Process > Research


The "discovery" or user research phase involves doing research on the needs, preferences, contexts and lives of the people who will be served or otherwise impacted by your technology.  

Generally, standard qualitative approaches already used by designers (e.g. design thinking methods, ethnographies, diary studies, focus groups, participatory workshops, etc.) will often surface many wellbeing and ethical issues automatically.  However, specific methods may help focus participants on ethical or psychological issues drawing out the implications of certain features as opposed to just a desire for the features themselves.

Wellbeing-related Methods/Tools

Positive Practice Canvas - An interview guide and notepad developed by Klapperich, Laschke, & Hassenzahl, designed to gather instances of especially enjoyable and meaningful practices.

Ethics-related methods/Tools

Data Ethics Canvas  - The Open Data Institute developed the canvas in support of its vision for people, organisations and communities to use data to make better decisions and be protected from any harmful impact.  The Data Ethics Canvas is designed to help identify potential ethical issues associated with a data project or activity.  The canvas could help frame early stakeholder input around data ethics issues.  - Case study

Responsible Data Management Training Kit - Oxfam developed this training pack, which includes card games for data dilemma discussions, to help introduce the principles of RDM, the planning processes that can be used, and to examine how we might handle unexpected issues that arise in different contexts.

Fairness Toolkit - Developed as part of the "UnBias" research project, the Fairness Toolkit is designed to promote awareness and stimulate a public civic dialogue about how algorithms shape online experiences and help groups to reflect on possible changes to address issues of online unfairness.

Email suggestions to [dorian dot peters at icloud dot com].