Conducting Research with Vulnerable Communities

Conducting design research in the public and social sectors presents a set of challenges that researchers and designers need to be cognizant of, and that are not always present in commercial work.

This talk covers specific approaches and methods to employ when working with vulnerable populations, starting with a definition of vulnerability and discussing how to ensure that researchers and designers do no harm and remain respectful, fair, and culturally appropriate, specifically when:

– Planning for design research, including choosing the right research methods for the participants and topic at hand;
– Recruiting and compensating research participants;
– Obtaining informed consent and ensuring research participants are aware of their rights and potential risks for participating in the research;
– Managing participant data by ensuring their identifiable information is not traceable and doesn’t put them at risk.

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