My co-authors and I recently had a paper accepted to a special issue of the journal Human-Computer Interaction on Design Thinking. It describes our lab’s use of various visual approaches to HCI design, as well as both the potential and the challenges posed to HCI by such visual approaches. I’ll post a pre-print copy soon, but for now here’s the partial citation and abstract.
Snyder, J., Baumer, E.P.S., Voida, S., Adams, P., Halpern, M., Choudhury, T., and Gay, G. (to appear). Making Things Visible: Opportunities and Tensions in Visual Approaches for Design Research. Human-Computer Interaction.
Visual approaches for conducting research during the design process often give voice to people and ideas that might otherwise remain obscured. Recent and increasing interest in visual research techniques has coincided with technological advances such as camera phones and visually oriented mobile applications. As a result of this close association between digital technologies and image-based research techniques, there are multiple opportunities and challenges within HCI design practice to employ these strategies to improve user experiences. This paper provides an overview of current visual approaches to research highlighting the role technology has played in facilitating and inspiring these techniques. A series of case studies are presented that provide a basis for understanding a breadth of visual approaches in HCI design practices, as well as serve as a point of entry to a critical and reflective discussion about the use of these approaches in different circumstances. Based on these reflections, three value statements are offered as a means to encourage the use of these visual approaches more broadly and critically in HCI design studies.
Update (2013-12-13): Our article is now available here.