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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Product Design: Design from Data (DESI08085)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering data, information and knowledge from participants in design projects.
Course description Through a series of lectures, design studies and workshops, students will be introduced to the importance of user-led research and the role of empirical data to inform the design process. The course focuses on the initial phases of a design cycle: Discover and Define. Introducing methods from cultural probes to user observations, interviews to questionnaires, and customer journeys to trend analysis, the first part of the course will explore how data can be derived from users within specific settings. The second part of the course will focus upon how data is used to define audiences, identify problems and understand challenges before development phases begin. Students engage in field studies using the various methods, before analysing the data in order to design briefs. The course will also introduce the ethical issues involved in working with people.

This course will:

1. Introduce students to a range of qualitative and quantitative methods that provide insights and create understanding from users of design products and services.
2. Develop student skills in designing a wide variety of methods for capturing empirical data.
3. Develop student skills in the analysis of data from the capture methods toward the definition of design briefs.
4. Introduce students to designing user-centred methods in an ethical manner.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to ALL STUDENTS and enrolments are managed on a first come first served basis until the course is full. The course will be open to enrolments from Thursday 13th September at 9.30am. Please sign up for the course through your own School (they will advise if this is done your PT, SSO or Teaching Office). We do not currently keep a waiting list.
Additional Costs Material costs.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 17/09/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 30, Formative Assessment Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 148 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students are expected to use a series of methodological approaches to elicit different findings from specific social settings.

The semester long combination of review, reflect and make will result in two distinct outputs:

1. A portfolio of 4 methods for capturing data, including the design of devices and elements (probe packs, questionnaires) coupled with the data that has been captured. The final portfolio of c. 40 pages A4 plus appendices will be submitted for summative assessment at the end of teaching.

2. A design concept that embodies or responds to insights gained through the application of the research methods above. This concept will be presented through sketches (2D or 3D) and orally in Week 12.

Further information on both the presentation and portfolio (content, format and dates) are available via Learn /Course handbook).

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:
Learning Outcomes will be assessed through both components. Each component will count towards 50% of final mark. Students are expected to demonstrate all 3 Learning Outcomes in each component of assessment.

For the overall course, each LO is equally weighted i.e. worth 33% of your overall course mark/grade.
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided in person through 1:1 tutorial meetings.

Formative assessment will be provided at the mid-semester point. Components of this assessment will include:

a. Oral presentation of all work to date including each of the research methods explored in class.
b. Online submission of supporting documents

Oral feedback will be provided following the presentations. Written feedback will be given with indicative grades.

Summative feedback will be provided following the presentation and portfolio submission in the form of verbal commentary immediately following the presentation, and written feedback following assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate skills in the capture and analysis of empirical data through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.
  2. Design new products in such a way that is informed through the insights gathered from audiences, communities and users of potential products.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the role of participants in the formation of ideas and the subsequent development of products / services, and the ethical implications of participant engagement.
Reading List
Abrams, B. (2000) The observational research handbook: understanding how consumer live with your product. Lincolnwood, Ill: NTC Business Books.
Armstrong, G. and Kotler, P. (1996) Principles of Marketing. Prentice Hall.
Badke-Schauub, P. (2002) Thinking in Design Teams: an analysis of team communication. Design Studies, September 23(5).
Brown et al (2014) Using Cultural Probes to Inform the Design of Assistive Technologies, In 16th International Conference, HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014, Proceedings, Part I. Springer International Publishing.
Gaver, W., Dunne, T. and Pacenti, E. (1999) Design: Cultural probes. interactions 6, 1 (January 1999), 21-29.
Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. L. (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, Chicago, Aldine Publishing Company
Mattelmaki, T. (2005) Applying Probes: from inspirational notes to collaborative insights. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and Arts.
Otto, T. & Smith, R. C. (2013). Design Anthropology: A distinct style of knowing. In W. Gunn, T. Otto & R. C. Smith (Eds.), Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice (pp. 1:29). London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Rabinow, P., Marcus, P., Faubion, J., Rees, T. (2008) Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary, Duke University Press, Durham, NC.
Stickdorn, M. and Schneider, J. (2012) This is service design thinking. Amsterdam: BIS publishing
Tracy, S. (2012) Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. Wiley Blackwell
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking.
Be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts.
Be able to use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
Be able to use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-reflection.
KeywordsEmpirical data,Ethnography,Design Methods
Course organiserMiss Isla Munro
Course secretaryMrs Gill Lowther
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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