The use of theatre in requirements gathering and usability studies

Alan F. Newell, Alex Carmichael, Maggie Morgan, Anna Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the use of theatrical techniques to communicate to designers the user requirements for IT interfaces – particularly those of “extreme users” such as older people. The methodology and processes of producing such material in a video form are described, together with the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. The paper concludes by suggesting the various roles live theatre can play in user centered design. Although the research, on which this paper is based, focuses on the challenges presented by older and disabled users, the techniques described are applicable to a wider range of users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1011
Number of pages16
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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