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People-centred designing
People-centred designing

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9 User research techniques

9.1 User trip

This section introduces a simple method of investigating product use. Even such simple methods can provide useful information to guide product redesign and new product development.

The essential idea of user trips is simple: you just take a ‘trip’ through the whole process of using a particular product or system, making yourself a critical observant user.

The only way to learn how to make these user trips is to try one or two for yourself. You will be surprised how much you find out, if you make yourself sufficiently self-aware and observant. In fact, after trying this method a few times, you will probably find that you are adopting an attitude to most of the products and systems used in everyday life, that other people might regard as hypercritical. But it is this attitude of constructive discontent, this dissatisfaction with the accepted norms, that spurs designers to make improvements. The secret is to turn dissatisfaction into creative criticism.