Different Types of IA/UX Research

  1. Protocol-generation techniques
    – include various types of interviews (unstructured, semi-structured and structured), reporting techniques (such as self-report and shadowing) and observational techniques
  2. Protocol analysis techniques
    – are used with transcripts of interviews or other text-based information to identify various types of knowledge, such as goals, decisions, relationships and attributes. This acts as a bridge between the use of protocol-based techniques and knowledge modelling techniques.
  3. Hierarchy-generation techniques
    – such as laddering are used to build taxonomies or other hierarchical structures such as goal trees and decision networks.
  4. Matrix-based techniques
    – involve the construction of grids indicating such things as problems encountered against possible solutions. Important types include the use of frames for representing the properties of concepts and the repertory grid technique used to elicit, rate, analyse and categorise the properties of concepts
  5. Sorting techniques
    – are used for capturing the way people compare and order concepts, and can lead to the revelation of knowledge about classes, properties and priorities.
  6. Limited-information and constrained-processing tasks
    – are techniques that either limit the time and/or information available to the expert when performing tasks. For instance, the twenty-questions technique provides an efficient way of accessing the key information in a domain in a prioritised order
  7. Diagram-based techniques
    – include the generation and use of concept maps, state transition networks, event diagrams and process maps. The use of these is particularly important in capturing the “what, how, when, who and why” of tasks and events.

Sean Bechhofer: Knowledge Elicitation (PDF)


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