A big neon question mark
A big neon question mark
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

There are three main types of investigations when it comes to looking into how people interact with technologies. In this piece, I will go over what these types are, what methods to use for each one, and when to use each type of investigation.

A man wearing a fedora walking at night light slightly by street lamps
A man wearing a fedora walking at night light slightly by street lamps
Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Descriptive

X is happening

Describe an event or a situation. As a researcher you can investigate a situation or an event either passively through observations, field studies analyzing trends or KIP’s, or dig for it actively by conducting interviews, focus groups, or surveys.

The point of this investigation is to present a phenomenon to the stakeholders.

A number of light bulbs connected together
A number of light bulbs connected together
Photo by Fabio Bracht on Unsplash

Relational

X is related to A, B, and Z

This type of investigation can be conducted as a follow-up to a descriptive investigation you conducted yourself, or based on some phenomenon—i.e., X is happening. …

Illustration of AiPods in case with a broken heart emoji
Illustration of AiPods in case with a broken heart emoji

I LOVE my AirPods! I use them with my iPhone, and my MacBook, and my iPad, sometimes even with my Apple TV when there’s a soccer match at 6AM and I don’t want to wake my partner up. Can you tell that I’m a huge Apple fanboy?

I bought a pair of AirPods for my partner — she doesn’t use them as much — a pair for my mom and one for my sister. My favorite thing to say about them is “they just work!” However, I had a rude awakening. My own AirPods were losing charge very quickly and I was running an online user study marathon and needed reliable audio. I hopped on Amazon looking for a new pair of AirPods — great time to upgrade to the Pros ;) — but they were not available for Prime shipping and I was in a jam. …

Manhattan skyline through glasses
Manhattan skyline through glasses
Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

Right now, the world is facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us are staying at home attempting to slow the spread of the virus. In times of grave threats, innovation is essential, and human-centered innovation is paramount. We are lucky to be facing such a pandemic while having access to technological innovation that makes it possible for a substantial part of the work-force to continue working while self-isolating. …

About

AX Ali, Ph.D.

@theaxali | Designer. Scientist. Photographer.

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