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SonicRim.com relaunches website

Check Deposits as Images

Initial Set of Questions

Photos from the workshop

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SonicRim.com relaunches website

SonicRim is the research firm that has been leading the revolution for bringing Participatory Design methods into practice in the U.S.



Here's how they describe PD:

Participatory Design
Engaging your consumers in hands-on activities that enable them to imagine and express their desired solutions.

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Check Deposits as Images

In our example, to understand the user needs and business opportunities around check deposits, we prototyped a system where the researcher acted as a "courier" taking the checks from the business to the bank. This allowed us to understand whether the most important need was getting the checks to the bank, or whether there was more to it, that our final solution would need to address.

We were not actually prototyping a solution, because we would not start a courier service. Instead we prototyped a way to solve the need, before investing any money into developing a technological solution.

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Initial Set of Questions

In some ways we generated more questions than answers! But I think the questions help us understand the significant issues in beginning to apply prototypes as probes in research.

What is the value of using a prototype as a probe?

What methods can you use to probe for user needs?

How can you design a prototype for a specific purpose?

How do you manage and analyze the findings from this research?

How can you manage the tension between driving toward and solution and wanting to probe further?

How is this different from a research artifact? When is it important?

What is the distinction between a prototype's structure and its purpose?

What makes a good or bad probe?

When is it okay to use experiential (vs. conceptual) probes?

What is the ROI on prototypes as probes in Product Development?

What is the dark side to using prototypes as probes?

How do you explain and talk about prototypes as probes?

What are common/better terms to describe prototypes as probes? ...to clients, management, users?

What are the many forms that prototypes can take? Can we create a framework for them?

How do you design an effective study using prototypes as probes?

What is a probe in research? Does it have a place in ethnography?

How does this method fit within the principles of Participatory Design?


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Photos from the workshop


Thank you to all of you who attended the workshop. We hope that your day was well spent and thank you for your contributions.

The photos that Hillary took are available here. If you sign in you can comment on the photos for others to see.




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