The 100 Items Checklist: Universal Methods of Design
Date: Dec 19, 2020
I've enjoyed reading this book and thought of using it as reference from time to time. The content has simple format: term, description, images that demonstrate the term, and references. However, I want to refer to it in form of checklist so I can keep track of which methods I have tried and which are not. Thus, I put together this checklist.
- You can duplicate this note and use the checklist for your own reference, if you want to. - Items are purposedly put in one page so that you can easily find terms or keywords using ctrl+f (or cmd+f in macOS).
The checklist includes brief description of each term and omits all images from the book. This way, the checklist can stay lean and easily accessible as quick reference. If you want to read the full content, you can get the book from amazon:
Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78
Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78

đź“ť The 100 Items Checklist:

001. A/B Testing
Comparing two versions of a design to see which performs better against a predetermined goal.
002. AEIOU
A framework for structuring field observations. This can be used to guide any ethnographic or observational method.
003. Affinity Diagramming
The visible clustering of observations and insights into meaningful categories and relationships.
004. Artifact Analysis
A systematic examination of the material, aesthetic, and interactive qualities of objects. It asks what objects say about people and their culture, time, and place rather than focusing on what people say about the products and systems they use.
005. Automated Remote Research
Using web-based tools to reveal statistically relevant data for usability enhancements. It enables design teams to leverage web-based tools to collect statistically significant information about what people are doing on your website or web application.
006. Behavioral Mapping
Systematic visual documentation of location-based human activity. This is used to document observable human activities and personal characteristics, interactions, time spent at fixed locations or in transit, and details of environmental context.
007. Bodystorming
Brainstorming and spontaneous prototyping through dynamic physical experience and role-play.
008. Brainstorm Graphic Organizers
Visual structures of new ideas and concepts. Brainstorming creates a judgment-free zone to express creative ideas and explore new concepts.
009. Business Origami
Paper-prototyping interactions and value exchanges among people, artifacts, and environments. Business origami is a service design activity where stakeholders build a physical representation of a system and then prototype future or alternative states.
010. Card Sorting
Participant sorting of concepts, terms, or features into meaningful categories and relationships using printed cards. This can be used to explore how participants group items into categories and relate concepts to one another, whether for digital interface design or a table of contents.
011. Case Studies
In-depth investigation of single instances to gain detailed knowledge using multiple sources. This is useful for understanding existing phenomena for comparison or inspiration and to study the effects of change, new programs, or innovations.
012. Cognitive Mapping
A visualization technique that reveals how people process and make sense of their experience. Cognitive maps are most effective when used to structure complex problems.
013. Cognitive Walkthrough
Evaluating whether the order of prompts in a system reflects the way people cognitively process tasks. It's a kind of usability inspection method that evaluates a system’s anticipated ease-of-use without instruction, coaching, or training.
014. Collage
The visual expression of thoughts, feelings, desires, and other aspects of life using images and words. It can help mitigate the limitations of traditional verbal means in gathering innermost thoughts.
015. Competitive Testing
Research to evaluate the usability and learnability of your competitors’ products. This complements traditional marketing strategies and business audits by considering the social, economic, and technical context.
016. Concept Mapping
A visual framework connecting a large number of ideas, objects, and events as they relate to a certain domain. This provides scaffolding that can help visualize the complexities of a system to make new meaning.
017. Content Analysis
The systematic description of form and content of written, spoken, or visual materials expressed in themes, patterns, and counts. Content analysis provides an established and systematic technique for dealing with qualitative data.
018. Content Inventory & Audit
A content inventory tells you what your content is; an audit recommends what it should be. Everything a customer can read, watch, interact with, or listen to can be considered content.
019. Contextual Design
A customer-centered process that makes designer workflow concrete, explicit, and sharable. For example, designers can intuitively understand the leap from customer-centered data to a sound design direction, but to non-designers this process can seem “fuzzy” or “magic.”
020. Contextual Inquiry
An immersive, contextual way to observe and interview that reveals underlying work structure. Four principles define the contextual inquiry method: context, partnership, interpretation, focus.
021. Creative Toolkits
Collections of physical elements organized for participatory modeling, visualization, or creative play. Facilitated participatory exercises can provide people with a tangible artifact on which to project thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions.
022. Critical Incident Technique
Understanding how users experience your product at critical moments to optimize future designs. Ask individuals to describe a situation with your product or service: the incident cause, user actions, user sentiment, incident outcome, ideal outome.
023. Crowdsourcing
Voluntary completion of tasks or micro-projects by an undefined, large group of people. This brings together users and testers to evaluate prototypes and submit potential solutions to problems.
024. Cultural Probes
Provocative instruments to inspire new forms of self-understanding and communication. Use materials such as postcards, journals, cameras, text, and imagery to gather personal insights from participants.
025. Customer Experience Audit
Capturing the day-to-day context in which people engage with your product or service. This captures what customers do, think, and use as they set out to achieve a goal that involves your product or service.
026. Design Charette
A workshop-style technique providing sequential rounds of collaboration and cross-pollination of design ideas. Designers and non-designers—including project stakeholders, engineers, and users—can participate.
027. Design Ethnography
Deep immersive experience and understanding of a user’s world for design empathy and insight. This is characterized by descriptive accounts of people in their natural settings, typically using qualitative methods. It focused on a highly contextual, comprehensive, and empathic understanding of users).
028. Design Workshops
Creative work sessions with participants organized around codesign methods. The goal is to gain the creative trust and input of stakeholders and secure buy-in from team members and clients.
029. Desirability Testing
Gauging first-impression emotional responses to product and service designs. This explores the affective response that different designs elicit from people based on first impressions.
030. Diary Studies
Guiding journals for convenient expression of personal details about daily life and events. They are ideal for collecting thoughts, feelings, or behaviors from participants at key moments across time.
031. Directed Storytelling
Gathering rich stories of lived experiences using narrative conversational prompts. This is rooted in narrative inquiry, whereby researchers understand people and document their experiences from personal stories.
032. Elito Method
A method used to ground design arguments in research observations and business directives. This is a rigorous synthesis method designed to help teams bridge the “analysis-synthesis” gap between research and design ideas in a business context. The goal is to create "logic line" design arguments: observation, judgment, value, concept/sketch, key metaphor.
033. Ergonomic Analysis
An assessment of tools, devices, or environments to optimize fit, safety, and comfort. Performed to suggest redesign improvements or establish ergonomic criteria for new design. There are five commonly used interrelated criteria: size, strength, reach, clearance, posture.
034. Evaluative Research
Testing of prototypes, products, or interfaces by users of a system in design development. It gauges human expectations against a designed artifact, determining whether something is useful, usable, and desirable.
035. Evidence-Based Design
Effective design decisions based on credible research and assessed outcomes. Evidence-Based Design (EBD) and Evidence-Based Research connect evidence and application, or the applied use of known theories validated by research.
036. Experience Prototyping
Active participation in design through subjective engagement with a prototype system or service, product, or place. Similar to role-playing and bodystorming, low-fidelity prototypes or props are used to help create a realistic scenario of use and activate felt experiences.
037. Experience Sampling Method
Behaviors, interactions, thoughts, or feelings self-reported in real time when signaled. Experience sampling requires participants to document something specific when signaled by a device alarm.
038. Experiments
Measuring the effect that an action has on a situation, demonstrating a causal relationship. Cause and effect criteria are met by the cause occurring before the effect of two observable and measurable actions or events and elimination of all other possible causes.
039. Exploratory Research
User and product studies intended to forge an empathic knowledge base. It can be conducted in the early stages of the design process and set by the planning, scoping, and definition phase.
040. Eyetracking
Technical information documenting where and f or how long people are looking when using an interface or interacting with products. The resulting data can be used to generate heat maps, aggregating data from several participants for a visual analysis of scan patterns and distributed attention.
041. Flexible Modeling
Product or interface configurations generated by users from a component kit of parts. In industrial design, Velcro modelling presents physical product forms and features sets such as buttons and controls covered in fabric and fasteners for quick configurations.
042. Fly-on-the-Wall Observation
Unobtrusive observation of people or behaviours, without direct participation or interference. This method attempts to minimize potential bias or behavioural influences that might result from engagement with users.
043. Focus Groups
Gauging opinions, feelings, and attitudes about a product, service, marketing campaign, or brand. The dynamic created by a small group of carefully recruited people, when guided by a skilled moderator, can provide insight into themes, patterns, and trends.
044. Generative Research
Engaging users in creative activities to provide rich information for concept development. Participatory methods include codesign activities as a collaborative process between user and designer.
045. Graffiti Walls
An open canvas inviting comments about an environment or system in the context of use. Large-format paper is temporarily adhered to a wall, with markers readily available for posting open-ended comments.
046. Heuristic Evaluation
An agreed-upon set of usability best practices used to evaluate an interface. It's a kind of usability inspection method that asks evaluators to assess an interface against a set of agreed-upon best practices or usability “rules of thumb.”
047. Image Boards
A collage of pictures, illustrations, or brand imagery to visually communicate aspects of design intent. They are used to visually convey an essential description of design aesthetics, style, audience, or context.
048. Interviews
Conversation to collect first-hand accounts of experience, opinions, attitudes, and perceptions. They are best conducted in person to include nuances of personal expression and body language, but may also be conducted by phone or social media.
049. KJ Technique
A silent sort method to help teams work through a problem space and prioritize focus. The KJ Technique is a consensus-building exercise that helps teams externalize a complicated range of ideas and information.
050. Kano Analysis
Helps determine and prioritize which product attributes are most important to the customer. By assigning each product attribute to one of five categories, customer values regarding satisfaction can be revealed. The five categories are: required, desired, exciter/delighter, neutral, anti-feature.
051. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Measurements of how well you are doing against quantifiable, widely accepted business goals. KPIs measure where you were yesterday and where you are today, in relationship to where you are trying to go in terms of some predefined business objective.
052. Laddering
An interviewing technique that reveals connections between a product’s characteristics and personal values. It builds on Means–End Theory, which posits that people make purchasing decisions based on consequences afforded by using the product.
053. Literature Reviews
The written collection and synthesis of research on a given topic. These are intended to distill information from published sources, capturing the essence of previous research or projects to inform the current project.
054. The Love Letter & the Breakup Letter
Writing to express sentiments to a personified product or service. The Love Letter conveys what people feel during moments of connection with a product, including delight, infatuation, and loyalty.
055. Mental Model Diagrams
A framework aligning task behaviours, beliefs, and emotions with product and service features. It can help articulate root causes behind behaviours and develop solutions that deeply resonate with people.
056. Mind Mapping
A visual thinking tool to organize and understand the complexities of a problem space.
057. Observation
Attentive looking and systematic recording of people, artifacts, environments, events, behaviors, and interactions. Semi-structured observation typically describes ethnographic methods in the exploratory phase of design.
058. Parallel Prototyping
Simultaneously exploring multiple design ideas before selecting one approach. This can help teams from fixating on a design direction too early, improve the nature of design critiques, and lead to more effective design results.
059. Participant Observation
Immersive membership in an activity, context, culture, or subculture. A participant observation (PO) researcher forms deep connections and empathy by experiencing events in the same way as the people they are studying.
060. Participatory Action Research (PAR)
A cyclical, collaborative process that seeks to intentionally change members of the inquiry. The mission is to change the community, or policies under study, differentiated from objective methods that seek only to describe, understand, and explain.
061. Participatory Design
A human-centered approach advocating codesign engagement with users and stakeholders. Participatory design has its roots in Scandinavia in the 1970s, where computer professionals worked with unions to integrate new technology into the workplace.
062. Personal Inventories
Representative collections of artifacts selected by the participant for the designer-researcher. This allows the designer to see and understand the relevance of objects in a user’s life in order to inspire design themes and insight.
063. Personas
Representative human profiles based on archetypal descriptions of users from research. Crafted from information collected from real users through sound field research and captures common behaviors in meaningful and relatable profiles.
064. Photo Studies
Self-documentation of a participant’s life and interactions. Common in exploratory research as a method for understanding the world of users, particularly when engaging in territory unfamiliar to the designer.
065. Picture Cards
Cards with images and words help people think about and share true experiences. Picture cards stem from activity theory, which asserts, “the human mind is the product of our interaction with people and artifacts in the context of everyday activity.”
066. Prototyping
The tangible creation of artifacts, at various levels of resolution, for development and testing of ideas. Low-fidelity prototyping is common throughout early ideation processes in all design disciplines, appearing as concept sketches, storyboards, or sketch models. On the other hand, high-fidelity prototypes represent the appearance of the final product in look and feel and basic functionality, through interactive computer or physical models.
067. Questionnaires
Self-reported information about thoughts, feelings, perceptions, behaviors, or attitudes. One of the primary tools used to collect survey information, the other being interviews. To maintain question neutrality while also gaining an indication of strength of response, Likert scale questions are highly recommended.
068. Rapid Iterative Testing & Evaluation (RITE)
A powerful formative usability inspection method that identifies early interface problems. This is rigorous method used to evaluate and identify interface problems, quickly fix them, and then empirically verify the efficacy of the fixes.
069. Remote Moderated Research
Remotely observing users completing tasks on their own devices in context. A participant completes tasks while thinking out loud while software allows a remote researcher and observers to review behaviours and ask questions.
070. Research Through Design
Utilizing the design process as a reflective research activity to enhance design practices. This examines the tools and processes of design thinking and making within the design project, bridging theory and building knowledge.
071. Role-Playing
Acting the role of the user in realistic scenarios to present empathic design opportunities. Role-playing is usually guided by describing a general situation or suggestions for actions to be performed, tasks to be accomplished, or goals to be reached. Role-playing is useful when direct observation is not feasible or ethical: for example, for personally sensitive situations or where access to the users is restricted.
072. Scenario Description Swimlanes
A holistic visualization of the activities of multiple actors in a flow of events. It can benefit any project where several processes or actors have to come together to shape the outcome of the same flow of events. Some examples of swimlanes: storyboard lane, user experience lane, business process lane, tools and system lane.
073. Scenarios
A narrative exploring the future use of a product from a user’s point of view. A scenario is a believable narrative, usually set in the future, of a person’s experience as he or she engages with a product or a service.
074. Secondary Research
Information collected and synthesized from existing data and sources. Secondary research establishes what has been done and what hasn’t, identifying opportunity gaps to help suggest a research direction and methods.
075. Semantic Differential
A linguistic tool designed to measure people’s attitudes toward a topic, event, object, or activity. The semantic differential asks respondents to indicate where on a continuum of antonyms a concept is best described (e.g., pleasant—unpleasant).
076. Shadowing
An observational method tracking someone closely through his or her daily routines. Provides key insight into a participant’s activities and decision patterns, collecting insights through the detailed nuance of firsthand, real-time exposure.
077. Simulation Exercises
Deep approximations of human or environmental conditions. Effective simulations forge a tangible, immersive sense of real-life user experience to influence design sensitivity and decisions. Low-tech simulations can utilize wheelchairs, manipulated glasses lenses, or blindfolds to empathically experience restricted mobility or visual impairment.
078. Site Search Analytics
Reporting and analyzing user queries submitted as search criteria on a site. Analyzing words and phrases entered into a search provides insight into what people are looking for in order to evaluate how well content meets those needs.
079. Speed Dating
The rapid review of multiple design concepts by multiple users in quick succession. It exposes people to design ideas via storyboards and simulated environments before expensive technical prototypes are built.
080. Stakeholder Maps
A visual representation of key constituents of a design project. Stakeholder maps provide a visual reference point for the design team, setting the stage for user-centered research and design development. Stakeholders can be identified by general roles (e.g., nurses), specific roles (e.g., chief of surgery), or by actual people (e.g., Linda, resident physician).
081. Stakeholder Walkthrough
Early prototype evaluations by a team of end users, stakeholders, and designers. This brings multiple stakeholders together to step through and evaluate a task-based scenario from the end user’s perspective. Recurring attendance in stakeholder walkthroughs will sharpen the team’s empathic response to their end user’s frustrations, challenges, and perspectives.
082. Storyboards
A visual narrative that generates empathy and communicates the context for proposed design solutions.
083. Surveys
Collection of self-reported information about thoughts, feelings, perceptions, behaviours, or attitudes. This is an efficient tool for collecting a lot of versatile data in a short time frame, with results that can be analyzed statistically. Questions should avoid leading to an answer or blaming the participant as wrong or at fault.
084. Task Analysis
Workflow analysis, including user actions, system response, and environmental context. Task encompasses any physical actions and mental processes as activities used to achieve goals and any information flows within the system environment.
085. Territory Maps
A visual representation of shared content focus to set research and design activities. The simplicity of the diagram is deceptively powerful, representing individual perspectives in a consensus artifact to foster design focus.
086. Thematic Networks
A step-by-step process to identify, organize, and connect common themes in qualitative data. It systematically breaks down texts into patterns, themes, and relationships helps to synthesize qualitative information into actionable design insight.
087. Think-Aloud Protocol
Participants verbalize what they are doing and thinking as they complete a task. This is among the most common evaluative methods in the usability community, revealing aspects of an interface that delight, confuse, or frustrate.
088. Time-Aware Research
A moderated, remote testing method engaging a real person in real time, just as he or she is about to complete a task. In contrast to traditional usability testing where tasks are preselected by researchers, time-aware research happens “just in time” to observe a task of interest.
089. Touchstone Tours
Using artifacts and the environment as touchstones for insightful conversation. This guided tour is a contextual, empathic method to understand how people organize information and systems using space and cognitive artifacts.
090. Triading
An interviewing technique whereby participants compare sets of three brands, products, or services. Triading is a powerful interviewing technique that helps to understand how products and services fit into people’s existing personal constructs of the world. Example of what triading asks: “How do two of these examples differ from the third?”
091. Triangulation
The convergence of multiple methods on the same research question to corroborate evidence from several different angles. It ensures accuracy of information by combining sources and mitigating the weaknesses of any single method or source.
092. Unobtrusive Measures
Physical evidence, archival records, and nonintrusive observations used for design insight. This method is used to acquire information without direct participant contact. Examples of physical trace erosion measures include wear patterns in floors or grass indicating preferred pedestrian traffic.
093. Usability Report
Empirical evidence outlining which parts of a user interface should be fixed or improved. It helps teams decide whether a product is usable enough to release or needs revision and further testing based.
094. Usability Testing
An evaluative method to observe a user’s task-based experience with a digital applications. Identifies frustrating and confusing parts of an interface so that they can be fixed and retested prior to launch.
095. User Journey Maps
A visualization of human interactions with a multi-channel product or service. The journey map tells a visual story about an individual’s actions, feelings, perceptions, and mindset as they interact with a product or service.
096. Value Opportunity Analysis (VOA)
Mapping the extent to which a product or service’s aspirational qualities connect to an audience. A VOA provides an opportunity for a team to work together from a place of deep empathy, grounded firmly in research for what the user values and desires. There are seven value opportunities: emotion, aesthetics, identity, impact, ergonomics, core technology, quality.
097. Web Analytics
The collection and analysis of Internet data to understand and optimize web usage. This process provides a gateway for your organization to become invested in what your customers are doing online and why.
098. Weighted Matrix
Identify and prioritize the most promising opportunities from multiple design concepts. It creates a forum for conversation and shared decision-making and can help overcome the common biases on multidisciplinary teams.
099. Wizard of Oz
Simulated control and response by a researcher behind the scenes, while a participant engages with a system. Participants are led to believe they are interacting with a working prototype, but in reality, a researcher is acting as a proxy from behind the scenes.
100. Word Clouds
Information visualization that organizes text-based content into interesting arrangements. For example, text collages that show the most frequently used words in just about any text-based document.
You've read it this far, fantastic!
Anyway, thanks for checking out the checklist. Again, to support the author, consider buying the book or pay it forward by gifting it to others.
Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78
Get the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0785R9K78
Hope it helps. Till next!
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