Applying Human-Centred Design Tools in Social Work Research: A Desire-Centred Approach

Publication Year: 2024
Contributing Organisation: RMIT University
Authors: Rachel Goff, Kerryn Bagley, and Christina Sadowski
Learning Themes: Global Health

This article describes an exploration of the application of human centred design (HCD) tools in social work research. Drawing on Tuck’s [2009. Suspending damage: A letter to communities. Harvard Educational Review, 79(3), 409–428] definition of “desirecentered” research (DCR), we describe the development of a set of HCD research tools based on DCR principles in a community support setting, focused on participants with experience of marginalisation and vulnerability. We present the design tools including “Show and Tell”, a “Card Sort”, a mapping tool called “The Circle of Support”, Aspiration Trees and a Generative Toolkit activity using craft materials, and demonstrate how the application of these design tools enabled participant-led recommendations regarding their support experiences and needs to be foregrounded in research. We conclude that desire-centred
research and human-centred design tools may provide beneficial methodological pathways to account for the complexity of human experience of individuals experiencing marginalisation and vulnerability

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