How Design Researchers Interpret Probes: Understanding the Critical Intentions of a Designerly Approach to Research

Cerci, Sena, Cecchinato, Marta and Vines, John (2020) How Design Researchers Interpret Probes: Understanding the Critical Intentions of a Designerly Approach to Research. In: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York. (In Press)

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Abstract

Since entering the HCI lexicon in the 1990s, Probes have been interpreted and used in divergent ways as a designerly approach to research. While originally positioned as a critique of dominant user-research methods, literature on Probes rarely reflects on such critical dimensions nor explicitly articulates the intents of using Probes as research artifacts. We conducted interviews with 12 design researchers who have worked with Probes within diverse Research through Design projects, exploring direct accounts of how and why Probes are used in practice. Our interviews brought to the fore the critical concerns behind Probe practices in relation to the language of Probing, relationships with participants, and motivations to challenge normative practices. While the pluralistic interpretations of Probes offered by our participants brings challenges, we discuss how making visible the critical motivations of our research opens up new ways of practicing and disseminating Probes.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: probes, research through design, cultural probes, design methods
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2021 11:16
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2021 11:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45599

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