Introduction to CSE and project management course
Impact Experience Design (IED)
The learning unit introduces the importance of experience design to achieve impactful solutions. As described in CSE competencies ¨Facilitating thinking outside the box¨ is precisely one of the biggest needs of our Century. Innovative solutions came from innovative ideas and to do so, fostering creativity and collaboration among transdisciplinary perspectives needs to be encouraged. The learning unit tends to embrace creative thinking and innovation to learn how to recognize the difficulties of CSE projects and provide innovative and efficient solutions by identifying the interrelationship between social entrepreneurship and the design thinking methodology.
Social Business Finance
This learning unit introduces learners to Social Finance and the social economy. The focus of this learning unit is to understand the opportunities of Social Entrepreneurship, Social Business, and Non-Profit-Organizations. Competition among different actors is high, and communication has changed through digital transformation. Marketing strategies have become key points in reaching target audiences and funds. Apart from focusing on the social business economy, the module aims for the students to develop their skills in Marketing. As defined in the CSE Personal & Professional Skills ¨Creating a vision based on anticipated futures¨ including strategy for achieving long-term resilience, the three elements highlighted embrace the initiative (vision) the application (strategy), and the stability (resilience). Furthermore, students will acquire knowledge about accounting concepts and principles of different types of financial statements through examples located in sustainable social business.
Introduction to CSE Project management
• Incorporate digital tools and best practices to improve the work dynamic of the Startup. • Internal plan, compiling a plan that includes risk, time, monitoring, and evaluation strategy
Business Ethics and Intercultural management
• Intercultural SWOT analysis • Intercultural plan management • Brand strategy and long-term objectives.
CSE and project management

The last stage of Design Thinking is the testing phase where prototypes and potential users are at the same place, interacting with the product. In this phase, the feedback gathered will refine your prototype or send it back to the initial phases. Why? Sometimes our ideas do not attract the attention of our stakeholders or do not have an increasing change in the lives of our potential users.

Despite being afraid that our prototype will not be ¨good enough¨ to accomplish diverse objectives, Design Thinking navigates the process of creation and re-creation. This means that is not a linear process where all the phases need to be completed one after another. For instance, some of the initial phases can already give you tips on what your prototype would look like.

A testing session should always include stakeholders and potential users for two main reasons: 1. Stakeholders and workmates should be on board, if the departments are not aligned with the project mission, the information obtained will not fulfill all the needs of the departments and consequently, will lead to a lack of interest or miscommunication. That´s why is important to engage stakeholders in the first stages of the project development.  2. Potential users that will test your prototype, and in fact, is important to show them and not tell them. When showing the prototype what we are pretending is to unlock those aspects that are unconscious or missing (remember the technique 5whys).

Tips to bear in mind while testing:

There are several things to pay attention at when you are testing your prototype. Firstly, get rid of unconscious bias, embrace an open mindset and don´t be afraid of the feedback you are about to obtain. Unconscious bias is the process where decisions are made based on what a person firmly believes whether are false beliefs or assumptions. Normally, this process comprehends ¨stereotyping¨ and categorizations about different realities. In Design Thinking, this process relates with the affection a prototype may awake after months of work, changing the prototype or ideating a new concept might not be acceptable at first based on the feedback gathered. Nevertheless, unlike other disciplines, Design Thinking is all about that, changing and challenging assumptions based on interpretations.

Watch the following video about Unconscious Bias at Work

Having said that, before we dive into the various types of evaluation that can be conducted in a testing session, a clear idea about why, when, how and who should be carried out. When testing an idea or a product, there are several things to considerer such as: who will test, how much time will be allocated to the testing session, when the session will take place and how the data will be analyzed. Even more important, is the consent provided to the user is to maintain the data acquired for further analysis. In a nutshell, a project plan which will contain the goals, methods and logistics necessary to conduct the testing phase.

A project plan should contain (Teo Yu Siang and Interaction Design Foundation):

  1. Objectives and purposes of the testing session: Write down in a few sentences the idea behind your user research project. Be concrete and concise.
  2. Method: Use the most proper method for your research purposes, considering the different resources you will use.
  3. Participants: Describe the demographics of who is going to participate in the study and how you will proceed with the selection of the participants.
  4. Data & Analysis: Specify what type of data and analysis you will collect and how you will document and use the results. Consider the equipment you will use (camera, video recording, field notes, etc).
  5. Location: The location should contain all the resources needed for conducting your testing sessions such as Wi-Fi, specific furniture, or a laptop. Also, consider where and when the testing will take place.
  6. Script: The script will contain a brief introduction of the purpose of the testing session, and an interview guide containing several questions you would like to ask the participants.
  7. Consent: Be sure of asking the participants the consent for your testing session if you are planning to record videos or document the interview. You can use a written consent form and ask for the signature once read it or use verbal consent. It is important to apply ethical standards and assure that the information obtained will be kept for analysis reasons, ensuring safe use of the information.
  8. Communication: Plan how you will go ahead with the key findings of your research and how you will communicate with your stakeholders or team workers. Considerer to allocate time enough to write a report or a summary of the findings.
  9. Time planning: The time planning should contain the time you will need to contact and select participants, the time needed for conducting the testing session, and how much time you will need to process the data obtained. Moreover, it should be addressed when you will communicate your key finding with your stakeholders or team workers.

Different evaluation techniques for testing (Rubin & Chisnell, 2011)

The techniques addressed are qualitative research techniques rather than quantitative. However, an effective use of mix techniques might better to complement your testing session.

Watch the following video to explore the main differences between them.

In the next table, we have stressed several evaluation techniques while testing. However, this is not a definitive list of methods by any means, and it needs to be considered that choice of one of another depends on the project objectives. The table aims to recompile different techniques for testing, moreover it should be taken as guidelines to orientate the testing session rather than a definitive list of techniques.

Technique Definition When to use it (recommended) Users involved
Ethnographic research It involves observing users in the place where they would normally use the product (e,g work, home, coffee bar,) to gather data about who your target users are, and the context in which thy work. Product development lifecycle (early, development and follow-up stages) Single user or group of users
Participatory Design It includes one or two representative users on the design team itself. This approach takes the end-user into the heart of the design process. Product development lifecycle (early, development and follow-up stages) Single users or group of users
Focus group research Involves more than one participant, exploring people´s judgement and feelings in depth. Development stage Group of users
Surveys A quantitative technique used to understand the preferences of a broad base of users about the existing or potential prototype. Development stage and follow-up stages Multiple users
Walk-throughs Walk-throughs are used to explore the user´s routes through an early concept or prototype of the idea designed. It involves experts to obtain feedback of the issues that may arise. Product development lifecycle (early, development and follow-up stages) Experts
Card-sorting Typically used in technology products solutions. Participants are asked to give input about content organization, labeling the user-interface. Development stage Multiple users
Paper prototyping As we have seen, paper prototyping embedded the idea design in paper. Users are asked to evaluate whether the content organization planned is aligned with how the user thinks and talks about your idea. Development stage Multiple users
Heuristic evaluations Evaluations that involve experts on the subject to review the idea designed. Development stage and follow-up stage Experts[1]

For further exploration about the different techniques, consult the following lectures:

A 5-Step Process for Conducting User Research

 Design Thinking Phase 5 – How to Test Effectively

Task 6. Write a project identifying the following steps

  1. Objectives and purposes of the testing session: Remember to be concrete and concise.
  2. Method: Choose a method or methods to carry out your research.
  3. Participants: Describe the participants.
  4. Data & Analysis: Recompile the data and the analysis collected.
  5. Location: Establish the location.
  6. Script: Write down the questions for your script.
  7. Consent: Select what type of consent you will use.
  8. Communication: Write a brief communication report.
  9. Time planning: Set up the time for each of the tasks described.

[1] The information has been extracted from:

  1. Jeffrey Rubin & Dana Chisnell (2011) Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. John Wiley & Sons.
  2. Schmidt, M., Tawfik, A. A., Jahnke, I., & Earnshaw, Y. (2020). Learner and User Experience Research: An Introduction for the Field of Learning Design & Technology. EdTech Books.
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