Universal Methods of Design

Universal Methods of Design by Bruce Hanington and Bella Martin

100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions

Format: Hardback, 208 Pages
ISBN: 9781592537563
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"Universal Methods of Design is an immensely useful survey of research and design methods used by today's top practitioners, and will serve as a crucial reference for any designer grappling with really big problems. This book has a place on every designer's bookshelf, including yours!" —David Sherwin, Principal Designer at frog and author of Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

"Universal Methods of Design is a landmark method book for the field of design. This tidy text compiles and summarizes 100 of the most widely applicable and effective methods of design—research, analysis, and ideation—the methods that every graduate of a design program should know, and every professional designer should employ. Methods are concisely presented, accompanied by information about the origin of the technique, key research supporting the method, and visual examples. Want to know about Card Sorting, or the Elito Method? What about Think-Aloud Protocols? This book has them all and more in readily digestible form. The authors have taken away our excuse for not using the right method for the job, and in so doing have elevated its readers and the field of design. UMOD is an essential resource for designers of all levels and specializations, and should be one of the go-to reference tools found in every designer’s toolbox." —William Lidwell, author of Universal Principles of Design, Lecturer of Industrial Design, University of Houston

This comprehensive reference provides a thorough and critical presentation of 100 research methods, synthesis/analysis techniques, and research deliverables for human centered design, delivered in a concise and accessible format perfect for designers, educators, and students. Whether research is already an integral part of a practice or curriculum, or whether it has been unfortunately avoided due to perceived limitations of time, knowledge, or resources, Universal Methods of Design serves as an invaluable compendium of methods that can be easily referenced and utilized by cross-disciplinary teams in nearly any design project.

This essential guide:

- Dismantles the myth that user research methods are complicated, expensive, and time-consuming

- Creates a shared meaning for cross-disciplinary design teams

- Illustrates methods with compelling visualizations and case studies

- Characterizes each method at a glance

- Indicates when methods are best employed to help prioritize appropriate design research strategies

Universal Methods of Design distills each method down to its most powerful essence, in a format that will help design teams select and implement the most credible research methods best suited to their design culture within the constraints of their projects.

Bruce Hanington is an associate professor, director of graduate studies, and former program chair of industrial design in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has dedicated his teaching and research to methods and practices for human centered design, with an emphasis on design ethnography, participatory design, and the meaning of form in context. He has consulted on design projects with GE Appliance and Johnson and Johnson, and his work has been published in Design Issues, The Design Journal, and Interactions, with chapters in Designing Inclusive Futures and Design and Emotion: The Experience of Everyday Things.

Bella Martin is a design practitioner and independent consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, where she brings her expertise for design research methods to companies who are new to user-centered design but eager to give their users a voice in the design process. She holds a Master of Design in Communication Planning and Information Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she first began her ongoing work in visualizing user-centered research methods.

Format: Hardback, 208 Pages
ISBN: 9781592537563
Illustrations: 250
Size: 8.75 in x 10.25 in x 0.75 in / 222.25 mm x 260.35 mm x 19.05 mm


01. A/B Testing


03. Affinity Diagramming

04. Artifact Analysis

05. Automated Remote Research

06. Behavioral Mapping

07. Bodystorming

08. Brainstorm Graphic Organizers

09. Business Origami

10. Card Sorting

11. Case Studies

12. Cognitive Mapping

13. Cognitive Walkthrough

14. Collage

15. Competitive Testing

16. Concept Mapping

17. Content Analysis

18. Content Inventory & Audit

19. Contextual Design

20. Contextual Inquiry

21. Creative Toolkits

22. Critical Incident Technique

23. Crowdsourcing

24. Cultural Probes

25. Customer Experience Audit

26. Design Charette

27. Design Ethnography

28. Design Workshops

29. Desirability Testing

30. Diary Studies

31. Directed Storytelling

32. Elito Method

33. Ergonomic Analysis

34. Evaluative Research

35. Evidence-based Design

36. Experience Prototyping

37. Experience Sampling Method

38. Experiments

39. Exploratory Research

40. Eyetracking

41. Flexible Modeling

42. Fly-on-the-Wall Observation

43. Focus Groups

44. Generative Research

45. Graffiti Walls

46. Heuristic Evaluation

47. Image Boards

48. Interviews

49. KJ Technique

50. Kano Analysis

51. Key Performance Indicators

52. Laddering

53. Literature Reviews

54. The Love Letter & the Breakup Letter

55. Mental Model Diagrams

56. Mind Mapping

57. Observation

58. Parallel Prototyping

59. Participant Observation

60. Participatory Action Research (PAR)

61. Participatory Design

62. Personal Inventories

63. Personas

64. Photo Studies

65. Picture Cards

66. Prototyping

67. Questionnaires

68. Rapid Iterative Testing & Evaluation (RITE)

69. Remote Moderated Research

70. Research Through Design

71. Role-playing

72. Scenario Description Swimlanes

73. Scenarios

74. Secondary Research

75. Semantic Differential

76. Shadowing

77. Simulation Exercises

78. Site Search Analytics

79. Speed Dating

80. Stakeholder Maps

81. Stakeholder Walkthrough

82. Storyboards

83. Surveys

84. Task Analysis

85. Territory Maps

86. Thematic Networks

87. Think-aloud Protocol

88. Time-aware Research

89. Touchstone Tours

90. Triading

91. Triangulation

92. Unobtrusive Measures

93. Usability Report

94. Usability Testing

95. User Journey Maps

96. Value Opportunity Analysis

97. Web Analytics

98. Weighted Matrix

99. Wizard of Oz

100. Word Clouds



March 7, 2012
Canegie Mellon University alum Bella Martin and associate professor Bruce Hanington put their heads together in a study of design methods and the result is Universal Methods of Design. Read More.