Simulation

Case study of Research Methods

What is the research method about?

Simulation aims to recreate the user's environmental conditions to forge an immersive, empathetic sense of real-life user experiences. It allows designers to feel and experience first hand, resulting in a more human-centered design.

When is it typically used?

Simulation method is used in many different contexts. It ranges from creating low-tech wearables to approximate limitations or disabilities that people might encounter, to high-tech replication of environments to seamlessly immerse designers. However, it is important to note that at the end of the day, the goal of Simulation is to place designers in the shoes of stakeholders to create a more empathetic solution.

Who is involved and in what capacity?

Everyone's design process is different. So this question may vary depending on the designer's available resources or the scope of the project. However, at most times, the designers themselves are involved in simulations to immerse themselves in the situation of the users they are designing for. There could also be UX researchers, psychologists, or even the actual stakeholders who are invited to participate in the simulation.

How is it done?

Simulation can be done in many different ways. But it is important to understand that in order to get valuable qualitative data and an empathetic design solution, designers need to work on the immersiveness of the simulations – creating believable environments will lead to more accurate data. There are various mediums to build simulations: VR, physical spaces, wearables, senses, and more.

Why would designers use it? Bring an example

Designers use simulations to replicate the environment/scenarios of their stakeholders. Frog Design tested an in-vehicle digital experience in a lab with potential users and designers before making it in the real car. They were testing a design concept for an entertainment system for mobile and in-vehicle platforms. Frog used simulation to replicate the environment of a vehicle in a lab setting in order to minimize distractions, reduce cost, speed up the design process, and reduce liability issues.

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Assignment for research methods

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