2A-Research Through Design as A Method for Interaction Design Research in HCI


note源文件 2-A-note

论文research through design as a method for interaction design research in hci


John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelly Evenson

Human-Computer Interaction Institute and The School of Design

Carnegie Mellon University.


  1. HCI researchers conclude designers could make novel & better integrations: A product that transforms our world from the current to a preferred state. 
  2. The paper provides a set of 4 lenses for HCI research contribution & 3 examples to prove their opinions.


  1. 两方面总结前人研究 Authors focus attention of previously research mainly in 2 aspects: a. Understand essential relationship between interaction design and HCI research community; b. Discover effectively-participate methods for interaction design researchers.
  2. 两方面简要介绍文章中心 This paper concludes 2 contributions to claim design research (community) potentially taking a functional and holistic approach than just surperficially decoration: a. Provide a beneficial interaction design research model. b. Provide a set of evaluating criteria for research qualities.
  3. Designers have their abilities to solve the wicked problems which is described in Frayling’s work: research through design and their artifacts finally could be design exemplars. 
  4. 侧重不同地改变三个概念(设计师,设计研究与设计思维)的定义

In this context the definitions of


In the HCI community: A HCI practitioner (a interaction designer/ a usability engineer/ a software developer,etc.); In the design community ( the aspect which we mainly focused in the paper): sb. who got trained in disciplines such architecture, product design, graphic design, interaction design, etc.


In the HCI & design community: the efforts researchers made to inspire the product development process;

In the design research community ( the aspect which we mainly focused in the paper ): an attemption or an intention focus in producing a contribution of knowledge but not immediate and commercial.


  1. grounding: investigation in one problem to gain multiple solutions in different perspectives;
  2. ideation: generation of possibilities in solutions;
  3. iteration: cyclical processes to refine concepts;
  4. reflections.


1. 文献综述 A literature review.

focus on history of a.design research; b.the role of HCI design; c.the role of the designed artifact

to understand historical & current interaction design research models in aspects of a.design research; b.the role of HCI design; c.the artifact as a part of interaction design research.

2. 邀请不同背景设计人士举办工作坊 A workshop – CHI conference, Vienna, 2004. 

focus on relationship between HCI & design, 22 participants.

It explored 2 tracks: a. role of design in HCI education & HCI in design education; b. role of interaction design research in HCI.

3. 访谈 (Semi-structured) Interviews with 

9 researchers & 6 interaction designers & 3 academic & 3 industry positions about questions of their definitions of both design & research.

interaction designers: there could be a novel process for massive difficult under-strained problems in traditional enginnering approaches;

designers: there could be integrating ideas from art\design\science\engineering to make both aesthetic and functional interfaces, like composing music.

designers: designing with empathy for users.

研究中设计师可作为 3 roles in researches for designers:

  1. be able to help researchers ground & frame problems, communicate the impact in design researches;
  2. as critic: stimulate discussions in process of making artifacts;
  3. as pattern finder: finding patterns that lead to pattern languages.

4. 综合考虑建立HCI设计研究新模型


—— Synthesis of findings from both fronts and constructions. 

On the right side this pic shows an illustration of multiple pathways among interaction design & different HCI researchers:

  1. 设计研究者找出产品现有状态下可改变的设计机会,同时为工程师提供可行的灵感与执行动力,并为产品功能、设计师、用户甚至利益相关者平衡所有的因素,搭建可行桥梁。

researchers identify novel opportunities for current-state tech which providing engineers with inspirations, both discover unanticipated effects & provide a template for bridging all aspects for product function/ users/ stakeholders.

  1. 交互设计研究者设计出新的模板,为人机交互研究到实践提供可能性。

interaction design researchers create design exemplars for the transfer of HCI research to practice.

  1. 使用这些模板是整合设计中各方面因素而不是共构。usage of model reveals the framing to show novelty of integration but not construction of every single elements.

那什么是wicked problems呢?

In addiditon, what’s the WICKED PROBLEMS for example?

  1. problems that children & parents both face paradoxes in the design of smart home services;
  2. problems for stakeholders that for elder parents probably have social isolation issues in the design of smart home services.

5. 迭代性评价里总结设计研究4重要因素

Iterative Evaluations.

  1. 过程 Process — an important element to judge the quality of an interaction design research contribution. Researchers must provide enough details and one rationale of the specific methods.
  2. 创新 Invention — how researchers advances the current state to the novel one ( intensity )& how advances in tech could result in a significant advancement(the way)
  3. 相关性 Relevance — Validity.
  4. 拓展度 Extensibility— be defined as the ability to build on results of interaction design research.

设计案例 三产品举例介绍文章新模型


ex.1  XEROX reprographics

ex.2  Philips vision of the future 

ex.3  Apple guides


新模型的搭建有5大好处The model which presented above provides 5 benefits:

  1. allows HCI research community cannot be easily addressed through science & engineering methods which for example engages with wicked problems;
  2. feeds back technology chances to engineering methods;
  3. provides a new method transfering knowledge from HCI researches to practice;
  4. allows interaction designers to make contributions which could reframe problems;
  5. motivates the HCI community to discuss prefered states & reflect on potential impacts researches.


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