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The utility of role-playing methods in design

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(Project) M.A.Sc.
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Role-playing methods have been widely used as tools to assist design ideation in research literature. However, there has been little research done to assess their utility and compare them to more traditional ideation methods such as brainstorming. This research aims to evaluate the utility of role-playing methods by comparing the outcome scenarios of four role-playing ideation sessions with users to the outcome scenarios of two brainstorming sessions with users. The findings show that role-playing sessions create more scenarios than traditional brainstorming sessions within an equal amount of time. Also, scenarios from role-playing sessions are generally superior in the amount of details they provide designers in terms of actor’s actions, settings, events, evaluations and plans. The research findings confirm the utility of role-playing methods as effective tools for design ideation with users. Additionally, the research points to methodological aspects that can potentially improve the results from the conducting of role-playing sessions.
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