Interaction design research activities produce an enormous quantity of raw data, which must be systematically and rigorously analyzed in order to extract meaning and insight. Unfortunately, these methods of analysis are poorly documented and rarely taught, and because of the pragmatic time constraints associated with shipping products, there is often no time dedicated in a project to a practice of formal synthesis. As a result, raw design research data is inappropriately positioned as insight, and the value of research activities is marginalized – in fact, stakeholders may lose faith in the entire research practice, as they don’t see direct return on the investment of research activities.
Interaction design synthesis methods can be taught, and when selectively applied, visual, diagrammatic synthesis techniques can be completed relatively quickly. This talk will introduce various methods of Synthesis as ways to translate research into meaningful insights. Attendees will learn about how to manage the complexity of gathered data, and will learn how to elicit hidden meaning in gathered data.
Jon Kolko is a Senior Design Analyst at frog design in Austin, Texas. His professional work deals with the manipulation of complicated business and technological constraints in order to best solve the problems of Fortune 500 clients. The work spans the boundaries of Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and Usability Engineering; the common underlying theme of these problems and projects is the creation of a solution that is useful, usable, and desirable. Kolko is the author of the text Thoughts on Interaction Design; he is also the 2008-2011 Editor-in-Chief of Interactions Magazine, published by the ACM.