Research Methods



Co-Design approaches emphasise the cooperation among designers, future users, and other relevant stakeholders in the design process to create new products and services that address the needs and wishes of all stakeholders who will be affected by the new design. For this, co-design tools and techniques focus on helping involved stakeholders to express their needs and visions, and in doing so, to share their expertise with other stakeholders.

Scenario Based Product Design 

Designing products relevant for the needs of users and their use situations involve a large amount of information that may often conflict with each other. Such information is traditionally presented in the form of design requirements or design specifications within and across design teams. However, dealing with a large number of possibly contradicting requirements is a challenging task. To address this challenge, scenarios provide a low-cost, easy, and accessible communication tool.

Scenarios are stories of people using a product in a certain context that can be used to explain design decisions, pinpoint where design problems may arise, and elaborate potential solutions. These stories can be represented through several media such as narratives, storyboards, movies and virtual reality. The methodology that uses scenarios to guide the development of user-relevant products and services is called "scenario based product design" or shortly SBPD. Read more about how we incorporate Scenario Based Product Design in our educational activities (here, link to the Scenario Based Product Design module).

Dilemma-Driven Design

Daily life is saturated with personal dilemmas. Do I really want that extra piece of pie even though I am trying to maintain a slim waistline? Should I really pursue that job offer at the expense of spending less time with my family? We experience a dilemma when we are faced with two choices, both of which up on upon our personal concerns, but at the same time, we cannot simultaneously have or do both options. Because of this, we experience both positive and negative emotions toward each choice.

Dilemma-driven design is a design approach supported by a collection of methods and tools that guide design students and practitioners in recognizing and capturing dilemmas in contextual research, and generating ideas for products and services to address these dilemmas in multiple different ways. This collection of methods and tools complement conceptual design activities at the so-called fuzzy front end of design processes. In this phase, dilemma-driven design helps generate genuine empathy for people’s deeply-held aspirations and values, and it stimulates innovation through using the creative potential of conflict as a central concept. Dilemma-driven design has so far been implemented in numerous international workshops, master-level graduation projects and large-scale innovation projects. D. Ozkaramanli continues to research and expand dilemma-driven design as an assistant professor at the University of Twente. For more information on dilemma-driven design, visit

Collaborative prototyping