Cultural probes (or design probes) is a technique used to inspire ideas in a design process. It serves as a means of gathering inspirational data about people’s lives, values, and thoughts.

  • Use materials such as postcards, journals, cameras, text, and imagery to gather personal insights from participants.
  • Provocations are designed to inspire people to thoughtfully consider personal context and circumstance and respond in unique, creative ways.
  • Materials should be varied and imaginative to elicit responses that are relevant to the design inquiry.
  • Probes are flexible, open-ended, and intentionally subjective, collecting inspirational data to stimulate design imagination.
  • Design probes support empathic understanding through information gathering over a prolonged period, where the researcher cannot be present.
  • Probe kits are combined with other research methods such as observations, site visits, and interviews.
  • Probes should be thoughtful in aesthetic craft, message, and delivery and be created to inspire delight and respect, response, and return.

More Readings,

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested t...

A heuristic evaluation is a usability inspection method for computer software that helps to identify usability problems in the user interface (UI) design. It specifically involves evaluators examining the interface and judging its compliance with rec...

A tendency to find forms that appear humanoid or exhibit humanlike characteristics appealing. In 1915, worried that their straight-sided bottle could be easily confused with those of imitators, the Coca-Cola company set out to create a distinctive n...

Task analysis is the analysis of how a task is accomplished, including a detailed description of both manual and mental activities, task and element durations, task frequency, task allocation, task complexity, environmental conditions, necessary clot...

Interaction personas focus instead on the touchpoints and the user’s mental state and the context in these specific moments, pinpointing crucial elements that could help to improve the product. It’s a very effective way to explore the possibil...

Reporting and analyzing user queries submitted as search criteria on a site Analyzing words and phrases entered into a search provides insight into what people are looking for in order to evaluate how well content meets those needs. Site Se...