Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Member

Dr. Tharon Howard, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Joel Greenstein

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Siemens

Committee Member

Dr. Sean Williams

Abstract

As the field of user experience research grows, it is logical for its selection of methods to grow as well. This dissertation seeks to shed light on a research method traditionally used in other fields (namely, philosophy and more recently, marketing and consumer behavior) and how that method can be adapted and applied to user experience research. The goal is to investigate the method of existential phenomenology and the use of phenomenological interviews in order to determine if it is an appropriate research method for the constructivist approach to user experience. This dissertation begins by familiarizing the reader with three main areas of study that were employed to inform the research: usability and user experience, brand communities, and identity and the act of identification. Next, the method of existential phenomenology is addressed and the exact research process performed for the project is explained. Results from the interviews and their initial analysis via multiple coding strategies are described. Finally, analysis and application of the results are presented in an effort to demonstrate how designers can employ existential phenomenology and phenomenological interviews to inform interface design. Based on the findings of the project, this adapted method can be considered a"constructivist" approach to user experience research and it does provide actionable results that can be employed by designers to inform interpellative interfaces.

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