User and research

A critical aspect of user-centred research is to understand who the potential users are, especially because early user involvement is a primary principle of user-centred design. This can be extremely relevant to HCI research as well. HCI research though concerns the user experience about probable usability of website, interface or software; it does not always involve user participation from the initial stages. User-centred processes try to include the actual users in the development process at the earliest possible time in an effort to correspond to the needs and behaviors of the users.

As I progress with my proposal I realize how much the method can be linked to the area of study. That is because my research findings are dependent on user feedback. My quest is dependent on how I embark on it than the findings themselves, as querying usability becomes an important part of the study too. When conducting user research, theorists recommend that several methods be used in order to obtain rich qualitative data that would help build a holistic view of the studied user group. Thus the most common methods used include interviews, observations and questionnaires with other methods such as cultural probes or artefact analyses being applied at times too. Interestingly, it also falls under the purview of exploratory research into the unknown.

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