Evaluation Of Construct Elicitation As A Research Method To Obtain Design-Relevant Data From Children

Sedef SÜNER, Çiğdem ERBUĞ


Understanding user requirements is a very important input in design process. Innovative designs derive from experiential and generative research methods in order to reveal tacit user knowledge instead of predicating on assumptions about the user. This is a more critical issue in design research with children. First of all, the way young users interact with products are different than that of adults. Second, user research methodologies devised for adult users fall short of meeting the needs of children, which effects reliability of data gathered during design research. A variety of research methodologies have been utilized to enable children better articulate the dimensions of their experience with products, as well as helping designers to have a better comprehension of user requirements. However; communication of gathered user knowledge with designers is also a challenging task. Designers need a holistic understanding of user space, and to be able to investigate the various dimensions and layers of user experience throughout design process. Hence, the need of a well-structured, child-friendly research methodology becomes evident for eliciting design-relevant data from young users. The aim of this study is to explore the potential of a construct elicitation method based on George Kelly’s ‘Repertory Grid Technique’ (RGT) in order to elicit design-relevant constructs from children. A study about perceived qualities of mobile phones was conducted with first grade and second grade primary school children (n=44) by utilizing a revised version of RGT in accordance with children’s needs as a tool to reveal personal constructs of children to inform design process. Results show that RGT is a useful tool for design researchers to gather information from children by demonstrating the relationship of product attributes and attached meanings, and models of user-product interaction in a multidimensional and multi-layered manner.


Keywords: Design for children, design knowledge, repertory grid technique, user experience, user models

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2016.2.2


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