Effect of User Information on Conceptual Design Thinking: A Linkographic Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 UX Lab, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India.

2 UX Lab, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India


User focussed design methodologies like user-centered design advocate the need for understanding users before creating design solutions. Designers employ various user research methods to understand users’ problems, needs, motivations, behaviours etc. User information is collected and presented to designers at early stages of the design process. However, understanding users in only half of the work, designers need to ideate and come out with novel solutions to the problem in hand. This research aims to understand how user information presented in the form of a persona affects the design thinking process of a designer. A study was carried out with 17 industrial design students in which they were asked to solve a design problem with and without user persona. The participants were asked to think aloud while sketching conceptual design solutions for the problem. Verbal protocols from think aloud sessions were used to create linkographs. A total of 34 linkographs were constructed. Linkographs were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed to observe differences in design thinking process while working with and without user persona.


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