Method stories

This workshop aims to further explore how the concept of method stories (for an introduction see background information) could be employed within the domain of involving people with impairments in HCI research. The CoDesign paper proposing this use of method stories suggests six key points of attention for writing method stories (see below). These six key points will form the starting point for further exploring the concept of methods stories in this workshop.

Striving for openness and freedom of format, the key points are not intended to provide a fixed structure, or recipe for method stories. Rather, the key points are provided as an aid for reflection. Questions that will be central in the workshop include: What formats are suitable for method stories? What content should be dealt with in the method stories? What level of detail is required? How could creators of method stories make sure that their stories are actionable for their readers/listeners/viewers?


Six key points for method stories

  1. Positioning the impairment What is the project’s view on the participants’ impairment? How was the impairment addressed in the interactions during the codesign process? How were the participants involved in the configuration of the codesign process?
  2. Aiming for equivalence How were equal contributions and collaboration supported? How were codesign activities designed to create a shared language? To what extent did all participants have a meaningful, valuable experience?
  3. Balancing of viewpoints How were the different viewpoints of the participants (e.g. people with impairments and their caregivers or proxies) involved dealt with? How did the limited knowledge of the impairment on behalf of the researchers affect this process?
  4. Dealing with ethical challenges What practical and legal challenges were encountered and how were they dealt with? Which (unanticipated) ethical issues emerged? What was the impact of participation on both participants and researchers?
  5. Adjustment of codesign techniques What characteristics of the project and of the participants were taken into account in making adjustments? Which adjustments worked well and which failed (and why)? What level of flexibility regarding approach and material was required (e.g. regarding changes were made on the spot)?
  6. Data collection, analysis and interpretation What data were collected and how? How did data differ from data researchers and designers usually work with? What challenges were encountered regarding analysis and interpretation and how were these dealt with?


Examples of method stories

For some additional inspiration, we provide two examples of method stories:

  • One is a blog that was kept by two researchers during the first analysis phase of a participatory design project with children with hearing impairments. The purpose of this blog was to inform the design team. This is not necessarily a great example of a method story, as the research methods used are not discussed explicitly. Also, photos and other identifying information has been removed, so it may come across as a rather dull document. We do, however, feel that a blog might be a nice tool for creating a method story and sharing research considerations.
  • The other example is an interview with two researchers, focusing on the methodological approach of their work with children with reading problems.