This course explores the method of stimulus in primary design research as a complement to the cornerstone methods of user observation and stakeholder interviews.

When a topic is extremely intangible, difficult to observe, narrowly focused, or sensitive in nature, stimulus (provocative and tangible objects or experiences) are an effective way to explore a topic and arrive at useful insight for the purposes of design.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore new and creative methods for data collection and develop perspectives on when to use these methods in practice.
  • Compare and contrast other primary research methods with respect to stimulus based methods
  • Provide a forum for practicing and iterating research and data collection


Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate how to:

  • Frame research objectives and justify methods based on these objectives
  • Plan and prototype several research methods, as well as evaluate their effectiveness