Working with Children and Props: Two Adolescence User Research Cases with Props

  • Youing ae Hahn
  • Judith Gregory
Keywords: Prop Characteristics, Behavioral Prototyping, Interviews, Design Research Methods, Adolescents Users


Props have been used in all phases of user research, but their influences on collected data have not been thoroughly discussed. In this paper, three prop characteristics, likeness, visibility and tangibility, and configurability are identified from literature review based on different roles of props in user research: representation of physical entities, visualization and objectification of abstract entities, and reenactment of past events in user research. In this research, correlations between prop characteristics and generated design information are hypothesized. Two research projects, MonkeySmart! and Bike Interviews, are presented to exemplify research activities. Discussion of each project identifies (1) the types of information, either narrative or paradigmatic, generated with props, and useful for design practitioners, and (2) correlations between prop characteristics and the generated design information.
Exploratory Papers - Session (2): The Place of Materials in PD