Lecture outline

In this week's lecture we will detail more of the first project, research questions, and interviewing. Slides will be available the day of the lecture.


Grading & Feedback

Weekly deliverables will be graded with feedback by Wednesdays at midday. If you need to chat about anything I can meet with you digitally in the afternoon. I'll aim to be available for quick responses via email.

The double-diamond model of design which moves through discover and define - when problem definition occurs - then develop and deliver

Deliverables Crits

Every week we will try to speak to a different selection of project submissions. I will keep submissions anonymous as much as possible.

Let's take a look at some of your work.

Research Question


"What are common traits exhibited by people suffering from mental health problems and how does this affect their financial decisions?"

Research Question 2


"Do millennials really read the way they are being depicted by society?"

Research Question 3


"What types of new technology that the BBC is aiming for incorporating with their mission? and what forms and budget?"

Secondary Sources



This study examined mental health and financial aspects, and the relationship between them among 454 first year British undergraduate students. An important note was that financial stress, like the inability to pay financial bills, was correlated with poorer mental health, more specifically, higher depression, stress, anxiety and alcohol dependence.

Primary Sources



A diary study that included tracking how participants interacted via screen recordings with online media. Specifically directed towards what, why, when, and how people read online.

How useful?

This study provides interaction data and user contexts that can be referenced to support specific design decisions pertaining to reading on digital devices. It provides the experiences of specific individuals and outlines how they differ from each other.

Primary Sources



Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator, released its research on news consumption trends in 2019. Findings show that the internet is the most popular platform among 16-24-year-olds rather than TV, radio or newspapers. While traditional TV news consumption remains the most-used platform among the UK (58%), it has seen a steady decline since last year (62%). This research shows the demand for a change as even though BBC is still a primary news source with 58% of people using it to get news, it is decreasing in popularity.

Any questions?

Things We Better Understand

Let's revisit our known knowns, unknown knowns, knowns unknown, known knowns unknonw, uwknowns knownw...

Please move to the boards to 'collect' our new knowledge.

Things We Better Understand

New Known Knowns

Please write on post-its any new items that you now know about the problem in this space.

New Known Unknowns

Please write on post-its any new items that you now know you do not know about the problem in this space.

You have 15 minutes to fill in the spaces. Refer to your notes or sources as needed...

Research Questions Revisited


Find a neighbour, grab a seat, and each write down your research question. Ask more questions that explore:

The history

  • "Why are they called millenials?"
  • "How has reading evolved over time?"

Flipping questions around

  • "Why do they not call themselves millenials?"
  • "How has reading remained similar over time?"

Connections to larger systems

  • "How do Britains perceive mental illness?"
  • "What is the impact of mental illness on the financial industry?"

What if?

  • "What if the physical/data representation considers accessibility?"
  • "What if data were no longer relevant?"

You have 4 minutes.

Research Questions Revisited


From your new list of questions, assess:

  • Is this question a fact that could just be looked up?
  • Is this a question that you don't know of any facts for?
  • Is the question going to answer (or help answer) a larger issue?
  • Are others going to care about the answer?

You have 4 minutes.


Let's talk about where you are at.

Last Week's Reading Questions

A couple of good questions appeared a couple of times in response to last week's reading:

  • What is analysis paralysis?
  • How does this 'double-diamond' map onto our project?

Reading & Markup

In this week's critical, please read through today's reading and highlight the following:

  • Who is the author, and what do they do?
  • Where was this article published?
  • The pieces of their argument or claim?
  • Portions of the text that evoke a strong response from you.

Do not stop to note down why, just highlight and move on.

You have 30 minutes.

Critical Reading

Exercise Time

You have 20 minutes to complete the exercise. Please bring to the front once done with your marked-up reading.

Reading Discussion

Please briefly chat with your neighbour about if you agree or disagree with the author's claims? and why?.

We will discuss as a larger group in 4 minutes.

Getting Experience

Primary sources

This week we want to fill in more of our gaps in experience to ensure we understand the humans in the context of this problem. Your goal will be to either interview the individual(s) that you identified as primary sources, or to find more primary sources that do not require interviewing.

Why We Interview

As designers, we can use interviews to understand a group of individuals, their experiences and behaviours in context. Be careful to keep in mind:

  • We are not our users.
  • We are not persuading our users.
  • We are guests.

Check Yourself

(Before you wreck yourself)

As an interviewer you want to avoid bringing your own biases and opinions, as this can influence how the interviewee responds. What assumptions do you have about the brief, your sources and related topics?

You have 4 minutes to list as many as possible.

Semi-structured Approaches

For gathering someone's experience we recommend a semi-structured approach to interviewing. This means you will plan materials but allow for flexibility in having the interviewee guide the questions.

Interview Scripts

As part of our semi-structured approach, you will need a script. Included in this script should be:

  • Asking for permission
  • Setting expectations
  • The questions
  • Thanks

Permission Requirements

Also sets expectations...

Before you ask interview questions, you must make sure they understand:

  • How long it will take
  • That they can leave at any time
  • That their information is private
  • What you will do with what they share
  • Why you are doing this

Data Requirements

Given that cloud services often cannot guarantee the physical location of your data will stay in Canada, I would recommend working with SFU-based tools such as Canvas Groups or SFU Vault to store research data.

Asking Questions

When exploring someone's experience, we likely want to ask open-ended questions as much as possible. For example:

Open-ended: "Can you tell me about your first experiences as a parent?"

Close-ended: "What three things do you love most about your experience as a parent?"

Building What We Want to Know

Knowing your possible interviewees consider what you want to find out about. Work with one or two others from your brief to write down what you want to find out about. Do not write questions yet.

You have 8 minutes.

Building What We Want to Know Into Questions

With your 'work-group', try making one effective question to find out what you want to. While thinking of options for the question, consider:

  • How open or closed is the question?
  • How might the individual answer the question? or not?
  • Are there any assumptions or biases in the question?

Interview Performance

Let's put Stanley on the spot and talk about:

  • Setting up the space
  • Introductions
  • Body language
  • Tone
  • Listening
  • Recording


Let's talk about where you are at.

Any Questions?

P1: Rubric (This week)

Bring to Next Lecture

Ensure you bring a print-out of the next reading Selections from No Interface (Krishna, 2015) for us to read.

Contacting Andrew

Your Lecturer

Reachable at:

  • Office hours — Tuesdays from 2:30-3:20pm and Thursdays from 9:30-10:20am at the Surrey campus mezzanine.
  • ac.ufs@h_werdna