Abstract

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.

Keywords

design research methodology, human-centered design, patient experience

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

System Site Patient: A three-tiered methodological approach to constructing holistic understanding of the user through design research

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.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.