Program of the Nano Challenges

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Phase 1: Orientation and Frames (zoom out)


Several parties are often involved in a social issue. Their interests are not always equal and can even be conflicting. It is therefore important to identify stakeholders and understand their views. In-depth understanding of the situation is required in order to arrive at a solution that suits the interests of the various stakeholders.

As an exploratory assignment, you will identify the people who are interested in an issue. After identification, you translate into personas in order to get a first impression of the possible views, values and concerns of the target groups that those personas represent. To take it a step further and map out potential conflicts, put yourself in your personas to discuss the chosen case. With the insights from this, you form 'frames' that offer multiple perspectives on the problem definition. Think of it as different glasses that you could see through. One of your group members plays a role as a guide; the communication skills within this role are important and valuable in modern design methodologies such as co-creation. You can decide for yourself who takes on this role. The others contribute to the process as discussion leaders.


A persona is a fictional character that helps researchers focus on different target groups and understand their actions and thoughts (Nielsen, 2002). We also use personas to represent target groups that cannot be contacted.

In a role play, researchers behave like the people in their target audience to develop empathy for them (Wright, 2008). Without empathy, it is difficult to design good solutions for a target group that has a different mindset than the researcher himself (Kouprie & Sleeswijk Visser, 2009).

A next step is to use the personas to get a complete picture of an issue, from the different perspectives that stakeholders have on the issue. In its simplest form, you can think of 'frames' as a lens through which a problem is looked at: each stakeholder is looking through a different lens. In fact, social problems often have multiple dimensions, which require the insights of all stakeholders in order to arrive at a desired solution. Read the example below for a practical application of this theory.

Neighborhood residents have approached the municipality about a crime problem in their neighborhood: they no longer feel safe. The municipality approached the police as soon as possible to find a solution to this problem together. Police report that she currently does not have enough manpower to actively and regularly patrol the neighborhood. It therefore seems sensible for the police to use cameras. The municipality agreed with the proposal, because this measure complies with the established municipal laws. Moreover, she understands the situation at the police. However, the residents are not completely at ease with the idea that there will be a camera in the neighborhood that records all their actions.

At least three perspectives on this issue can be identified, depending on the roles of the stakeholders. These are summarized in Table 1, where the lenses can be roughly described as lenses of regulations / municipal laws, available means for enforcement and inconvenience caused by digital surveillance. The omission or forgetting of important perspectives, such as that of the neighborhood residents, may mean that the chosen solution does not satisfy all stakeholders. In addition, the perspective of the neighborhood residents expands the solution space. It challenges researchers and designers to come up with solutions that are more creative than a security camera.

Table 1

Different perspectives on neighborhood enforcement, belonging to different stakeholders.

The use of cameras to promote safety in the neighborhood
Interested party Role Perspective
Township Responsible for the decision about camera surveillance in the neighborhood. In consultation with the police, it was decided to use cameras to promote safety in the neighborhood. In addition, the measure complies with the municipal laws
Law enforcement Responsible for processing the camera images in the process of enforcement of public order. The police currently has not settle for manpower to deploy agents to actively and regularly patrol the neighborhood. A camera therefore seems the best solution.
Neighborhood residents Of target audience for whom the cameras are used. Although a camera can promote safety in the neighborhood, the residents feel not quite at ease: all their actions in the neighborhood are now being recorded.


Group formation

We strive to represent as many different study programs and educational institutions as possible within each team. Where possible, you have a voice in this yourself, based on distinct team roles and by creating groups based on mutual interests. When we are forced to collaborate online, group formation can be difficult and guidance has a say in the composition of the teams.


Brainstorm with your project group about possible stakeholders within the case under discussion. Consider, for example, the target group, but also relevant authorities, organizations and companies or their representatives. When identifying stakeholders, also pay attention to minorities and parties that represent a 'contrary view'. Anyone affected or involved in the case is entitled to representation.


Select different stakeholders from the results of the brainstorm. Cover any type of audience if possible. Name the personas and consider demographic information such as gender, age, and origin. Also think about possible points of view, hobbies, interests, wishes, frustrations and more! First start by creating your own persona and then help each other by giving suggestions and additions. It's important not to be stereotyped; a persona should create a realistic image for researchers. Finally, a persona can always be enriched with new insights during the design process.

Role play

Within the role-play everyone fulfills the role of discussion leader and moderator. To make the discussion more interesting, it is recommended to choose as diverse a selection of personas as possible in the role play. Below are some instructions and tips for both the discussion leaders and the moderator.

Discussionists: Communicate your persona's point of view during a discussion about the issue. So let go of your own opinion. During the discussion, use your persona's name as a reminder of the role you are playing. By conducting this discussion, conflicting interests can be identified that need to be taken into account in the design process. Here are some tips that will come in handy in phase 1:

  • Make notes during the discussion when you are not speaking. You will still need the insights you gain in the role play. When everyone takes notes, you collectively have a rich collection of information.
  • Write down your discussion points if you are not yet speaking. A recognized drawback of group discussions is that people forget their arguments and points of view because it may take their turn for a while.

Moderator: Guide the discussion by asking everyone for their opinion on the issue. Also challenge the discussion leaders to respond to each other's points of view. In addition, here are some more tips:

  • Use a communication protocol. In an online setting this is for example: Turn off your microphone when you are not speaking. Raise your hand if you want to speak and wait for the attendant to call out your name before speaking. Make sure everyone is aware of the rules of conduct you want to use in the discussion. This provides more peace, order and control.
  • Remain impartial during the discussion. It is your job to let the discussion leaders form their own opinion on the topic by bringing multiple perspectives to light.
  • Make sure everyone has the floor. First, ask if there are people who would like to respond to a particular question or statement. If necessary, give specific turns to people who remain silent, so that their input is also addressed.
  • Make sure that the discussion continues to run smoothly and that there are few silences. This can be done by tapping into points mentioned by the personas and asking follow-up questions about this. If you can't think of a new question right away, it can help to ask more people for their opinion on the topic that is currently being discussed. The answers can provide inspiration and give rise to a new question.


Use the insights you have gained from the role play to map out the different perspectives of the stakeholders (including the client). In addition to the structure of Table 1, visual representations such as in Figure 1 can also help. Here each stakeholder is visualized with their own values on a separate island. Subsequently, the relationships and possible conflicts between these 'islands' were mapped. Other forms of expression are of course also welcome. Based on your analysis, formulate interesting and holistic research questions for the next phase of the nano challenge.

Figure 1. Mapping stakeholders, perspectives and the mutual relationships.

Phase 2: Design Fiction and Interviews (zoom in)


Initial assumptions help initiate an investigation, but are not enough. It is important to validate assumptions and gain new insights by gathering the stories of stakeholders. Interviews are a good start for this: they provide insights that arise from explicit contemporary knowledge. However, it is also important to penetrate to a deeper layer: the latent (invisible) knowledge, which encompasses what people feel and desire. This requires different techniques (Sleeswijk Visser, Stappers, van der Lugt, & Sanders, 2005). In the nano challenge we use the 'Design Fiction' method for this. Within the nano-challenges we define 'fiction' as 'a possible reality'. Vivid descriptions and visual media help enormously in making future concepts concrete and understandable.


A scenario is an explicit description of (hypothetical) interactions, between a product and a user, that take place in order to achieve a specific goal (Anggreeni & van der Voort, 2007). The building blocks for scenarios are: a protagonist, other stakeholders, a goal (something that the protagonist wants to achieve) and a service or product that catalyzes the goal, a context and an environment (with any existing objects and resources). We make the following distinction between an environment and a context; an environment ('environment') refers to a specific location, while the context describes the context in which the issue plays. See Figure 2, based on the work of Anggreeni (2010), below for clarification of this concept.

Scenarios have different functions, such as structuring information (Nielsen, 1990) and involving stakeholders in the generation of ideas (Spaulding & Faste, 2013). It is good to remember that scenarios are not limited to textual descriptions. Different media can be used to bring the story to life for a better empathy.

Figure 2. A visualization of the building blocks for scenarios.

Design fiction offers the opportunity to explore what users want from a solution that may be available in the future. In fact, this fiction (possible reality) can be used to speculate about the consequences of this solution for future society (Schulte, Marshall, & Cox, 2016). If the scenario is recognizable to the user, valuable personal wishes and experiences can be generated. This recognisability is important, because a creative process follows a person-specific timeline: present - past - future (Sanders & Stappers, 2012).

  • Present: Human consciousness is guided by first thinking about experiences in the present.
  • Past: Certain stimuli from the present stir up memories and experiences from the past. People at this moment become aware of forgotten wishes and desires.
  • Future: The needs that have arisen can be translated into wishes for a future product, service or solution.

Design fiction guides the progress of this creative process. Although the stories are often, but not always, set in the future, a good scenario almost always contains elements based on events in the present day. The recognisability thus stirs up memories and needs from it past at the reader. With the reminder of past affairs, the reader then speculates about needs for future solutions. To make this principle concrete, we map out the timeline for the narrative research of Spaulding and Faste (2013).

Spaulding and Faste (2013) have used scenarios / design fiction to involve stakeholders in the design of their 'Meaningful Markers' concept. This is a game concept that depends on location: different neighborhoods are associated with different games. The purpose of 'Meaningful Markers' is to encourage children to discover their environment and stimulate social interaction.

This concept was presented to stakeholders with vivid descriptions through a future scenario in which this concept was already implemented in the neighborhood. The phenomenon of playing in the neighborhood is recognizable for everyone, including in it present day. One stakeholder said he did not see this working in his Pittsburgh ward and explained this through his experiences and memories from the past to share. He said the distances between the Pittsburgh communities were so great that it would not be attractive for children to travel these distances. In his hometown, Tel Aviv, he saw this work; the environment here is much more suitable for exploration, because the different cultural institutions are much closer together here. With these insights he helped the researchers to improve their concept: for concepts such as 'Meaningful Markers' it is future important to respect the distances between communities.

If we place this in the timeline, we see that recognizable phenomena from the present, such as playing outside, can evoke personal memories from the past. In this case, Tel Aviv's youth and cultural communities, compared to its current situation in Pittsburgh. This resulted in a new design principle that must be taken into account: the distances between communities. We, as researchers, can take further advantage of this. The experts by experience provide insight into what does not work, but we can also ask them what would work according to them. At this stage, they are well aware of the concept itself and the potential problems. With this knowledge they can actively and effectively think about solutions, based on their own experiences and wishes.

The relationship between present, past and future within a creative thinking process is briefly summarized in Figure 3 (based on Sanders and Stappers (2012)).

Figure 3. An illustration of the relationship between present, past and future within a creative thinking process.


Interview based on 'design fiction' 

Depending on the case, there are already stakeholders who are willing to participate in the study. In other cases, you have to look for candidates yourself. If no contact can be made with people who specifically belong to your target groups, the personas (created in phase 1) can be used. Ask friends and / or acquaintances to study and identify with the personas and then participate in your design fiction research.

Then make a group division:

  • 1 main contact person for the research.
  • 1 group member for taking minutes of the research.
  • 1 group member who immediately starts studying the transcripts to speed up the research. Do not perform the initial analysis in the transcripts, but in a separate document. More information about data analysis can be found under the 'scenario' heading in phase 2.
  • 1 group member who listens attentively during the investigation and assists in asking questions at the request of the main contact person.

In addition to the formulated questions, it is important to be open to spontaneity. By using a fully structured approach, you limit the insights that can be obtained. For this reason, give the stakeholders the space to speak for themselves, regardless of the questions already formulated. To this end, invite those involved to name elements from the scenario that are of (direct) importance to them. Listen carefully and respond by asking why these elements are important to them. This way you understand the wishes better from their perspective.

Together formulate questions that you want to ask the target group about your design fiction. In the first instance, do not immediately ask questions about which solutions people want to see. First build up the research slowly.

Use the perspectives and personas from phase 1 to validate the initial assumptions. These consist of main characters, contexts and goals. Come up with a fictional solution that you want to incorporate into the scenario. This is not the final concept; you mainly use this fictitious solution to get a better grip on the issue. The concept is there to make thinking in future visions easier for stakeholders and to understand which principles are (un) desirable in this possible solution. You can also consciously make the concept provocative. This means that the concept provokes certain reactions from stakeholders, by incorporating a controversial aspect into your fictitious solution. However, do this in moderation. It is interesting if there is also an attractive advantage in the concept, so that stakeholders make decisions and perhaps even come up with improvements. Active participation in the research process is more common when the fictional solution is attractive and there is room for adjustments and suggestions.

As a group, think about what the future would look like with your fictional concept and how the personas would deal with this in the chosen user context. In your design fiction, do not judge which future situations are good and bad. It is the job of those involved to draw conclusions about this and share them with you. Finally, make sure that the scenario is recognizable to the reader and that the story takes place in the near future.

Below is an example of a design fiction scenario based on the example from phase 1 about the use of cameras to promote safety in the neighborhood. The goal we have in mind in this specific example is to find out where the boundary lies for the residents of the neighborhood with regard to safety measures. In this scenario, we assume that the stakeholder interviewed is a local resident. In between the scenario there are also questions that can be asked during the storyline. The fictitious answers of the interviewed stakeholder are enclosed in square brackets.

In recent weeks, the municipality and the police have been busy finding a solution to crime in an Enschede neighborhood. They came up with the idea of installing security cameras in the neighborhood. However, residents did not feel comfortable with this. Can you, as a local resident, imagine anything about this? 

[Yes / no, because…]

In the meantime, the municipality has assumed that crime mainly takes place in the evening in poorly lit parts of the neighborhood, where criminals can carry out their practices unseen. There is now speculation to better light those parts of the neighborhood to make the environment less inviting for criminals. How do you think about this? 

[On the one hand I think that lighting can help, on the other it also feels like a passive measure. Lighting may reduce the risk of vandalism, for example, but does not contribute to a next step to arrest criminals. In my experience it has also sometimes gone wrong during the day.]

A somewhat more active solution that is being considered is to collect sensor data in the neighborhood. This data is then analyzed using artificial intelligence to identify patterns of suspicious activity in the neighborhood. With information, the police can tackle crime more effectively. How do you feel about this?

[Personally, I think this is a better solution than lighting. The biggest problem I had with the security cameras was that the data collected with them is much more personal. Face recognition could be applied to camera images, so to speak. I feel this fear less with sensor data.]

In addition to these proposed ideas, the municipality is also open to new suggestions from local residents. They are looking for suggestions that ideally do not amount to: deploy more police officers instead of using cameras. The police have reported that they currently do not have enough manpower for this. Do you have suggestions that you would like to propose to the municipality?

Although the sensor system was fairly well received, this is not necessarily the final solution to the problem. It is important to interpret the results properly. Identify design principles such as:

  • A safety measure (such as more lighting in the neighborhood) should not be too passive.
  • A security measure limits the inconvenience that local residents experience if the data that is collected is not too personal.

Data visualization

It is time to condense the amount of information you have collected. A traditional approach is to translate the frequently occurring and remarkable observations into themes. A theme is an umbrella set of information that categorizes various topics in (text) data. These themes can be presented in creative / visual and clear ways. For example, group together statements about a similar topic. This can be done with (digital) post-its, among other things. Code the clusters by color to keep the different groups clear. After all the important and interesting statements have been grouped, it is time to label all clusters together. Think about umbrella terms and place them (in large) with grouped statements. This makes it clear on the basis of which statements the themes were chosen. A simple visual representation for this is shown in figure 4.

Figure 4. Visualization of theme clusters.

This is just one of the possible ways you can represent the data. For example, it is also possible to create storyboards, infographics or illustrations. The main goal is to make the long text data more compact and clear, in a way that others can easily interpret your results, without having to read an entire report. You are free in your choice of media with which to do this.

Phase 3: Responsible Design (ideation)


With the insights you gathered in phases 1 and 2, you will work on solutions for your case in this phase. Logically, aspects such as the functionality of your solution are discussed. However, such specifications are not sufficient as quality requirements. Products or services are capable of influencing user behavior. Consider, for example, a speed bump. As a result, drivers reduce their speed: a direct behavioral change. However, it is also possible that products are used differently than originally intended. A historical example of this is the telephone, which was intended as a means of communication for the blind. The new intention that has been found for this is to remain connected over a long distance. In addition to these positive examples, problematic cases are also known.

Within this phase you will learn about theories to design responsibly solutions. We do this according to the way of 'materializing morality' (incorporating physical or digital properties into concepts to observe moral behavior) and designing for 'positive moods'. You will also have the opportunity to involve creative entrepreneurs in your design process. They are available for both consultation and co-creation. We recommend that you approach the entrepreneurs, as their expertise makes a valuable and complementary contribution to your concept. However, this is not mandatory; contact details are provided in a timely manner so that you can invite or approach them if you wish.


New solutions can have an effect on people's behavior. Products, services or technologies can be designed in such a way that they stimulate or even dictate certain behavior. You can take this into account when designing those concepts. This direction of actions and behavior is called 'mediation'. Mediation of undesirable behavior is ideally avoided. A next step is to consciously design desired mediations (Verbeek, 2006). An example of this is an economical shower head: it helps people to live up to the moral of sustainability. This may be more effective than simply telling people to use water sparingly. This is an example of 'materializing morality'.

Products in themselves do not necessarily make people happy, but they can stimulate this. This can be done on three levels:

  • Pleasure: products can increase comfort, reduce discomfort and facilitate fun activities (in the short term).
  • Personal interest: a product can contribute to achieving personal goals (long term).
  • Morality: doing good deeds helps others, but also makes yourself feel good. A product or service can stimulate this behavior. The consequences therefore go beyond self-interest and can have an impact on several people or even entire communities.

The three levels together encompass the essence of the theory of designing for 'positive moods' (Desmet & Pohlmeyer, 2013). This methodology operationalizes the subjective well-being of humans through product design. While the three levels reflect universal principles, the term 'subjective well-being' suggests that there is also a personal aspect involved. The way in which these principles are expressed is personal and depends on the user context and living environment. This again emphasizes the importance of thorough user research.


Co-creation (priming - brainstorm - practical enrichment - ethical enrichment)

Collaborations between different disciplines take place within co-creation. The advantages of this are that various professional expertise together help to explore a concept more extensively and thus offer a broad perspective on possible solutions. At all stages of this method you will have the opportunity to collaborate with creative entrepreneurs. They are not yet aware of your findings. So at this stage your scenarios (phase 2) come in handy! Use them to inform your creative partners about the case, the user context, needs, frustrations and current solution directions.

A co-creation process is always supervised by a designer / researcher. The facilitating role of the designer is characteristic of co-creation (Sanders & Stappers, 2008). Choose 1 person from your group for this role. In addition, it is important to note down insights and opinions. Choose 1 person to fulfill this task. The other group members will participate in co-creation. In traditional co-creation sessions, stakeholders and future users of a service or product are invited to participate. However, it is also possible to hold co-creation sessions more from an expert perspective, in which the insights from the research and personal expertise are used. This is what you are going to do.

Tips for the facilitator:

  • Be polite and thank everyone for attending and do a short introduction round.
  • Recognize the effort put into the process by regularly thanking the participants for their contribution.
  • Inform all participants of the communication protocol you will be using.
  • Explain the assignments clearly.
  • Keep track of the time and ensure that the activities are completed on time.
  • Make sure that everyone has their say and that people are also given the opportunity to explain their choices. For example, a word web in itself is not very transparent. The train of thought, motivation and interpretation for the mentioned associations, on the other hand, are very informative for the design process.
  • Be sharp and tap into interesting views by asking follow-up questions.
  • Conclude an activity with a joint analysis. Ask questions such as: what are the corresponding themes you see? Which concept do you find most interesting?
  • Do not let participants work longer than 40 minutes at a time. Insert breaks every now and then to keep everyone fresh and motivated in the process.

Tips for the minute list:

  • Keep a separate record of what is said for each participant. In this way, it can be traced retrospectively in the analysis whether certain views are similar between individuals.
  • If possible, try writing down the interesting statements verbatim (literally word for word). This also ensures that the intentions and connotations of the spokespersons are preserved as much as possible in later stages of the analysis.


It is difficult to come up with a complete solution to the challenge from scratch. That is why we are going to build the process. Choose a central theme from the scenarios of phase 2 and create a word web or word cloud. Above all, build on the input of others. This principle is known in psychology as 'response chaining' (Adams, 1984). The usefulness of this becomes clearer with a practical example.

Imagine you are in class and the teacher is asking a tough question. Initially, the students are reluctant to answer. After while a student raises his hand. His answer is incorrect, but comes a little close. This answer gives another student an idea and then she makes an attempt. Again the teacher says that the answer is not entirely correct, but is very close to the correct answer. After thinking for a while you will know; the answers of your fellow students helped you find the right answer. More complex concepts appear to be created by building on each other. You learn from each other!

Such association assignments stimulate creative thought processes by activating semantic memory (Sanders & Stappers, 2012).


Briefly discuss the outcomes of the word web. Why did you write down a particular word and what exactly do you mean by it? Everyone should provide a brief explanation. With understanding for each other's associations, a translation can be made into concepts. Generate as many ideas as possible without rejecting them. Afterwards, make a selection of the most promising concepts; a top 3 is sufficient in principle. It can help to organize the ideas in a COCD box as shown in figure 5. Besides textual and verbal descriptions, it can help here to use visual means. Think of mind maps and collages, or any other method that seems appropriate to you. With images and creative layouts it becomes easier to make the concepts tangible and to communicate about them.

Figure 5. A COCD box for idea selection.

Practical enrichment

Develop the ideas into perfect concepts from a practical point of view. Examples of guiding questions for this process are:

  • Which components are needed to build your solution?
  • Are the technologies you want to use well developed enough to be implemented in your concept in the short term?
  • Can your concept be integrated with technologies that humans already possess?
    • If so, how much added value does this have?
  • How intuitive is your concept to use?
  • Are there elements in your concept that exclude people, for example due to conditions such as color blindness?
    • If so, how can you make the concept more inclusive?
  • Under what circumstances can your concept be used? Alone at home or outside?

Ethical enrichment 

Place your concepts in the framework for designing for 'positive moods'. Think about how your concept can contribute on all three levels. You are meant to consciously add attributes to the concepts to address these levels; so don't just look at which properties already thought up coincidentally correspond to the three levels! This methodology should be used consciously and actively to operationalize the subjective well-being of humans. The theoretical framework is summarized below in Figure 6 (based on Desmet and Pohlmeyer (2013).

Figure 6. The framework for design for positive moods.

To get this process started, here are some guiding questions:

  • Design for pleasure
    • How can your solution increase pleasure and comfort?
    • How can your solution reduce discomfort?
    • What enjoyable activities can your solution facilitate? For example, with the help of a boat, someone can enjoy sailing.
  • Designs for personal benefit
    • What personal goals does your target audience have?
    • How can your solution provide direct support in achieving long-term goals?
    • How can your solution remind users to achieve their goals?
    • How can your solution highlight (small) achievements? Seeing progress and performance can have a motivating effect on sustainable behavioral change (Sailer, Hense, Mayr & Mandl, 2017). In this context, behavioral change refers to the use of products and services to make (positive) lifestyle changes.
  • Designing for morality
    • What possible immoral acts are encouraged by your solution? Examples are unsustainable consumption and pollution. Avoiding the stimulation of immoral behavior also counts as designs for morality.
    • In what way does your solution stimulate moral behavior? After all, it is important that people remain autonomous in their choice to observe morals. So technology shouldn't do all the work for people; the intention of man to act responsibly must be present. This emphasizes the importance of transparency in the guiding and persuasive mechanisms of technology (Tromp, Hekkert, & Verbeek, 2011). People can be controlled with minimal invasion of their autonomy. Consider, for example, the current donor law: you are a donor, unless you explicitly state that you are not. This way of steering is called 'libertarian paternalism' (Thaler & Sunstein, 2013).
    • What morals are associated with your solution and how can you possibly materialize them? Global examples of morals that may apply:
      • Helping fellow human beings;
      • Sustainable living;
      • Taking responsibility for your own actions;
      • Make responsible decisions.

Phase 4: Evaluation and Presentation (final)


Now that the concept has been devised, it is time for an evaluation. We do this before the concept is actually developed. The sooner a problem is (still) found, the easier it is to make changes. How can concepts be tested without developing them? We use (again) scenarios for this. The advantage of scenarios in this phase is that they make concepts more concrete, without actually having to design them. This makes it easier to present problems and the implementation in the user context. From a practical perspective, it is also more beneficial to tackle problems as early as possible; prior to implementation. It is also an ethically responsible activity to think thoroughly about the possible problematic consequences that the conceived concept entails.


Designers use problem scenarios to think critically about their concept. For example, the concept is presented in an unfavorable situation in order to inspect whether the concept resists the circumstance (hypothetically). Designers also investigate whether the use of the developed concept can lead to unforeseen problems (in the long term). Here it is advisable to also involve people outside the team in the analysis (Anggreeni & van der Voort, 2007). They have a fresh look at the concept and possibly foresee other problems than you.

An interaction scenario consists of a description of intentions, behaviors, the user context and the interaction between people and your concept. This scenario is intended to explain in detail how and why the developed concept is used (Anggreeni & van der Voort, 2007).



Think of as many obstacles and problems as possible that may occur in the implementation / use of your concept. Use these new insights to improve your concept, if possible. Otherwise, they are good points of attention for new student teams that will further develop the concept. It is not necessary to write all these obstacles into a problem scenario.

Here are some tips for identifying problems:

  • Name the possible (technical) problems that may occur with your concept. Use the single problems to analyze what would happen at the system level: what would happen to the whole system if one component failed? What escalating issues can arise?
  • Reflect on the goals of your solution. State the situations in which the achievement of the goals is undermined.
  • Describe the problems through hypothetical interactions between the user and your concept. How and when does the user encounter these problems? What is the user's behavior / response to this?

Here are some guiding questions for the mediation analysis:

  • Which actions does your concept stimulate?
  • Which actions does your concept advise against?
  • Which observations does your concept emphasize?
  • Which perceptions does your concept nuance?
  • What information is obtained from your concept and how does this possibly influence decision-making?
  • What is the 'script' of your concept? Read the theory section from phase 4 again, if necessary.

Process the insights obtained in your presentation. Translate the problems you have not been able to address in a redesign into recommendations for future research.


Reflect on your process during the nano challenge and incorporate the insights into the presentation. Talk to your group to go through the reflection together. Some points we would like to hear from you are:

  • What have you as an individual learned from the nano challenge?
  • What have you learned as a group from:
    • the multidisciplinary collaboration?
    • the approach?
    • the project?
  • What were the challenges in the nano challenge and / or the collaboration?
  • What were the highlights of the past four weeks?
  • What would you like to see different in the nano challenges in the future?

You can decide for yourself in what way you deliver the reflection. Creativity is appreciated. Consider, for example, a collection of digital post-its, word clouds, or posters.


Use an interaction scenario to present your concept in the user context to the stakeholders, the other students and employees of the EnschedeLAB. Use comprehensive descriptions of the interactions between the user and the solution. Clearly explain the motives for use, based on a goal to be achieved and the catalytic role that the solution has in this. In contrast to a problem scenario, an interaction scenario does not deal with possible problems and defects of the solution. Really show what your solution is good for. What you can do is highlight the solutions you have found to the problems you have identified. Convince us of the effectiveness of your solution by taking us to the application of your solution in the actual user context!

Here too it is possible to give the personas a role in the scenario. It is advisable to use creative methods to clarify the concept. After all, a scenario is not limited to a text. For example, use sketches, posters, collages, videos, storyboards or other media of your choice! A textual scenario can be transformed in this way, for example, in a future newspaper article about your concept. You can determine the way in which the scenario is presented. However, it is important to maintain the content structure of an interaction scenario. Finally, do not forget to give your evaluation and reflection a place in the presentation.

Sources list

Anggreeni, I., & van der Voort, M. (2007). Tracing the Scenarios in Scenario-Based Product Design A study to support scenario generation. Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 2(4), 123-136.

Anggreeni, I. (2010). Making use of scenarios: Supporting scenario use in product design.

Desmet, P. M., & Pohlmeyer, A. E. (2013). Positive design: An introduction to design for subjective well-being. International journal of design, 7(3).

Kouprie, M., & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2009). A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s life. Journal of Engineering Design, 20(5), 437-448.

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