How Design Researchers Interpret Probes: Understanding the Critical Intentions of a Designerly Approach to Research

Sena Çerçi, Marta E. Cecchinato, John Vines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Since entering the HCI lexicon in the 1990s, Probes have been interpreted and used in divergent ways as a designerly approach to research. While originally positioned as a critique of dominant user-research methods, literature on Probes rarely reflects on such critical dimensions nor explicitly articulates the intents of using Probes as research artifacts. We conducted interviews with 12 design researchers who have worked with Probes within diverse Research through Design projects, exploring direct accounts of how and why Probes are used in practice. Our interviews brought to the fore the critical concerns behind Probe practices in relation to the language of Probing, relationships with participants, and motivations to challenge normative practices. While the pluralistic interpretations of Probes offered by our participants brings challenges, we discuss how making visible the critical motivations of our research opens up new ways of practicing and disseminating Probes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '21)
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021
EventThe ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2021 - Virtual Conference, Japan
Duration: 8 May 202113 May 2021
https://chi2021.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceThe ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2021
Abbreviated titleCHI 2021
CountryJapan
CityVirtual Conference
Period8/05/2113/05/21
Internet address

Keywords

  • Probes
  • Research through Design
  • Cultural Probes
  • design methods

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