User Forum

Published on February 26, 2019 by

Themes: , , , ,


To collect rich, creative and divergent contributions from potential users


A User Forum is an interactive session between designers and users where all attendees contribute to the dialogue and express their opinions


One to Two Hours


Audio/video recorder, digital camera, notebook, pencil


Individually, In Small Groups


This design activity provides a space for users to engage with the creative process and it could be used throughout the duration of a project. The activity does not require a trained moderator and can therefore be medical worker-led, extending the boundaries of the traditional focus group format. User forums can be used to explore more open-ended questions (for example, What problems are facing patients waiting long hours in waiting rooms?; What problems are patients having with parking spaces at our hospital?; What issues are visitors having with signage, for instance signs giving directions, department names and descriptions, both inside and outside the hospital?), to enable constructive and on going discussion to develop design ideas, rather than just focusing on a single issue.


Focus Groups


  • Tactile Patterned Tableware, The Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, access at,
  • Dong, H., Clarkson, P. J., Cassim, J., Simeon, K. (2005) Critical User Forums – An Effective User Research Method for Inclusive Design, The Design Journal, v. 8, n. 2, pp. 49-59
  • Coleman, R., (Ed) (1997) Working Together: A New Approach to Design. Royal College of Art


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