Cultural Probes

Cultural probes are a very interesting form of design research. Unlike direct observation techniques such as usability-testing or traditional field studies, it allows participants to self-report. The probes are usually aimed at finding out more about people, their emotions and behaviors regarding a certain theme or subject. They are most appropriate when the researchers needs to gather information from participants with minimal influence on their actions.

Cultural probe kits are a package of selected material that request the participants to fulfill certain tasks. These material usual include disposable cameras, diaries, postcards, maps, stickers, and sometimes voice recorders.

The requests usually revolve around the subject being researched and when completed, are handed back to the researcher for analysis. This method was first introduced by three designers Gaver, Dunne, and Pacenti in 1999.


2 thoughts on “Cultural Probes

  1. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Many thanks!

    • Doreen Toutikian says:

      Hello, thanks for enjoying our posts, we’ve just started and theres more to come. Soon you will find a page dedicated to more online sources of the same nature. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply to Doreen Toutikian Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s