University of Technology, Sydney

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32405 Human-centred Design Methods

6cp; block, each block is 4hrs (1hr class; 3hrs tutorial), on campus
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Recommended studies:

it benefits students to be familiar with the basics of human–computer interaction, human-centred design and evaluation methods, and the principles and use of iterative design cycles of reflection, prototype (re)design and evaluation; familiarity with issues relating to data gathering and analysis is useful but not assumed

Elective in the Master of Information Technology; core subject in the Master of Interaction Design



When designing an interactive product, the designer should know who they are designing for and their needs, wishes and abilities. This is how human-centred design makes people central to the design process. There are many human-centred design methods and several of them are touched on in other interaction design subjects. In this subject we give an overview of the breadth of these methods and focus on two different methods: interviewing and cultural probes.

Interviewing is one of the most popular methods in human-centred design. The many reasons include the fact that interviewing provides direct information from interviewees, is relatively easy to do (though difficult to do well) and is inexpensive. The interviewing method is flexible in its use, exists in a large number of variations and can be used at any stage of the design process.

Cultural probes, by contrast, is a design method that requires sets of props (probes) which are specifically created or collected to be issued to participants to elicit their response. This method is open and creative, and needs more preparation, but has the potential to generate inspirational responses that can inform design.

In this subject students implement both the interviewing method and the cultural probe method, step-by-step through guidance. Students are given a brief that is fairly open where each student can choose their own variation on the theme to guide their interviewing and cultural probe implementation. Examples are shared of different interview and probe variations, and the student can choose to implement the ones that fit their goal best.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus


This subject is not currently available to students for enrolment.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.