Abstract

This paper describes observational research and verbal protocols methods, how these methods are applied and integrated within different contexts, and how they complement each other. The first case study focuses on nurses’ interaction during bandaging of patients’ lower legs. To maintain research rigor a triangulation approach was applied that links observations of current procedures, ‘talk-aloud’ protocol during interaction and retrospective protocol. Maps of interactions demonstrated that some nurses bandage more intuitively than others. Nurses who bandage intuitively assemble long sequences of bandaging actions while nurses who bandage less intuitively ‘focus-shift’ in between bandaging actions. Thus different levels of expertise have been identified. The second case study consists of two laboratory experiments. It focuses on analysing and comparing software and product design teams and how they approached a design problem. It is based on the observational and verbal data analysis. The coding scheme applied evolved during the analysis of the activity of each team and is identical for all teams. The structure of knowledge captured from the analysis of the design team maps of interaction is identified. The significance of this work is within its methodological approach. The maps of interaction are instrumental for understanding the activities and interactions of the people observed. By examining the maps of interaction, it is possible to draw conclusions about interactions, structure of knowledge captured and level of expertise. This research approach is transferable to other design domains. Designers will be able to transfer the interaction maps outcomes to systems and services they design.

Keywords

expertise, focus-shift, product design, software design, design process

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Observational Research and Verbal Protocol Methods

This paper describes observational research and verbal protocols methods, how these methods are applied and integrated within different contexts, and how they complement each other. The first case study focuses on nurses’ interaction during bandaging of patients’ lower legs. To maintain research rigor a triangulation approach was applied that links observations of current procedures, ‘talk-aloud’ protocol during interaction and retrospective protocol. Maps of interactions demonstrated that some nurses bandage more intuitively than others. Nurses who bandage intuitively assemble long sequences of bandaging actions while nurses who bandage less intuitively ‘focus-shift’ in between bandaging actions. Thus different levels of expertise have been identified. The second case study consists of two laboratory experiments. It focuses on analysing and comparing software and product design teams and how they approached a design problem. It is based on the observational and verbal data analysis. The coding scheme applied evolved during the analysis of the activity of each team and is identical for all teams. The structure of knowledge captured from the analysis of the design team maps of interaction is identified. The significance of this work is within its methodological approach. The maps of interaction are instrumental for understanding the activities and interactions of the people observed. By examining the maps of interaction, it is possible to draw conclusions about interactions, structure of knowledge captured and level of expertise. This research approach is transferable to other design domains. Designers will be able to transfer the interaction maps outcomes to systems and services they design.

 

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