Design, meanings and radical innovation— Roberto Vergati

What with all the attention on user-centred design and the like, it seems at times that researchers have forgotten about companies that just design (apart from the obvious Apple cliché). Vergati was part of a research group that investigated design companies in Italy, and came up with conclusions that what he calls ‘design-driven innovation’ is tied the meanings created and understood within a network of players, and that they can be compared to the innovations happening in the technology world.

Continue reading

Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.

“Methodology refers to more than a simple set of methods; rather it refers to the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study, it consists of an analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline or within a particular study.  Research methods, according to Bernard (2000) can be discussed at three different levels: epistemology, strategy and execution.  The first level, epistemology, relates to the study of the nature of knowledge, particularly its foundations, scope and validity.  One of the founding considerations of any epistemological standpoint is an associated ontological stance and questions raised regarding either field are highly inter-related.  The second level refers to strategic choices; which methods or structure of methods would be best suited to the research topic, ensure rigour, validity and consistency and how these methods and organising structures might relate to anticipated outcomes.  The third level is used to describe the execution of particular methods and refers to the specific techniques being employed.  Decisions at all three levels will influence the quality and significance of the research outcome.”
Bernard, H.R.


Bernard, H.R. (2000) Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Interaction Design and Criticism, Jeffery Bardzell

One of the key papers that I keep coming back to is Jeffery Bardzell’s work on interaction criticism (most recently discussed in his 2011 Interacting With Computers paper Interaction Criticism: An Introduction to the Practice). His background is in the humanities, so (along with doing a lot of cool studies on the edges of HCI), he is able to bring a understanding of people to HCI that’s also relevant more generally in design (he notes that notes that current work on HCI aesthetics pits it against mainstream aesthetics, when in fact they might feed each other.)

Continue reading