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System, site, patient: A three-tiered methodological approach to constructing holistic understanding of the user through design research
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Ethnology. (Ethnology)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the Design Research Society International Conference, 2012Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper argues that the methods and methodologies used to conduct user research often provide a singular view of the user. It aims to demonstrate that by combining the strengths of three different research methodologies into a structured, correlative research platform we can create a rich, more holistic understanding of our users. Using a three-tiered methodological approach to research the cancer patient experience, we investigated patient anxiety and the emotional impact that curative radiation therapy has on these individuals. Our methodology, comprised of methods taken from quantitative, qualitative, and design research approaches, was designed to construct a research platform that would allow us to gather quantifiable data about our patient population while also using more qualitative approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the individuals’ patient experience. We used patient questionnaires as our quantitative method, user observations and interviews as our qualitative methods, and design probe kits as our design method. Each method was chosen because of its ability to provide us with a different perspective on the patients’ clinical experience. By structuring these methods around the same shared research question, we were able to find correlative relationships between the data collected from each, despite their different methodological approaches. This paper demonstrates that our three-tiered methodology provides a deep understanding of the user experience, from a systems level view down to that of the patient. In conclusion, this paper argues that it is important for design researches to select methods that build upon each other and provide different perspectives of the user, in order to create a holistic understanding of the user experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Design Research Methodology; Human-centered Design; Patient Experience
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60419OAI: diva2:559962
DRS 2012 Bangkok
Available from: 2012-11-14 Created: 2012-10-11 Last updated: 2012-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Mullaney, TaraPettersson, HelenaNyholm, Tufve
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Umeå Institute of DesignDepartment of culture and media studiesEthnologyRadiation PhysicsOncology

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