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Communicating actionable user research for human-centered design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 April 2013

Celeste Roschuni*
Berkeley Institute of Design & Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
Elizabeth Goodman
School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
Alice M. Agogino
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
Reprint requests to: Celeste Roschuni, 1865 Euclid Ave No. 27, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA. E-mail:


In human-centered design, user research drives design decisions by providing an understanding of end users. In practice, different people, teams, or even companies manage each step of the design process, making communication of user research results a critical activity. Based on an empirical study of current methods used by experts, this paper presents strategies for effectively communicating user research findings across organizational or corporate boundaries. To build researcher–client relationships, understand both user and client needs, and overcome institutional inertia, this paper proposes viewing user research clients as users of user research outcomes. This reframing of the crafting of communication across boundaries as a parallel internal human-centered design process we refer to as a double ethnography.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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