Impact of user involvement on design students’ motivation and self-confidence

Abstract

Involvement of users in the design process is generally viewed favourably, both within academia and industry. Their involvement can be seen as a strategy for designers to clarify their design task and reduce uncertainties in the design process. Simultaneously, there is a lack of understanding about the impact that user involvement has on students and how they experience doing so. This paper reports on a study where students were asked to self-report their motivation and self-confidence throughout a design exercise, stretching 11 days, with surveys repeating daily. Additionally, students were asked to indicate which—if any—strategies of user involvement they used every day. We find that students self-reported motivation did not change statistically significantly, while self-confidence did change. However, in neither case did student’s involvement of end-users impact how motivated or self-confident they were. We discuss our results in relation to existing research on method use in general and user involvement in particular and conclude with some suggestions for future work.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the participating students for taking the time to complete the daily surveys. We would also like to thank Wouter Durnez for the assistance in statistical modelling.

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Correspondence to Peter D. Conradie.

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Appendix: Scales and measures

Appendix: Scales and measures

All items were 7-point Likert scales: Strongly agree (1), Agree (2), Somewhat agree (3), Neither agree nor disagree (4) Somewhat disagree (5), Disagree (6), Strongly disagree (7).

Survey A (performed at the start of the study)

Interestc = 0.87), scores reversed.

The topic of the design brief triggers my interest.

The design challenge posed in the design brief is interesting to me.

I find the design brief inspiring.

Survey B (repeated six times)

Self-confidencec = 0.63, αc = 0.66 with reversed item removed).

I feel confident that I will be able to solve the design problem. (Reversed) (Removed).

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the assignment.

I doubt myself a lot when working on the assignment.

Motivationc = 0.79), scores reversed.

I feel highly motivated to do this assignment.

I want to do well in this assignment.

I am working enthusiastically on this assignment.

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Conradie, P.D., Van Acker, B.B., De Vos, E. et al. Impact of user involvement on design students’ motivation and self-confidence. Int J Technol Des Educ 31, 183–197 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-019-09531-7

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Keywords

  • User involvement
  • Design education
  • Design methods