Behavioural data refers to data that represents the behaviour of individuals and groups of individuals. Such information is commonly used in the retail and web industry to analyse consumer behaviours and optimise businesses. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) captures behavioural data in the physical world. This data maps the dynamic behaviour of humans and objects in time and space. The term dynamic refers to asynchronous updates over time. In contrast, human data traditionally used in Design focuses on static information such as ergonomic or demographic data and qualitative data. Thus, the dynamic characteristic of behavioural data makes it novel in Design.
On the one hand, the foundation of Human-Centred Design lies in democratic processes and a strong focus on user needs. However, digitalisation makes data a central part of this process. Consequently, it creates ethical concerns, value tensions and frictions between the design solution and the use of data. On the other hand, designers cannot ignore the power of behavioural data to inform, drive and evaluate their Design. But doing so ethically and meaningfully requires close collaboration with (potential) users. As experts of their data, users provide critical insights on the problems and solutions at hand.
Behavioural data creates an abundance of perspectives. Thus, it has much more to offer to Participatory Design than data science. At the Data-Centric Design Lab, we develop methods and tools that support designers to use behavioural data as a catalyser of collaboration and ethical practices to address societal challenges.
While data invades every domain, its place in Design remains a technology push. Data-Driven Design is a direct application of data science and analytics to design. However, only limited methods, mainly under the umbrella of Data-Enabled Design, have reached the core of Human-Centred Design.
At the Data-Centric Design Lab, we look at the untapped opportunities to strengthen HCD processes with ethical and collaborative data activities. How can the HCD community leverage behavioural data to enhance design processes? We formulate six challenges as the ‘verbs’ of Participatory Design with Data.
These verbs are the compass for all education and research conducted in the lab.
Delft Design Labs
Faculty of Industrial Design
2628 CE Delft