valuable insight we could immediately act on.

GENERATION

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EVALUATION
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN ACTIVITIES
All of the previous activities have the same building blocks. You can customize
or build your own activities quickly if you first outline your goals, inputs, and outputs.
ACTIVITY
OBJECTIVE

ACTIVITY
INPUTS

START
ACTIVITY

What’s the
goal for your
activity?

Who are the
participants for
the activity?

What
hypotheses or
questions will
the activity
address?

What
information &
knowledge do
they bring to
the activity?

Facilitator
outlines goal of
the activity,
provides
appropriate
information or
materials to
begin

How does this
activity help
fulfill your
research
objectives?

ACTIVITY
STEPS

What materials
& unique tools
does the
activity
require?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

END
ACTIVITY
Facilitator
draws
necessary
conclusions
and materials
into the next
activity or
closes the
session

ACTIVITY
OUTPUT
What are the
resulting
design ideas
you need?
What
information do
you want to
gather from
the activity?
How will you
capture the
information
and ideas you
generate?
ACTIVITY OBJECTIVE

ACTIVITY INPUTS

WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR YOUR ACTIVITY?

WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?

WHAT HYPOTHESES OR QUESTIONS
WILL THE ACTIVITY ADDRESS?

WHAT INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE
DO THEY BRING TO THE ACTIVITY?

HOW DOES THIS ACTIVITY HELP
FULFILL YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES?

WHAT MATERIALS & UNIQUE TOOLS
DOES THE ACTIVITY REQUIRE?

STEPS FOR THE PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITY

WHAT SHOULD THE
ACTIVITY OUTPUT BE?

1

TIME: ______________

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU WANT
TO GATHER FROM THE ACTIVITY,
AND HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE IT?

TIME: ______________

WHAT ARE THE RESULTING
DESIGN IDEAS YOU NEED?

TIME: ______________

HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE THE
INFORMATION AND IDEAS GENERATED
BY THIS ACTIVITY?

3

5

TIME: ______________

TIME: ______________

TIME: ______________

©2013 frog, created by David Sherwin and Erin Sanders / www.frogdesign.com / no public distribution without permission

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

2

4

6
ACTIVITY OBJECTIVE
Increase a girl’s
comfort in
providing opinions
on discussion
topics

WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR YOUR ACTIVITY?

What topics are
girls thinking
about? What topics
are they struggling
to discuss with a
group, but want
WHAT HYPOTHESES OR QUESTIONS
WILL THE ACTIVITY ADDRESS?

What topics would
girls want to
discuss between
groups—especially
through digital
means?
HOW DOES THIS ACTIVITY HELP
FULFILL YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES?

ACTIVITY INPUTS

STEPS FOR THE PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITY

Groups of 15 girls +
2 facilitators

WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?

No design ideas
needed

1

TIME: ______________

2

TIME: ______________

Local knowledge of
what daily issues
they struggle with
—reproductive
health, education,
family, money, and
WHAT INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE
DO THEY BRING TO THE ACTIVITY?

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU WANT
TO GATHER FROM THE ACTIVITY,
AND HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE IT?

The most valuable
info from the girls
will be captured in
“Wisdom strands,”
we will photograph
them and identify

3

TIME: ______________

4

TIME: ______________

Index cards
Markers
Hole punch
String

WHAT MATERIALS & UNIQUE TOOLS
DOES THE ACTIVITY REQUIRE?

WHAT SHOULD THE
ACTIVITY OUTPUT BE?

WHAT ARE THE RESULTING
DESIGN IDEAS YOU NEED?

What topics would
girls NOT want to
talk about in a
semi-public venue
such as this?

5

TIME: ______________

©2013 frog, created by David Sherwin and Erin Sanders / www.frogdesign.com / no public distribution without permission

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

6

TIME: ______________

HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE THE
INFORMATION AND IDEAS GENERATED
BY THIS ACTIVITY?
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

PILOT YOUR ACTIVITIES EARLY AND OFTEN
As soon as you have pulled together a draft of your activity, with a clear
understanding of your goals, inputs, and outputs, you should immediately try
it out in a draft form with someone. The more time you spend working with the
activity in theory, the more likely you’re missing issues that could be quickly
corrected. Don’t be afraid to change activities if you aren’t receiving the
required output—even when you’re in the field.

EXAMPLE: We were creating a participatory
activity that helped people talk about where
they fulfill key tasks that had to do with money
management. The first iterations resembled a
game, but as we piloted the activity with 4 to 5
people before we went into the field, it was
clear that we had to redo the activity so it
could be done with cards arranged on a
surface rather than resemble a board game.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

COMMON ISSUES CAUGHT BY PILOTING
ACTIVITY GOAL UNCLEAR
• Questions or hypotheses aren’t clear
enough to come out in the activity
• No clear target for final content created in
activity

SEQUENCING ISSUES
• Content created in final step doesn’t
connect to next activity
• Information from previous activity isn’t
formatted to plug into this activity

OVERDESIGNED, INFLEXIBLE TOOLS
• Content can’t be personalized by
participant
• Tools can’t be manipulated
• Fidelity of tools is wrong (too high for
generative, too low for evaluative)
• Your design of tools adds cultural bias

ACTIVITY STEPS TOO COMPLEX
• Too much complexity in each step
(should be just one to two actions)

TOO BIG A GROUP
• Individual work not allowed

TOOLS KILL OFF CONVERSATION
• Tool completion prioritized over
conversation

LOCATION
• Space for session is wrong for the activity
PRIMING ISSUES
• Participants aren’t primed to enter the
activity (no context or narration)

MISMATCHED CONTENT
• Participant can’t “see themselves” in
the activity

CREATIVITY ISN’T ENCOURAGED
• Constraints aren’t adjusted throughout
activity (example: reality constraints
are removed or added provoke
response)

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

POOR FACILITATION
• Facilitator closes down or steers
conversation
OUTPUT FROM ACTIVITY WRONG
• Wrong fidelity specified
• Lack of consistency in requested
representation of ideas
• Lack of structure to ideas
• Lack of description for ideas
• Ideas not appropriate for research
objective
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

SEQUENCING ACTIVITIES
When putting together a participatory design session, priming and sequencing
are of the utmost importance. Build rapport and create a story arc for the
participant with certain emotions you want them to feel throughout the session.
It’s hard to start a participatory design session
without some form of narration to prime generative
activities. You can get around this if you’re strapped
for time by providing pre-work to participants for
you to review before you arrive.

PRIORITIZE

CONTEXTUALIZE

END
START

CREATE

NARRATE

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

SEQUENCING ACTIVITIES
Participatory sessions are often paired with other research methods.
Here’s an example of where you should include participatory activities
as part of an in-home contextual inquiry session.
10 mins

30 mins

40 mins

35 mins

Set-up

Foundational
Interview

Tour/Demo

In-Depth Interview

Participatory Activties

Rapport + Understanding

5 mins

Diagram by Cobie Everdell at frog

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
STEP 3 FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

BEST PRACTICES FOR FACILITATION
The best way to get better at facilitating Participatory Design
Sessions is by piloting activities and practice with different user
groups. Here are some pointers to remember for when you facilitate:
1. Make sure to come prepared. Being prepared will put you at ease
and cause the session to run more smoothly.
2. Develop your own personal style. Don’t try to imitate someone
else. Trust your gut and be yourself.
3. Be a reflective practitioner. Facilitating takes practice to improve.
Do it multiple times to learn what works and doesn’t work for you.
Reflect and revise your style based on feedback from your peers, as
well as the quality of the experience your participants had.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

SPEAKING AND DELIVERY

STEP

Here are some skills to work on, if you’d like to become a master
facilitator of participatory design activities:
1. Develop delivery style to suit the audience and situation
2. Handle questions, comments and difficult audiences in a calm,
collected manner
3, Engage the audience throughout the facilitation by asking openended questions
4, Disrupt long silences by telling an anecdote or story about
the project topic
5. Interact with the participants in a human way

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

FACILITATING GROUP DYNAMICS
When in groups, participants fall into one of the following stances. Dialogue tends to
break down if one person is moving the dialogue and everyone else follows, or if most
of the participants bystand or oppose the activity.

MOVERS
without bystanders,
there is no perspective

BYSTANDERS
without opposers,
there is no correction

The Four-Player
Framework by
David Kantor

without movers,
there is no direction

FOLLOWERS
without followers,
there is no completion

OPPOSERS

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

FACILITATING GROUP DYNAMICS
Use the following strategies with groups in order to achieve the best
dialogue between participants and engagement with your activities.
participants

you

Pair Similar Users

Take Charge

Actively Engage

Be Agile

Bring similar participants
together. It will provide common
ground for a discussion and
helps to make others feel
valued.

It is important to feel
comfortable to managing
dynamics of the session.
Feeling comfortable with
your surroundings and the
materials being presenting
to build confidence.

Actively engage the more
silent personalities in the
group to ensure that
everyone is being heard and
that you are getting good
data from all users.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up if
something isn’t working. If
the session doesn’t feel quite
right, make changes by
changing group dynamics
and participant structure.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
STEP 4 ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
Try the following process to analyze the data gathered from participatory
activities (if you haven’t utilized any other methods). Note: It takes at least 1.5x
to 2x the amount of time to analyze the data derived from a participatory
activity as it does for the time it took you to conduct it.
CULL: Remove incomplete, irrelevant, or untrusted data
NORMALIZE: Ensure the data is consistent in format and presentation
REVIEW: Scrutinize the activity output
DOCUMENT: Capture findings from the activity when it’s still fresh

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
Analysis of participatory activities can require
more than traditional sticky note clustering…
RAW DATA

TRANSCRIBED DATA

PARTICIPANT CLUSTERING

OPPORTUNITY CLUSTERS

Opportunity 1

PATTERN RECOGNITION

Opportunity 1

Notes
Participant 01

CRITERIA

Focus Areas

Participant 02

Design Ideas
Opportunity 2

Opportunity 2

Photos
Participant 03

Participant 04
Design Principles
Opportunity 3

Activities

Opportunity 3

Archetypes

= Behavioral data
= Participatory design activity data

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

CULL
Reduce the signal to noise ratio to effectively analyze your activities. Remove the
data that you believe to be irrelevant to your research objective and desired
outcomes. Bad data leads to bad research.

If you don’t have full confidence in the data point you’ve written down, you don’t trust the truthfulness of the participant, or the activity changed dramatically mid-research, you may
have to take data and/or findings out of consideration and move on. Don’t be afraid to scratch participant data to preserve the integrity of your findings.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

NORMALIZE
As you begin piloting your activity, consider in what way you’ll capture your data.
Normalization should happen during the research, not after you’re done with it. We
often create custom Excel spreadsheets to record quotes, observations, or final
artifacts during the activity in a consistent format. You’ll need to look at:

Spoken quotes from the participant.
Many of these quotes will relate to the
activity, but at points through the
activity they will disengage from it and
share valuable information that didn’t
come up earlier in the research.

Your observations about what the
participants are saying, doing, and
making. Watching the session may
inspire your own design ideas, but be
sure to label them as your hypotheses
and not the participant’s ideas.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

The artifacts that have been created.
You need not only the final end state of
what they made for your analysis, but
also photographs of various points in the
activity that show how their thinking may
have evolved throughout the activity.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

REVIEW
Take in the analysis from the activities, participant by participant. Flag the quotes and
observations that are most relevant for each individual person. Summarize briefly
what you learned from that person across those activities. Then look across all
participants for high-level trends and similarities that should be considered.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

REVIEW
You can use the following activities to make sense of the output of your participatory
activities. Any analysis activity that you conduct should drive towards a visualization
or narrative that helps explain your findings.
NARRATE ACTIVITIES

Analysis Method: Journey
Mapping. We will take the
outputs from narrative-based
activities and create diagrams
that summarize key actions or
activities across the day-to-day
lives of participants.

CREATE ACTIVITIES

Analysis Method: Artifact
Review. Post up artifacts in
your workspace. Place quotes
onto the artifacts that they
spoke about what they liked
and disliked. Write themes
onto sticky notes and
summarize takeaways.

PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES

Analysis Method: Frequency
Distribution and Gap
Analysis. This technique helps
you identify trends across all of
your participants in their
preferences and priorities.
This draws from analysis
techniques for card sorting.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES

Analysis Method: Preference
Distribution. This is an alternate
method of visualizing frequency
distribution, but done in a
manner that does not appear
to be quantitative in nature.
This is most useful for small
sample sizes.
ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN

DOCUMENT
FINDING 1

Most people only trust
social recommendation
when paired with a
critic’s review.
Six of the eight research participants, when
creating their ideal TV show recommendation
widget, were doubtful about the value of friend
recommendations unless they were supporting a
quote from a trusted critic.
“I don’t care what movies Bobby’s watching, or
which one he likes. I care about which ones Roger
Ebert and Bobby likes.” —Elaine, 27, Teacher
EXAMPLE: JOURNEY MAPPING
When conducting Journey Mapping, we create summaries of what we’ve learned from the
participants to refine and tighten our view of customer journeys or lifecycles through
artifacts like this. These draft diagrams are then digitized and presented with the findings.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

EXAMPLE: WRITTEN FINDING WITH SUPPORTING QUOTE
Findings should clearly summarize trends or patterns seen across
feedback from participatory design participants. Quotes should
always be included to support key findings.
ACTIVITY 3
CREATE & PILOT AN ACTIVITY
Design and pilot an activity that will help you get closer to creating a personalized
“best-kept secret” mobile app/guide for highlights in your hometown(s). Use your
hypotheses you’ve generated to help guide your decision.
Step 1: In 25 minutes in your group, create a draft of an activity that you’d like to
conduct that will help you answer one or more of your research questions.
Step 2: Pilot your activity with another group. (We’ll help you find a partner group.)
Take notes, quotes, and photograph states of the activity as if you were going to
analyze it. Each group gets 10 minutes to pilot their activity with 2 to 3 people.
Step 3: Switch! The groups that were participants can now pilot their activities.

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
PROJECT DEBRIEF
What did you learn about planning and creating activities?
What went well that you’d do again in the future?
What would you do different next time?
How will you bring this into your practice as a designer?
Within your organization?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
Download our
free toolkit for
participatory design
in your community:
frogdesign.com/cat

It’s open source for
nonprofit work—
it can be adapted
and translated at will

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
RESOURCES
Here’s some of the folks that we referenced throughout this presentation.
Check out their work!
Liz Sanders’s Make Tools: http://maketools.com/
Smart Design’s The Breakup Letter on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/11854531
David Kantor’s Four Player Model: http://mitleadership.mit.edu/r-fpmodel.php

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
THANK YOU!
Please keep in touch and let us know how participatory design research
becomes part of your design practice!
Erin Muntzert
e.muntzert@gmail.com
@erinmuntzert

David Sherwin
david@changeorderblog.com
@changeorder
changeorderblog.com

snag these
will ya?

©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.

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Bringing Users into Your Process Through Participatory Design

  • 1. BRINGING USERS INTO YOUR PROCESS THROUGH PARTICIPATORY DESIGN DAVID SHERWIN AND ERIN MUNTZERT @CHANGEORDER @ERINMUNTZERT UX WEEK 2013 | 23 AUG 2013
  • 2. WARM-UP KEEP IT LIKE A SECRET ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 3. INTRODUCTION CHALLENGE STATEMENT Create a “best-kept secret” mobile app/guide for highlights in San Francisco you won’t find in traditional tour books or on travel websites. This guide does not show everyone the same content. It’s personalized to you. In 15 minutes in your group, create a UX storyboard (6 frames, pictures and words) that shows how on their mobile device a user would browse this guide and select a place to visit. You will have 1 minute to present your scenario to the other groups at your table. Questions that might help kickstart your design process: •Who is the intended audience? •Where would they use it? •When would they use it? •What content do you think should be included? •What functionality could be added to make this guide •more useful and desirable? •Why would they download and use the app? •How would it be personalized for each unique user? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 4. 1 MINUTE TO SHARE YOUR SCENARIO ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 5. WHAT WERE YOUR GAPS IN KNOWLEDGE? What could the right design be? Who is our audience? Why? Where do they go? When? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. How can we refine the design until it’s right?
  • 6. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 7. THE STRUCTURE OF RESEARCH GENERATION create the design FOUNDATION understand needs ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION refine until it’s right
  • 8. THE STRUCTURE OF RESEARCH FOUNDATION GENERATION understand needs create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION refine until it’s right
  • 9. Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right. understand needs create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. refine until it’s right
  • 10. Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right. understand needs create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. refine until it’s right
  • 11. Participatory design activities help you balance the gathering of inspiration to generate the right design, bolstered by information that helps you get your design right. understand needs create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. refine until it’s right
  • 12. Participatory Design Cooperative Design Co-Design Co-Creation Co-Production Completely Too Much Vocabulary ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 14. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH OK, SO WHAT IS PARTICIPATORY DESIGN? Participatory design aims to bring users into the creative process. We take part in activities with users, providing them with materials for them to descriptively discuss their personal experiences and express their ideal solutions. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 15. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH THE DESIGN RESEARCH PROCESS Participatory design is a method whose use is solely dictated by your research objectives. selection happens here ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 16. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH PARTICIPATORY DESIGN IS A METHOD It should work alongside many other methods and types of design research, it isn’t “one method to rule them all.” CONCEPT STRUCTURING DIARY STUDY together is better TECHNOLOGY EXPLORATION JOURNALING CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY PARTICIPATORY DESIGN IMMERSION EXPERT CONCEPT ANALYSIS MARKET TESTING EXPLORATION frogMOB BUSINESS VALIDATION TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS TREND SURVEYS COGNITIVE SCRAPING WALKTHROUGH COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS MARKET USABILITY ANALYSIS TESTING ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 17. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH PARTICIPATORY DESIGN IS ITERATIVE It should be used iteratively throughout the design process depending on the overall objectives, logistics, and expected outcomes of the project. CONCEPT STRUCTURING Discover Design Deliver Deploy Analysis Becomes Insights DISCOVER Insights Become Ideas DESIGN Ideas Become Products DELIVER Products Become Reality DEPLOY ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 18. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH WHY DOES PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH WORK? It helps us to communicate with people and discover what they know and feel. This helps us gain the ability to empathize with them, seeing the world from their perspective. Both users and designers can gain knowledge that isn’t easy to express through words. Framework by Liz Sanders, learn more at MakeTools.com MAKE tacit knowledge explicit knowledge explicit knowledge SAY ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. DO
  • 19. DEFINING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH PROCESS 1 2 3 4 FRAMING PLANNING FACILITATING ANALYZING Identify research goals, objectives, questions and hypotheses. Define activities to use to help to (dis)prove your design hypotheses. Best practices for moderating participatory research sessions with users. Ways to make sense of your research results, which will help jumpstart your next design iteration. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 20. STEP 1 FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH
  • 21. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH FOUR STEPS TO FRAME YOUR RESEARCH 1 2 3 4 SELECT YOUR USER(S) CREATE YOUR GOALS ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. DEFINE WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW IDENTIFY METHODS TO USE
  • 22. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH STEP 1 SELECT YOUR USER(S) Any good design starts by defining who your intended user is. To qualify your design, it is important to get specific with your user attributes. You may define multiple user groups for your research. User attributes should include: Demographics: gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location Psychographics: personality, values, interests, lifestyles Behaviors: mannerisms, actions, traits ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. USER Trendy and forward thinking visitors age 18-30 who frequent social networks, fashion and music blogs from their smart phones. They must have disposable income and travel several times per year
  • 23. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH STEP 2 CREATE YOUR GOALS Start by asking your team what questions you want to answer with your research and write them down. A helpful tip to ensure you’ve created a comprehensive list of questions is to make sure you’ve used the “5W’s and an H”: who, what, when, where, why and how. Cluster and prioritize these framing questions to define your research objective(s). GOAL Framing ? When do p eople want to di scover new thing s vs. when do t hey want to plan an d why? Framing ? of What types eople vices are p de when sing most u iting hey are vis t SF? Framing ? How do people do research to explore where they want to go in SF beforehand? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. Understand what trendy, young, tech savvy, affluent visitors from out of town are looking to do in SF—and how they want to use mobile devices to find out about “best kept secrets” once they arrive in SF
  • 24. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH STEP 3 DEFINE WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW We all have early ideas and assumptions related to a project. We call these our hypotheses. Some clients may have initial ideas they would like “tested” as well. Don’t be afraid to address these ideas early and often! These assumptions can serve as a jumping off point and aid in the initial content for your research. GOAL Understand what trendy, young, tech savvy, affluent visitors from out of town are looking to do in SF—and how they want to use mobile devices to find out about “best kept secrets” once they arrive in SF HY PO TH ES IS Young people are constantly on their mobile phones and are looking for them to heighten their “in the moment” experiences H Y P OT H E S I S t Our users will firs reach out to their social networks to o in find out what to d a new city H Y P OT H E S I S t kept secrets Bes e d be kept elit shoul tay exclusive to s and the “Best” ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 25. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH STEP 4 IDENTIFY METHODS TO USE Define where you think you know a lot, and have the data to back it up, versus where you have the most unanswered questions. Use the following framework to identify how concrete your questions and hypotheses are, so you can focus what types of methods you should use in your research (including participatory design). HYPOTHESIS People are more likely to use travel apps when they have never been to a city they are planning to visit. understand needs HYPOTHESIS HYPOTHESIS An ideal travel app design experience should be just like the “Wanderlust” application. The top 5 features of current mobile travel apps for college students traveling over the summer should be part of the feature set for the ‘best kept secrets’ application. create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. refine until it’s right
  • 26. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH ACTIVITY 1 CREATE GOALS AND HYPOTHESES You’ve been hired to create a “best kept secret” mobile app/guide for highlights in San Francisco you won’t find in traditional tour books or on travel websites. This guide does not show everyone the same content. It’s in some way personalized to the user. In 30 minutes in your group, do the following: • Define your target user(s) • Create your questions and your overall research goals • Generate 15 early design hypotheses that will fuel your participatory design research Note: Use stickies for the above content, one item per sticky. It’ll save you time later… ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 27. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. STEP 4
  • 28. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH Create a “best kept secret” mobile app for highlights in San Francisco AT TR IBU TE From outside of San Francisco AT TR IBU TE Tech Savvy and owns at least 1 smartphone AT TR IBU TE Traveling for pleasure, not for work QU ES TIO N QU ES TIO N When do people want to discover new things vs. when do they want to plan and why? What types of devices are people using most when they are visiting SF? QU ES TIO N How do people do research to explore where they want to go in SF beforehand? USER Understand what trendy, young, tech savvy, affluent women from out of town are looking to do in SF and how they want to use mobile devices to find out about the best kept secrets once they arrive in SF Young people are constantly on their mobile phones and are looking for them to heighten their in the moment experiences H Y P O T H E S IS ften Our users most o t to will first reach ou rks their social netwo do to find out what to in a new city GOAL Trendy and forward thinking visitors age 18-30 who frequent Pinterest, social networks, fashion and music blogs from their smart phones. They must have disposable income and travel at least 3x/year HY PO TH ES IS ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. H Y P OT H E S I S ts should est kept secre B nd be kept elite a tay the exclusive to s “Best”
  • 29. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH ACTIVITY 2 IDENTIFY METHODS TO USE In 5 minutes in your 3 person group: • Qualify your initial design hypotheses on a continuum, from identifying user needs to creating your initial designs to refining them • See on which part of the spectrum most of your hypotheses live. Select methods to use based on where they are most focused on the spectrum ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 30. FRAMING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH Understand what trendy, young, tech savvy, affluent women from out of town are looking to do in SF and how they want to use mobile devices to find out about the best kept secrets once they arrive in SF FOUNDATION IDEATION EVALUATION HY PO TH ES IS H Y P O T H E S IS ften Our users most o t to will first reach ou rks their social netwo do to find out what to in a new city H Y P OT H E S I S H Y P O T H E S IS Young people are constantly on their mobile phones and are looking for them to heighten their in the moment experiences ften Our users most o t to will first reach ou rks their social netwo do to find out what to in a new city rets should Best kept sec nd be kept elite a tay the exclusive to s “Best” H Y P O T H E S IS ften Our users most o t to will first reach ou rks their social netwo do to find out what to in a new city understand needs H Y P O T H E S IS ften Our users most o t to will first reach ou rks their social netwo do to find out what to in a new city H Y P OT H E S I S rets should Best kept sec nd be kept elite a tay the exclusive to s “Best” H Y P OT H E S I S rets should Best kept sec nd be kept elite a tay the exclusive to s “Best” HY PO TH ES IS S rets should Best kept sec nd be kept elite a tay the exclusive to s “Best” create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. H Y P OT H E S I Young people are constantly on their mobile phones and are looking for them to heighten their in the moment experiences refine until it’s right
  • 31. STEP 2 PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
  • 32. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN SET THE STAGE Choose a location to maximize the outcomes, based on what you hope to get out of the research. Often group size and ease of access for your location are the key reasons for deciding where to conduct participatory design research. In a Professional Facility In Their Context of Use ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. Out in the World
  • 33. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN SIZE IS IMPORTANT Determining the structure of the session will shape some of your more detailed planning decisions. Large groups are often sought after by the client, but can be hard to manage. Small groups or one-on-ones may not provide enough data points in the time you have to run research. It is up to you to choose the most appropriate setup for your project. Large Groups Small Groups ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. One-on-One
  • 34. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN DATA CAPTURE TOOLS Don’t let data from your research activities fall through the cracks. Utilizing data capture tools is an essential part of remembering what was said, done, and made in your sessions. It’s critical to run an intensive and thoughtful analysis process to make sure the user’s needs, behaviors, and attitudes are addressed and accurate. Artifacts Notes Photos ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. Recordings
  • 35. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN TYPES OF PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITIES NARRATE ACTIVITIES Participants inform us of their needs, wants, and desires through stories. CREATE ACTIVITIES Participants generate ideas and create prototypes of products, services, and experiences that would be ideal for them. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES Participants make trade-offs, connections, and definitions of value for ideas, solutions, or system content. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES Participant direct us with regard to their preferences for how an idea or solution would become part of their lives. Adaptation of framework by Celine Pering, created while at frog ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 36. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN STEP WHEN TO USE THEM PARTICIPANT AS TEACHER PARTICIPANT AS DESIGNER NARRATE ACTIVITIES CREATE ACTIVITIES Participants inform us of their needs, wants, and desires through stories. PARTICIPANT AS DIRECTOR Participants generate ideas and create prototypes of products, services, and experiences that would be ideal for them. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES Participants make trade-offs, connections, and definitions of value for ideas, solutions, or system content. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES Participant direct us with regard to their preferences for how an idea or solution would become part of their lives. Adaptation of framework by Celine Pering, created while at frog understand needs create the design ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. refine until it’s right
  • 37. NARRATE ACTIVITIES Memory is improved when we use structured stimuli to recall stories. Activities in this section provide thinking tools that can be used as a way to jog a participant’s memory and guide them into recollecting and generating stories. These stories help us better understand the nature of a participant’s background, build empathy and rapport, and help us relate to and understand a participant needs, wants, and desires. JOURNEY MAPPING LOVE & BREAKUP LETTER TOPICAL COLLAGE KNOWLEDGE HUNT
  • 38. NARRATE ACTIVITIES JOURNEY MAPPING WHAT IT IS: People are provided with a large worksheet with a timeline or set of actions/happenings provided on the horizontal axis, and various contexts, devices, or situations on the vertical axis. They fill in the worksheet, they speak aloud, sharing stories and narrating their experience. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Gets people comfortable in both doing and talking • Creates a venue for stories you may not be able to access through everyday conversation WHEN TO USE IT: This is good to follow an interview, and can flow easily into a Create activity. EXAMPLE: Sometimes it can be hard to talk about the journey that people take through the process of being diagnosed and treated for a disease. The above is an emotional journey map that encourages patients to tell stories about how they felt in different parts of the diagnosis and treatment process, through the lens of how the treatment process felt to them. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 39. NARRATE ACTIVITIES LOVE & BREAKUP LETTER WHAT IT IS: Developed first by Smart Design, a personal letter is written to a product, service, or company revealing what people desire, hate, value, and expect from the objects or brands in their everyday lives. This can serve as fuel for starting to explore what areas should be addressed through your design efforts. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Great to use in a group • People really open up when sharing their feelings about abstract things like inanimate objects or brands • Forces people to relate emotions, pain points, or needs with lived experiences WHEN TO USE IT: This is a great icebreaker or first activity, as it is often very funny and gets everyone in the group sharing and listening. EXAMPLE: When redesigning the consumer facing web portal for a telecommunications company, we asked participants to write a love or break-up letter to their provider highlighting the health of their relationship, the things that were going right and wrong, and what the steps that the telecom needed to take to fix or mend their relationship. This helped us to understand in real language some of the key problems people were having with their service, and their hopes for solutions to mend the relationship for the future (or not). GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 40. NARRATE ACTIVITIES TOPICAL COLLAGE WHAT IT IS: Participants use provided stimuli—or create their own—in order to get at the quality of how they feel about a product, service, or experience. It inspires storytelling impulses in participants, so they have better access to stories about their subjective experiences. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Gets people comfortable both doing and talking • Doesn’t require reading literacy • Easy to understand WHEN TO USE IT: This is a great icebreaker or first activity. Then, consider following it with a Create or Prioritize activity. EXAMPLE: When designing a new pest repellent product, frog asked mothers to put together a collage of pictures and images to describe to us what protecting their child means to them. This helped the team to understand how they view themselves, the people around them, and products and services when it comes to protecting their most valuable asset: their children. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 41. NARRATE ACTIVITIES KNOWLEDGE HUNT WHAT IT IS: An activity that helps participants share their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes towards topics and issues that can be hard to talk about otherwise. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Taps into a group’s collective experience • Gives people a safe space in which to get answers to questions they otherwise wouldn’t be comfortable discussing • Can be fun / feels like a game WHEN TO USE IT: This is best to use as an activity after you’ve had a chance for you and the participants to get to know each other. Consider following it with a Prioritize activity to narrow in on potential needs, or a Create activity to solve problems uncovered through the activity. EXAMPLE: Working with adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh, we used this activity to provide girls a venue to solicit advice on topics that were important to them. After they had shared their questions and provided answers, the girls marked with a star the answers that were most valuable to them. We then facilitated a conversation about why those answers were important and where they would expect to find them. (You can find a variant of this activity in frog’s Collective Action Toolkit.) GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 42. CREATE ACTIVITIES Participants use activities to help us fill in the blanks, creating elements of their ideal products, services, and experiences. This helps us understand the expectations of participants. It also serves to develop and validate working hypotheses for us and our larger team. Constructing activities that provide the right balance between structure and interpretation is key. INTERFACE TOOLKIT FILL IN THE BLANKS IDEAL WORKFLOW ECOSYSTEM MAPPING
  • 43. CREATE ACTIVITIES INTERFACE TOOLKIT WHAT IT IS: Based on Liz Sanders’s Make Tools, participants are given designed elements to organize, alter, and build an ideal product or service to best suit their needs and priorities. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Great exercise where participants can prioritize what really matters in a ‘perfect world’ experience with the product • Fun activity that keeps people engaged by doing and making WHEN TO USE IT: This is a good activity when people are comfortable with an existing product or service and can relate to it (building an ideal website, new phone, etc.). You can follow this activity with a Prioritize activity. EXAMPLE: frog tasked participants with designing their ideal desktop home page for a new web-based operating system. These types of activities are great for when people have finished their ‘design’ and are describing their ideal experience, as it gives them stimuli to use to help them describe preferences. You can do this through conferencing software as a remote method as well. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 44. CREATE ACTIVITIES FILL IN THE BLANKS WHAT IT IS: Once we have an abstract sense of people's priorities and interests, we can work with them in an open-ended, exploratory fashion to craft an interface design and potential content or interaction models through the use of whiteboard sketching and filling in the blank interface elements. This low-tech and lowfidelity exercise empowers each participant to build the design of their dreams. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Immediately exposes a participant’s mental model around how they would organize content or functionality • Allows personalization and tailoring by each participant EXAMPLE: We created an activity where the participant could generate their ideal TV interface. They were provided with a blank set of user interface assets on a whiteboard with a ceiling-mounted camera pointing down. A TV was placed in front of them that showed their designs in a 10-foot view. This activity was preceded by two Narrate activities to understand what would content would be most relevant for their interface, based on their TV-watching habits in different situations. WHEN TO USE IT: This must follow a Narrate activity or a set of priming activities, so they are thinking of content that may populate the interface. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 45. CREATE ACTIVITIES IDEAL WORKFLOW WHAT IT IS: This activity aims to understand participant workflows with services or systems in which users are very comfortable, by asking users to set up their ideal experience under different circumstances using lo-fi materials. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Gets participants thinking about what really matters to them regarding the system by taking the technology out of the equation • Helps prioritize and understand key “use cases” by participants and how they change over a period of time, or under different circumstances • Great for understanding complex systems and utilizing participants as experts EXAMPLE: frog was tasked with designing an electronic trading platform through which users can monitor and analyze real-time financial market data movements and place trades. Participants were brought in to understand their ideal experience with the portal and for us to understand their information hierarchy needs on such a complex device. Through an activity in which the participants constructed their ideal screen states on a “multi-screen” setup for a variety of situations, we understood the importance of building an customizable platform that behaved differently based on time of day. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. WHEN TO USE IT: When participants are using a service or system—especially expert systems—on a daily basis and it is top of mind. Often, the solutions are less important than the stories. GENERATION EVALUATION
  • 46. CREATE ACTIVITIES ECOSYSTEM MAPPING WHAT IT IS: This activity aims to uncover the key components of a specific “ecosystem” within a participant’s life. It is great for determining what makes things part of this grouping and relationships amongst the parts of the “ecosystem.” We have used this from business applications (such as this example), to mapping social relationships in the activity “Rings of Connection” in frog’s Collective Action Toolkit, to visualizing a person’s “product world” in their home. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Helps us visualize intangible social connections and communication priorities • Doesn’t require literacy, easy to understand EXAMPLE: When designing a new consumer-facing web portal for small and medium size businesses, it was important for us to know and understand the types of relationships that people valued and how those relationships were fulfilled by their communication needs. We did this mapping exercise to clarify how relationships and communication methods worked together in business. WHEN TO USE IT: This can be done as a great icebreaker or first activity. Then, consider following with another Create activity that allows them to design for what they created here. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 47. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES Projectionthe waysas a way to understandservices and CARD SORT Understand works people value the products, the expectations of participants. information theyactivities that provide the right balance between structure and CHANNEL SURFING Constructing utilize. These methods help participants and designers think through trade-offs, connections, and hierarchies, CONCEPT RANKING interpretation is key. Fill-in the blank activities for keyparticipants immerse into a world help use and often takes place to clarify information or evaluate fit VALUE RANKING that can help developincludes text, image, and iconography. cases or tasks. The stimuli and validate working hypotheses for yourself and your larger team.
  • 48. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES CARD SORT WHAT IT IS: A technique used to explore how participants group items into categories or find relationships between concepts, subjects, features, and so forth. (Note: We are stretching traditional uses of Card Sorting methods here for more creative aims.) WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • A way to discover how participants classify and categorize information • Helps you find out what participants view as valuable and invaluable • Easy to execute WHEN TO USE IT: Great for trying to understand taxonomies and how to structure and prioritize information for a system you’re designing. Also works well as an evaluative tool to understand participant’s mental models. EXAMPLE: For a healthcare project, frog asked participants to sort through and prioritize news sources, retail environments, hospitals, health advocates and experts, media outlets and personalities and governmental organizations they believed were credible experts when it came to helping them learn about health, wellness, and nutrition. This helped us to better understand people’s mental models around what makes someone authentic and credible as a source of information. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 49. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES CHANNEL SURFING WHAT IT IS: This variation of a card sort allows participants to prioritize which actions, services, or functionality they would prefer to have on different devices (such as PC, mobile, tablet) or be able to access through other people or services (such as phone support, a retail branch, a friend, and so forth.) WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Creates a venue for discussing issues that happen due to functionality/service gaps • Understand trade-offs that happen due to shifting needs from channel to channel EXAMPLE: Our client wanted to understand what services they could provide would be most useful on mobile device, tablet, or both. We set up a card sort where cards on the left were mobile, cards on the right were tablet, and cards in the middle were shared between devices. This allowed us to understand what content was necessary to create more seamless transitions between devices for those content types. The participant’s devices were used as reference points in the sort. frog has conducted this with up to 8 different channels for reaching content or services as prompts. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. WHEN TO USE IT: Best used when you don’t know what devices you should target for an app or services. This can be done as an activity after an interview. Consider following this with a Create activity to focus on addressing service gaps or pain points that emerge from this. GENERATION EVALUATION
  • 50. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES CONCEPT RANKING WHAT IT IS: Participants are asked to rank a set of products or concepts on a scale from most to least desirable to determine user preference. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Helps to prioritize concepts based on what the user finds most valuable and appealing • Great for understanding what really matters to users regarding your designs • Helps to understand what people really care about regarding your design WHEN TO USE IT: When you have multiple concepts and need to make a decision around which best suits the users needs. Works especially well when there are physical forms, paper prototypes, or digital prototypes that they can customize or adjust at will. EXAMPLE: When developing a wristwatch for women, paper mock-ups with exact dimensions were created so that participants could not only get a sense of look and feel, but also discuss fit when making judgements and ranking the concepts. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 51. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES VALUE RANKING WHAT IT IS: Participants are asked to rank products or services based on “value” attributes to define what attributes will be perceived as desirable and connect with the user. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Helps both the participants and designers to identify the aspirational attributes of a product or service • Can contribute to brand strategy EXAMPLE: Designing for a new product category for a consumer brand, the client was interested in understanding how the new product line would be described by consumers. We used a set of key words and adjectives in which the participants ranked which words they would most likely use to describe the products. This helped us to make recommendations towards how the client would want to position these products in the market. WHEN TO USE IT: When you’re trying to understand how people describe the value of the concept, product, service, or experience. Use it when your are trying to meaningfully align products with user expectations. It works well towards the end of a participatory session when the user understands the product, service or experience concepts that have been generated or provided. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 52. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES Projection worksabout way to understand thein the story of a of participants. These activities are as a immersing the participant expectations COMIC STRIP design. This may activities that provide otherwise presented with the CUSTOMIZING Constructing be verbal, kinetic, visual, or the right balance between structure and SCENARIOS goal of eliciting feedback on the design itself. By being in context or SIMULATING EXPERIENCES interpretation is key. Fill-in the blank activities help participants immerse into a world simulating a product or service experience, participants are able to more INTERCEPT EVALUATION thatexperience adevelopdesignvalidate working hypotheses for yourself and your larger fully can help concept and or direction and describe their ideal preferences for how the concept would best fit their lives. team.
  • 53. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES COMIC STRIP WHAT IT IS: Participants react to their ideas re-presented in a simple comic storyboard, exploring their context of use and how people benefit as a result of them. The participant then provides feedback on the individual ideas and whether the story feels real to them. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • This grounds ideas generated during a participatory session in a form of story that people can connect with and react to immediately • Can elicit actionable feedback on what ideas make most sense to move forward, and why they are important • Easy to understand/doesn’t require complete literacy based on how it’s executed EXAMPLE: When doing co-design work with adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa, a frog facilitator listened to the girls’ ideas from their generative activities and created a comic strip that strung their ideas together. She then shared the comic strip with the girls, immediately soliciting their feedback through value ranking that was conducted by girl leaders. WHEN TO USE IT: This is a powerful way to end a participatory design session. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 54. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES CUSTOMIZING SCENARIOS WHAT IT IS: An individual or group is taken through a product narrative or scenario, then asked to give feedback and customize the scenario to their own life and experiences to make it better suit their needs. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Helps people to better relate to the product, service, or experience concept you are presenting • Helps ground scenarios in real-life events and people’s personal narratives • Participants feel ownership over product or design WHEN TO USE IT: This activity should be used when you have a product concept and narrative that you would like to ground in people’s real lived experiences. EXAMPLE: When designing a new service for how media will be used on vacations, we went into the homes of families, described our ideas in the form of a scenario, and then had participants fill out a worksheet on how they would make the concept relevant to their own vacation. They would then add in details around how they would typically travel and what features they would be most likely to use from the concept. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 55. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES SIMULATING EXPERIENCES WHAT IT IS: When being in-context with participants is not feasible, it becomes valuable to run activities that get them into the mindset of the real experience of using the product or service. These activities enact and enable users to feel like what they are doing is the real thing. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Simulating real-life situations helps users give more empathetic and directed feedback on the product or service • Can move tangible design work more quickly into more rigorous evaluative testing WHEN TO USE IT: This activity should be used when you have a product concept and narrative that you would like to ground in a person’s lived experience. EXAMPLE: frog was tasked to look at new technologies and changing customer behaviors and expectations of the future in-car experience. We designed in-car prototypes as provocations and then simulated experiences with new and first time drivers to kickstart conversations about what their needs were and how they’d intersect with new technological solutions. The users were able to provide rich, valuable feedback. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 56. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES INTERCEPT EVALUATIONS WHAT IT IS: Intercepting participants when they are in the context of when and where they may be using a product provides valuable insight into how participants would complete a task or utilize your product or service ideas. WHY IS IT VALUABLE: • Helps establish fit for a range of ideas • Participants are already in the mindset of the task at hand • Quick, actionable feedback to inform your next design iteration WHEN TO USE IT: This activity works very well when there is not a lot of budget or time and you are hoping to go ‘wide’ rather than ‘deep’ with feedback. The output from this activity will include quotes, photos, and stories that can help you tune your approach. EXAMPLE: frog set up a ‘lemonade stand’ in the heart of Union Square in San Francisco to try out a new product that provided users with context-aware information while they are shopping. We tested it with people who are already completing the task we were designing for, which helped us gain valuable insight we could immediately act on. GENERATION ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EVALUATION
  • 57. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN ACTIVITIES All of the previous activities have the same building blocks. You can customize or build your own activities quickly if you first outline your goals, inputs, and outputs. ACTIVITY OBJECTIVE ACTIVITY INPUTS START ACTIVITY What’s the goal for your activity? Who are the participants for the activity? What hypotheses or questions will the activity address? What information & knowledge do they bring to the activity? Facilitator outlines goal of the activity, provides appropriate information or materials to begin How does this activity help fulfill your research objectives? ACTIVITY STEPS What materials & unique tools does the activity require? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. END ACTIVITY Facilitator draws necessary conclusions and materials into the next activity or closes the session ACTIVITY OUTPUT What are the resulting design ideas you need? What information do you want to gather from the activity? How will you capture the information and ideas you generate?
  • 58. ACTIVITY OBJECTIVE ACTIVITY INPUTS WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR YOUR ACTIVITY? WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS? WHAT HYPOTHESES OR QUESTIONS WILL THE ACTIVITY ADDRESS? WHAT INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE DO THEY BRING TO THE ACTIVITY? HOW DOES THIS ACTIVITY HELP FULFILL YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES? WHAT MATERIALS & UNIQUE TOOLS DOES THE ACTIVITY REQUIRE? STEPS FOR THE PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITY WHAT SHOULD THE ACTIVITY OUTPUT BE? 1 TIME: ______________ WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU WANT TO GATHER FROM THE ACTIVITY, AND HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE IT? TIME: ______________ WHAT ARE THE RESULTING DESIGN IDEAS YOU NEED? TIME: ______________ HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE THE INFORMATION AND IDEAS GENERATED BY THIS ACTIVITY? 3 5 TIME: ______________ TIME: ______________ TIME: ______________ ©2013 frog, created by David Sherwin and Erin Sanders / www.frogdesign.com / no public distribution without permission ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. 2 4 6
  • 59. ACTIVITY OBJECTIVE Increase a girl’s comfort in providing opinions on discussion topics WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR YOUR ACTIVITY? What topics are girls thinking about? What topics are they struggling to discuss with a group, but want WHAT HYPOTHESES OR QUESTIONS WILL THE ACTIVITY ADDRESS? What topics would girls want to discuss between groups—especially through digital means? HOW DOES THIS ACTIVITY HELP FULFILL YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES? ACTIVITY INPUTS STEPS FOR THE PARTICIPATORY ACTIVITY Groups of 15 girls + 2 facilitators WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS? No design ideas needed 1 TIME: ______________ 2 TIME: ______________ Local knowledge of what daily issues they struggle with —reproductive health, education, family, money, and WHAT INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE DO THEY BRING TO THE ACTIVITY? WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU WANT TO GATHER FROM THE ACTIVITY, AND HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE IT? The most valuable info from the girls will be captured in “Wisdom strands,” we will photograph them and identify 3 TIME: ______________ 4 TIME: ______________ Index cards Markers Hole punch String WHAT MATERIALS & UNIQUE TOOLS DOES THE ACTIVITY REQUIRE? WHAT SHOULD THE ACTIVITY OUTPUT BE? WHAT ARE THE RESULTING DESIGN IDEAS YOU NEED? What topics would girls NOT want to talk about in a semi-public venue such as this? 5 TIME: ______________ ©2013 frog, created by David Sherwin and Erin Sanders / www.frogdesign.com / no public distribution without permission ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. 6 TIME: ______________ HOW WILL YOU CAPTURE THE INFORMATION AND IDEAS GENERATED BY THIS ACTIVITY?
  • 60. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN PILOT YOUR ACTIVITIES EARLY AND OFTEN As soon as you have pulled together a draft of your activity, with a clear understanding of your goals, inputs, and outputs, you should immediately try it out in a draft form with someone. The more time you spend working with the activity in theory, the more likely you’re missing issues that could be quickly corrected. Don’t be afraid to change activities if you aren’t receiving the required output—even when you’re in the field. EXAMPLE: We were creating a participatory activity that helped people talk about where they fulfill key tasks that had to do with money management. The first iterations resembled a game, but as we piloted the activity with 4 to 5 people before we went into the field, it was clear that we had to redo the activity so it could be done with cards arranged on a surface rather than resemble a board game. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 61. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN COMMON ISSUES CAUGHT BY PILOTING ACTIVITY GOAL UNCLEAR • Questions or hypotheses aren’t clear enough to come out in the activity • No clear target for final content created in activity SEQUENCING ISSUES • Content created in final step doesn’t connect to next activity • Information from previous activity isn’t formatted to plug into this activity OVERDESIGNED, INFLEXIBLE TOOLS • Content can’t be personalized by participant • Tools can’t be manipulated • Fidelity of tools is wrong (too high for generative, too low for evaluative) • Your design of tools adds cultural bias ACTIVITY STEPS TOO COMPLEX • Too much complexity in each step (should be just one to two actions) TOO BIG A GROUP • Individual work not allowed TOOLS KILL OFF CONVERSATION • Tool completion prioritized over conversation LOCATION • Space for session is wrong for the activity PRIMING ISSUES • Participants aren’t primed to enter the activity (no context or narration) MISMATCHED CONTENT • Participant can’t “see themselves” in the activity CREATIVITY ISN’T ENCOURAGED • Constraints aren’t adjusted throughout activity (example: reality constraints are removed or added provoke response) ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. POOR FACILITATION • Facilitator closes down or steers conversation OUTPUT FROM ACTIVITY WRONG • Wrong fidelity specified • Lack of consistency in requested representation of ideas • Lack of structure to ideas • Lack of description for ideas • Ideas not appropriate for research objective
  • 62. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN SEQUENCING ACTIVITIES When putting together a participatory design session, priming and sequencing are of the utmost importance. Build rapport and create a story arc for the participant with certain emotions you want them to feel throughout the session. It’s hard to start a participatory design session without some form of narration to prime generative activities. You can get around this if you’re strapped for time by providing pre-work to participants for you to review before you arrive. PRIORITIZE CONTEXTUALIZE END START CREATE NARRATE ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 63. PLANNING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN SEQUENCING ACTIVITIES Participatory sessions are often paired with other research methods. Here’s an example of where you should include participatory activities as part of an in-home contextual inquiry session. 10 mins 30 mins 40 mins 35 mins Set-up Foundational Interview Tour/Demo In-Depth Interview Participatory Activties Rapport + Understanding 5 mins Diagram by Cobie Everdell at frog ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 64. STEP 3 FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
  • 65. FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN BEST PRACTICES FOR FACILITATION The best way to get better at facilitating Participatory Design Sessions is by piloting activities and practice with different user groups. Here are some pointers to remember for when you facilitate: 1. Make sure to come prepared. Being prepared will put you at ease and cause the session to run more smoothly. 2. Develop your own personal style. Don’t try to imitate someone else. Trust your gut and be yourself. 3. Be a reflective practitioner. Facilitating takes practice to improve. Do it multiple times to learn what works and doesn’t work for you. Reflect and revise your style based on feedback from your peers, as well as the quality of the experience your participants had. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 66. FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN SPEAKING AND DELIVERY STEP Here are some skills to work on, if you’d like to become a master facilitator of participatory design activities: 1. Develop delivery style to suit the audience and situation 2. Handle questions, comments and difficult audiences in a calm, collected manner 3, Engage the audience throughout the facilitation by asking openended questions 4, Disrupt long silences by telling an anecdote or story about the project topic 5. Interact with the participants in a human way ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 67. FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN FACILITATING GROUP DYNAMICS When in groups, participants fall into one of the following stances. Dialogue tends to break down if one person is moving the dialogue and everyone else follows, or if most of the participants bystand or oppose the activity. MOVERS without bystanders, there is no perspective BYSTANDERS without opposers, there is no correction The Four-Player Framework by David Kantor without movers, there is no direction FOLLOWERS without followers, there is no completion OPPOSERS ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 68. FACILITATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN FACILITATING GROUP DYNAMICS Use the following strategies with groups in order to achieve the best dialogue between participants and engagement with your activities. participants you Pair Similar Users Take Charge Actively Engage Be Agile Bring similar participants together. It will provide common ground for a discussion and helps to make others feel valued. It is important to feel comfortable to managing dynamics of the session. Feeling comfortable with your surroundings and the materials being presenting to build confidence. Actively engage the more silent personalities in the group to ensure that everyone is being heard and that you are getting good data from all users. Don’t be afraid to mix it up if something isn’t working. If the session doesn’t feel quite right, make changes by changing group dynamics and participant structure. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 69. STEP 4 ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
  • 70. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN Try the following process to analyze the data gathered from participatory activities (if you haven’t utilized any other methods). Note: It takes at least 1.5x to 2x the amount of time to analyze the data derived from a participatory activity as it does for the time it took you to conduct it. CULL: Remove incomplete, irrelevant, or untrusted data NORMALIZE: Ensure the data is consistent in format and presentation REVIEW: Scrutinize the activity output DOCUMENT: Capture findings from the activity when it’s still fresh ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 71. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN Analysis of participatory activities can require more than traditional sticky note clustering… RAW DATA TRANSCRIBED DATA PARTICIPANT CLUSTERING OPPORTUNITY CLUSTERS Opportunity 1 PATTERN RECOGNITION Opportunity 1 Notes Participant 01 CRITERIA Focus Areas Participant 02 Design Ideas Opportunity 2 Opportunity 2 Photos Participant 03 Participant 04 Design Principles Opportunity 3 Activities Opportunity 3 Archetypes = Behavioral data = Participatory design activity data ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 72. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN CULL Reduce the signal to noise ratio to effectively analyze your activities. Remove the data that you believe to be irrelevant to your research objective and desired outcomes. Bad data leads to bad research. If you don’t have full confidence in the data point you’ve written down, you don’t trust the truthfulness of the participant, or the activity changed dramatically mid-research, you may have to take data and/or findings out of consideration and move on. Don’t be afraid to scratch participant data to preserve the integrity of your findings. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 73. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN NORMALIZE As you begin piloting your activity, consider in what way you’ll capture your data. Normalization should happen during the research, not after you’re done with it. We often create custom Excel spreadsheets to record quotes, observations, or final artifacts during the activity in a consistent format. You’ll need to look at: Spoken quotes from the participant. Many of these quotes will relate to the activity, but at points through the activity they will disengage from it and share valuable information that didn’t come up earlier in the research. Your observations about what the participants are saying, doing, and making. Watching the session may inspire your own design ideas, but be sure to label them as your hypotheses and not the participant’s ideas. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. The artifacts that have been created. You need not only the final end state of what they made for your analysis, but also photographs of various points in the activity that show how their thinking may have evolved throughout the activity.
  • 74. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN REVIEW Take in the analysis from the activities, participant by participant. Flag the quotes and observations that are most relevant for each individual person. Summarize briefly what you learned from that person across those activities. Then look across all participants for high-level trends and similarities that should be considered. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 75. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN REVIEW You can use the following activities to make sense of the output of your participatory activities. Any analysis activity that you conduct should drive towards a visualization or narrative that helps explain your findings. NARRATE ACTIVITIES Analysis Method: Journey Mapping. We will take the outputs from narrative-based activities and create diagrams that summarize key actions or activities across the day-to-day lives of participants. CREATE ACTIVITIES Analysis Method: Artifact Review. Post up artifacts in your workspace. Place quotes onto the artifacts that they spoke about what they liked and disliked. Write themes onto sticky notes and summarize takeaways. PRIORITIZE ACTIVITIES Analysis Method: Frequency Distribution and Gap Analysis. This technique helps you identify trends across all of your participants in their preferences and priorities. This draws from analysis techniques for card sorting. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. CONTEXTUALIZE ACTIVITIES Analysis Method: Preference Distribution. This is an alternate method of visualizing frequency distribution, but done in a manner that does not appear to be quantitative in nature. This is most useful for small sample sizes.
  • 76. ANALYZING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN DOCUMENT FINDING 1 Most people only trust social recommendation when paired with a critic’s review. Six of the eight research participants, when creating their ideal TV show recommendation widget, were doubtful about the value of friend recommendations unless they were supporting a quote from a trusted critic. “I don’t care what movies Bobby’s watching, or which one he likes. I care about which ones Roger Ebert and Bobby likes.” —Elaine, 27, Teacher EXAMPLE: JOURNEY MAPPING When conducting Journey Mapping, we create summaries of what we’ve learned from the participants to refine and tighten our view of customer journeys or lifecycles through artifacts like this. These draft diagrams are then digitized and presented with the findings. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission. EXAMPLE: WRITTEN FINDING WITH SUPPORTING QUOTE Findings should clearly summarize trends or patterns seen across feedback from participatory design participants. Quotes should always be included to support key findings.
  • 77. ACTIVITY 3 CREATE & PILOT AN ACTIVITY Design and pilot an activity that will help you get closer to creating a personalized “best-kept secret” mobile app/guide for highlights in your hometown(s). Use your hypotheses you’ve generated to help guide your decision. Step 1: In 25 minutes in your group, create a draft of an activity that you’d like to conduct that will help you answer one or more of your research questions. Step 2: Pilot your activity with another group. (We’ll help you find a partner group.) Take notes, quotes, and photograph states of the activity as if you were going to analyze it. Each group gets 10 minutes to pilot their activity with 2 to 3 people. Step 3: Switch! The groups that were participants can now pilot their activities. ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 78. PROJECT DEBRIEF What did you learn about planning and creating activities? What went well that you’d do again in the future? What would you do different next time? How will you bring this into your practice as a designer? Within your organization? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 79. Download our free toolkit for participatory design in your community: frogdesign.com/cat It’s open source for nonprofit work— it can be adapted and translated at will ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 80. RESOURCES Here’s some of the folks that we referenced throughout this presentation. Check out their work! Liz Sanders’s Make Tools: http://maketools.com/ Smart Design’s The Breakup Letter on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/11854531 David Kantor’s Four Player Model: http://mitleadership.mit.edu/r-fpmodel.php ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.
  • 81. THANK YOU! Please keep in touch and let us know how participatory design research becomes part of your design practice! Erin Muntzert e.muntzert@gmail.com @erinmuntzert David Sherwin david@changeorderblog.com @changeorder changeorderblog.com snag these will ya? ©2014 frog. all rights reserved. no public distribution or reproduction without permission.